Why You Should Never Says Bien Fait in Spoken French (Spoken French Practice!)

French learners sometimes use “Bien fait !” to praise someone in French, just as you would say “Well done” in English.

It’s a mistake. But it’s great to try things out, even if it means making some mistakes here and there!

Now, what does “Bien fait” actually mean?
How can you use it in real everyday French?
And how can you actually say “Well done” in French for a praise?

I’m here to help you better speak, understand and be understood in real everyday French. C’est parti.

1 – “Bien fait” means “Serves you right”
2 – “Bien fait” means “Well done” (as an adjective)
3 – “Félicitations !” – Congratulating someone in French
4 – Practice with me: Quizzes & Pronunciation
5 – Extra resources – the Extra Mile

1 - “Bien fait” means “Serves you right”

As a sentence on its own, “Bien fait” means “Serves you right!
It’s short for:
C’est bien fait pour toi !
Or Bien fait pour toi !

Literally: “(That’s) well done for you”, “It’s good that this (bad) thing happened to you.”

For instance:
Tu as mangé tous mes bonbons, et maintenant tu as mal au ventre ? Ha, bien fait pour toi ! = You ate all of my candy, and now your stomach hurts? Ha, serves you right!

Don’t use “Bien fait!” in French as an expression of praise on its own!

2 - “Bien fait” means “well done” as an adjective

On the other hand, “Bien fait” literally means “well done.

  • Bien = good, well
  • Fait = done, past participle of faire = to doC’est fait. = It’s done.

And you can still use these words to mean “well done” – as an adjective. For example:

  • C’est super bien fait ! = It’s really well made!
  • C’est du travail bien fait. = It’s a job well done.
  • C’est un film très bien fait. = It’s a really well-made movie.
  • C’est une peinture très bien faite. = It’s a really well-made painting → “Une peinture” is feminine, so the adjective “faite” gets an extra “e”.

Or with the French le passé composé, past tense, with two expressions:

  • Bien fait = “did well” → J’ai bien fait de partir. = I did well by leaving.
  • Bien fait = “really did” → Tu as bien fait tes devoirs, hein ? = You really did your homework, right?

The thing is: since “Bien fait !” and “C’est bien fait !” can be insulting expressions on their own, we try to be extra clear that we’re not simply teasing the other person. By adding more context or more words in the sentence. Especially in writing.

Finally, as a noun, un bienfait is a beneficial effect, as in personal health or altruistic charity. Don’t mistake it with le bénéfice, the (commercial) profit.

Le truc en plus :

For a steak “well done” (or rare), we use other adjectives in French:

  • Bien cuit = Well done (literally “well cooked“)
  • À point = Medium (literally “just the right time“)
  • Saignant = Rare (literally “bleeding“
  • Bleu = Very Rare (literally “blue“)

3 - “Félicitations !” - Congratulating someone in French

How can you congratulate someone, then? How do you show your appreciation for something they did, or a performance? How can you smile and say “Well done” ?


  • Bravo !
  • Félicitations ! = Congratulations!
  • Bien joué ! = Well played!


  • Impressionnant ! = Impressive!
  • (C’est) fantastique ! = (That’s) fantastic!
  • (C’est) magnifique ! = (That’s) wonderful!

More colloquial:

  • (C’est) super ! = (That’s) great!
  • C’est génial ! = That’s awesome!
    – “Super” is also a colloquial way to say “very”:
    –  C’est super génial. = That’s really great.
    –  C’est super bien. = That’s really good.
  • Informally, we also use trop” = too much (silent “p”) = très” = very:
    –  C’est trop bien ! = That’s too good, that’s really great.

With verbs:

  • J’adore. = I love it!
  • Je suis impressionné. = I am impressed.
  • Je suis fier de toi ! / Je suis fière de toi ! = I am proud of you. (masculine and feminine, same pronunciation)

4 - Practice with me: Quizzes & Pronunciation

With the video lesson above, practice the pronunciation of:

  • C’est génial !
  • Félicitations !

Listen and repeat these other examples:
Elle est impressionnante. = She’s impressive.
Tu as bien fait de demander. = You did well to ask.
Bien fait pour lui ! = Serves him right! → “pour [lui]” targets “him” specifically

The other way around: how would you say these in French?
1. Serves you right!
2. It’s a job well done.
3. I’m proud of you.
4. Serves her right. (specifically)
5. Two other short ways to congratulate someone.

Don’t look at the answers above or below!

Take the time to think about it for yourself.

Now, here are the answers:

1. Bien fait !, Bien fait pour toi ! or C’est bien fait pour toi !
2. C’est un travail bien fait. Or you could also say: C’est du bon travail. Or C’est du bon boulot. (everyday informal spoken French.)
3. Je suis fière de toi. / Je suis fier de toi. (if “Je” is masculine)
4. Bien fait pour elle.
5. Bravo, Bien joué, Félicitations, Impressionnant, J’ai adoré…

5 - The extra mile: extra ressources

Take a look at our next 30-Day French Challenge to learn more, where we explore French culture and real everyday French language in a fun way, with a small challenge everyday for 30 days – with special videos created just for this program, games, and more.

Click here to learn more about your next 30-Day French Challenge!
Keep practicing French to improve your confidence!

And now, you can pick your next lesson to keep learning real French:

À tout de suite.
I’ll see you right now in the next video!


→ If you enjoyed this lesson (and/or learned something new) – why not share this lesson with a francophile friend? You can talk about it afterwards! You’ll learn much more if you have social support from your friends 🙂


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