C’est bon – How to correctly use this versatile expression
If you have traveled to France for an extended period or watched French media, you may have heard c’est bon. You might also know that it translates to “it’s good”, but do you know all of its other meanings and how you can use it? C’est bon can be quite a versatile and useful expression. In this post we’ll show you the different meanings of c’est bon, compare c’est bon to c’est bien and even teach you alternatives to c’est bon.
Different meanings of c’est bon
That’s good or It’s good (food)
The most common way c’est bon is used is to mean “it’s good” or “that’s good”, and is commonly used when talking about food. In France, it’s something that you’re sure to use often!
- C’est bon, ce pain au chocolat!
- Tu aimes le gateau? Oui, c’est bon!
- This chocolate croissant is good!
- Do you like the cake? Yes, it’s good!
That’s right or It’s right
C’est bon can also mean “that’s right” or “it’s right”. You can use it when someone asks you whether something is correct, or when you want to confirm information or a direction.
- C’est bon, ce chemin?
- J’ai fini mon exercise, c’est bon?
- Is that the correct way to go?
- I finished my exercise, is it right?
That works or It works
You can also use c’est bon to mean “that works” or “it works” specifically when confirming a plan or a meeting.. Or if asking someone if a plan works, it more directly translates to “is that good for you?” Let’s take a look at some examples
- Est-ce que tu peux me prêter ta voiture? C’est bon.
- Je voudrais aller au cinéma le mardi, c’est bon pour toi?
- C’est bon si je commence par la dernière partie?
- Can you lend me your car? That works.
- I’d like to go to the movies on Tuesday, is that good for you?
- Does it work if I start with the last part?
That’s enough or It’s enough
The other use of c’est bon when talking about food can be used to indicate that it’s enough or you’ve had enough and you’re full.
Voulez-vous encore du fromage? Non, merci, c’est bon.
Would you like some more cheese? No, thank you, I’m full.
French speakers also use c’est bon to mean “it’s done”. Use it to indicate that you have finished a task.
- J’ai terminé tous mes examens, c’est bon.
- Et le ménage, c’est bon?
- I finished all of my exams, it’s done.
- And the housework, is it done?
Different ways of using c’est bon
Ce n’est pas bon – It’s not good
To say that something is not good, we use the negative form of c’est bon. We build the negation in French by adding ne … pas to our sentence, this leaves us with ce n’est pas bon.
Ce n’est pas bon however is not as versatile as c’est bon and isn’t used in all of the above described situations. Use ce n’est pas bon to talk about food that isn’t good, or to talk about something that is incorrect.
- Je n’aime pas ce tiramisu, ce n’est pas bon.
- Tu as fait des fautes dans cet exercice, ce n’est pas bon.
- I don’t like this tiramisu, it’s not good.
- You made a mistake in this exercise, it’s not correct.
C’est si bon – It’s so good
You may know the phrase c’est si bon from the famous French song of the same title, which has been covered by numerous artists. One of the most well-known versions was sung by Eartha Kitt.
The actual meaning of c’est si bon is simply “It’s so good” and is often used when referring to food. An alternative translation is c’est tellement bon.
C’est si bon, ce camembert!
This camembert cheese is so good!
C’est trop bon – It’s too good
C’est trop bon is similar to c’est si bon and is also used for food. Trop means “too much”, so c’est trop bon can be translated to “it’s too good”. Trop is a nice word to have when “good” doesn’t quite capture how amazing the meal was.
J’adore ce dessert, c’est trop bon.
I love this dessert, it’s too good.
C’est Bon vs. C’est Bien
If you have ever heard c’est bien, you might now be wondering what exactly is the between c’est bon and c’est bien. If we told you that one is an adjective (bon) and the other one is an adverb (bien) it might only cause more confusion.
The best way to distinguish between the two is to remember that bon is used with a noun (a thing, an object, a place or even a person) and bien is used with a verb (an activity). Let’s look at two examples:
- Est-ce que vous aimez la ville? Oui, c’est bon.
- Est-ce que vous aimez vous promener en ville? Oui, c’est bien.
- Do you like the city? Yes, it’s good.
- Do you like walking around in the city? Yes, it’s good.
Here we used c’est bon because we were saying that “the city” was good. In the second example, c’est bien was used because we are talking about how we like the act of walking (around the city).
Now that you know in which situations c’est bon can be used, let’s take a quick look at a few alternatives to c’est bon. To say that something is good and you like it you can use j’adore!. To agree to a plan and say it’s okay or that works you can say ca marche. To say that it’s enough or you’re full you can say ça suffit. To talk about a task that is done you can say c’est fait.