A few days ago, a youtube subscriber to French Truly TV asked me to clarify the mini expression: N’importe quoi.
It’s a fun one and if used properly, can make you appear really in tune with the French mentality!
In fact, there is more than N’importe quoi!
You can also say n’importe qui, n’importe quand, n’importe où, n’importe comment, etc. but today we will start with n’importe quoi all by itself because it is more complex than the other ones I just mentioned. I’m going to give you various French sentences showing you all the different ways you can use N’importe quoi.
Vous êtes prêt?
1- Raconter n’importe quoi ou dire n’importe quoi
(to say stupid things, to talk nonsense, or as they would say in Britain to talk rubbish. It can also mean to lie.)
Ne l’écoute pas, tu sais bien qu’il raconte tout le temps n’importe quoi!
Don’t listen to him, you know that he’s always talking nonsense.
Arrête de dire n’importe quoi! Stop talking nonsense! Stop saying stupid things! Stop lying!
2- Faire n’importe quoi
(= to be out of control)
Depuis que sa femme l’a quitté, il fait n’importe quoi.
Since his wife left him, he is out of control.
3- N’importe quoi… in the raw, all by itself
You see, hear, experience something totally crazy, you can’t quite believe your eyes! Someone is shamelessly and obviously lying about something very important.
4- Répondre n’importe quoi
(= to answer with the first thing that comes into your mind or that comes out of your mouth.)
Comment s’est passé ton entretien d’embauche? Un désastre! J’ai totalement paniqué et j’ai répondu n’importe quoi.
How did your work interview go? A disaster. I totally panicked and answered with the first thing that came into my mind.
5- Tout et n’importe quoi
(= anything and everything)
Un pull horrible et une veste chic. Il y a vraiment de tout et n’importe quoi dans ce magasin d’occasion!
A horrible sweater and a chic jacket. There’s really anything and everything in this consignment store!
Now you know how to use N’importe quoi in 5 different situations! The others are coming in 2 weeks so stay tuned!