5 ways to express annoyance in French

5 ways to express annoyance in French

by Lingoda Team

Updated November 9, 2022

Let’s face it. Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, and neither is learning French. But do you know how to express those less-than-pleasant emotions? From annoyance to anger, take a tip from the French and start by being direct. If you’re not sure how to do it or what to say, there’s a French word or phrase to help you out. Don’t worry, I haven’t included any bad words, or gros mots, that might make a French grandmother stare at you in shock. In this article, learn how to express annoyance in French.

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When you’re sick of waiting in line at the Eiffel Tower…

Interestingly enough, the French verb ennuyer means both to bore and to bother. You’ll have to rely on context to figure out which one it means. Luckily, that also makes it perfect for those times you need to express both emotions.

  • Getting bored while you wait in line? You can simply say:

Je m’ennuie  or  C’est ennuyant

  • Frustrated because it’s really hot outside, and you didn’t bother to bring a bottle of water?

C’est ennuyeux

When someone you don’t like won’t leave you alone…

There’s always going to be someone who gets on your nerves. Maybe you’ve got a younger sibling who deliberately tries to annoy you. You find yourself constantly telling them, “Stop it!”

In French, you might say:

Ça suffit! or Enfin! if you’re really irritated.

On the other hand, if you’re dealing with someone who just likes to annoy you (you know the type), just shouting “Enfin!” isn’t going to work. Maybe they have an annoying nickname for you and you’d like them to stop using it, or something else about their behavior is making you mad. You could say:

Je suis énervé(e).  – I’m annoyed.

Tu peux arrêter ça, s’il te plaît ? or Vous pouvez arrêter ça, s’il vous plaît ? – Can you stop that, please? It’s annoying me.

Arrêtez ! C’est énervant/irritant.  – Stop! It’s annoying/irritating.

When you spill a drink on yourself…

You always need to have a good word for those clumsy moments when you spill something or stub your toe. In French, if you are annoyed and you need a word you can also say in polite company, your best bet is to try “Mince!” “Punaise!” or “Purée !

If you’re wondering, both punaise and purée are nice ways to avoid saying the most popular French swear word.  

When someone else spills a drink on you…

Bad things happen. Sometimes, you’re in a good enough mood that it doesn’t faze you. Other times, even if it was an accident, you just can’t help being angry.

In French, you might say “Je suis fâché(e).

Similarly, if something or someone has made you pretty upset, you can say, “Il me met en colère!” (He’s making me angry!)

When all of the above happens and you miss the train home…

When you’re not just annoyed, but truly furious, some of the other vocabulary just isn’t good enough to describe your emotions.

Though, it’s easy enough to remember the word furieux(euse).

Your friend asks you, “Ca va?

You respond, “Non, nous avons raté le train! Je suis furieux(euse)!” (No, we missed the train! I’m furious!)

Then, you can try hard not to swear if you want.

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