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C’est la vie

C’est la vie is French for that’s the life, or just that’s life. It works as a standalone sentence or as a parenthetical clause. In English, it’s used to downplay a minor disappointment that is not worth lingering on or to acknowledge a slightly disappointing but not unexpected development. It’s similar in meaning to English expressions like oh well and that’s the way it goes.

Examples

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That seems to be the way life is—c’est la vie. [Korea Times]

My old elementary school at Forbes was turned into a bar. C’est la vie. [Minnesota Public Radio]

And, despite several attempts at a relationship, the madtarbak … just haven’t warmed to me. C’est la vie. [Australian]

If it was meant to be, then it will be, and in two years he’ll be back in my arms. Until then, c’est la vie! [Sydney Morning Herald]

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