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French expression of the day: Je m’en fiche

French expression of the day: Je m'en fiche
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
If you're looking for one of the more polite versions to say that you don't give a flying fig, this is the one.

Why do I need to know je m'en fiche?

Because it's useful.

What does it mean?

Je m'en fiche is one of the many French ways to say 'I don't care'.

It's not vulgar like its sister expression je m'en fous, just a little colloquial.

It's a great one to use for everyday drama, if say your partner didn't do the laundry like they said they would because they had “too much to do”, and you don't think that's a valid excuse because you know someone was using the Netflix account earlier.

While throwing your hands up in exasperation, you may exclaim: 

Je m'en fiche ! Tu m'avais promis que tu allais le faire ! – I don't give a flying fig! You promised you would do it!

However, it can also mean 'I don't mind', which can be slightly confusing.

If your boss asks you whether you prefer to work from home or come into office next week and you say Je m'en fiche, you're not being impolite, you're just saying, 'I'm easy'.

So the meaning of the expression changes depending on the context and – crucially – your tone. 

Examples

Tu préfères des pâtes ou du riz avec les légumes ce soir ? Je m'en fiche, les deux me vont. – Do you prefer pasta or rice with the veggies tonight? I don't mind, both work for me.

Il avait vraiment l'air de se ficher complètement que c'était notre anniversaire de couple ! – He seemed like he couldn't care less that it was our couple anniversary!

Bon, ce n'est pas très grave. On s'en fiche. – Well, it's not that big of a deal. It's irrelevant.

Synonyms

Je m'en fous – I don't care (extremely colloquial)

Ca m'est égal – I don't mind

Je m'en moque – I don't mind (colloquial)

Je m'en tape – I don't mind (more colloquial)


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