How to Use the Casual French Term 'Sympa'

Most people in France use the casual adjective sympa (pronounced "sam pa)" to mean "nice" when they're describing a person or thing that they like. It's a very versatile word and can be used to express general affection for places, objects, and ideas or concepts in addition to people you know. French speakers also use sympa to mean "pleasant," "friendly," and "good."

Expressions and Usage

There are any number of ways you can use sympa in everyday conversation. For instance:

  • super sympa > very nice
  • avoir l'air sympa > to look kind
  • Elle est très sympa. > She's a really nice person.
  • C'est un type sympa. > He's a nice guy.  
  • C'est un type vraiment sympa. > He's a really nice guy.
  • Il n'est vraiment pas sympa. > He's not very nice at all.
  • type sympa, mec sympa, chic type, mec bien (very colloquial) > nice guy
  • Merci, c'est sympa. > Thanks, I appreciate it.  
  • Ça va être sympa. > That'll be nice.  
  • Ton copain est super sympa ! > Your boyfriend is really nice!
  • Elle n'est vraiment pas sympa. > She's not very nice at all.
  • sympa, amusant, drôle, marant > fun
  • Allez, sois sympa. > Go on, be a sport.
  • un coin sympa pour pique-niquer > a nice spot for a picnic
  • Ceci est une touche très sympa. > This is a really nice touch.
  • Ce n'est pas très sympa mais, après tout, on devait trouver une solution. > That's not very nice, but, after all, we had to find a solution.
  • C’était aussi très sympa de rencontrer plein d’autres collègues de différents pays. > It was also very nice to see a lot of my colleagues from different countries.
  • Peter, sympa mais avec grande gueule... > Peter is a nice guy but he has a big mouth.
  • Géniale ! C’était sympa et enrichissant à la fois. > It was great! Fun and enriching at the same time.