Here's some dialogue:

Teacher: That’s rude. Why don’t you want to be Fabio’s partner?
James: It’s just that Fabio doesn’t pay attention.

How do you say "it's just that"?

My attempt:

James: C’est juste que Fabio fait pas attention.

Is « c'est juste que » correct?

  • 2
    There is more and more of those questions, but I thought FSE wasn't a translation service...
    – Frank
    Dec 26, 2023 at 21:08
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    @Noybwbh: the issue is that if we encourage people to send us translation requests, we worry that we will be swamped with a deluge of translation requests, and the website will be much less useful (because translation requests are generally only helpful to the people who request them). Dec 27, 2023 at 0:39
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    C'est juste que ... is what I would say.
    – None
    Dec 27, 2023 at 11:25
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    Reduced to the essential needed for translation. To me this one is on the edge. In theory you have the answer if you know that (a) "c'est que" is used for clefting in French like it is in English and (b) "juste" is colloquially used the same in French and English. If it's just a matter of puting those pieces together, it's not a great question — there are infinite combinations of basic pieces. On the other hand, those are both such common idiomatic phrases that others will probably have the same question. I would add more to widen the scope but didn't want to hijack the question too much.
    – Luke Sawczak
    Dec 27, 2023 at 14:19
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    ...As jlliagre has now noted, the chatroom is generally a good "sandbox" for these short & sweet translation questions that are hard to tell whether you just need a little help or whether we should make a permanent universally available record (a question) because it'll be of use to lots of people. Often good questions in chat get the reply, "This should be asked on the main site!" which feels better than starting on the other side and getting closed or downvoted. :)
    – Luke Sawczak
    Dec 27, 2023 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


C'est juste que... is perfectly correct, but you can also use the synonym expression: c'est simplement que...

  • Interestingly, Google Ngrams seems to show that c'est juste que is a remarkably recent expression, and that until around 30 years ago, people generally said c'est simplement que or c'est seulement que. Possibly this is another instance of the influence of English on French. Dec 31, 2023 at 16:02
  • Or maybe, since I see that this meaning of juste is marked as informel in Wiktionnaire, people said it but were reluctant to write it. Dec 31, 2023 at 16:06
  • @PeterShor I expect you mean # 6 in wiktionnaire? but in OP's question it's a different use of the phrase. I think c'est juste que is used in OP's question to introduce an explanation. Same as in English in really (e.g., well, "it's just that" can have several meanings in English as well. And in English too you have "it's only that" & "it's simply that". In a conversation I expect I would rather use juste but I really can't say if one is more formal than the other.
    – None
    Dec 31, 2023 at 16:34

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