It is just one of the very first things you will encounter together a débutant(a beginner)in French.

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Even if you have actually unsavory memories of discovering the language in school—perhaps traumatic enough to reason a sort of amnesia—I bet you still remember this two little words.


Because like allpurpose flour, ça vais a common and versatile expressionused in a selection of various ways.

So let’s take a look in ~ this little but mighty creature. I promise that by the end of this article, you will have actually rekindled your relationship with this word!

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The Straightforward an interpretation of Ça Va

Let’s acquire old school and also go earlier to the classroom.

You room (insert period here) year old and just do the efforts to make it through life allow alone one more French class.

Many language teachers carry out not get in detail around literal translations, which deserve to sometimes be a great reference point to start with.

The literal translation that ça va is “it goes” or “that goes.”

This expression is most frequently used to ask just how someone is doing, also if you room not necessarily expecting or wanting a reply.

Salut, ça va? (Hi, just how are you?/how room things?/how is that going?)

The it is registered of this expression is classified together informal, which method that you have to exercise caution when using that in details situations, specifically with those you would address using vous(you—formal/plural) rather than tu (you—informal/singular).

I will be using the latter for the remainder of the article, and also occasionally dropping the “ne”in the negative, i beg your pardon is regularly omitted in informal conversations.

Ça Va: The All-purpose French Expression and How to usage It prefer a agree Pastry Chef

Ça Va together a Response

Ça va in the positive

Now that you have asked just how someone is, or together in the over example, somebody has actually just asked you; you are going to must know just how to reply.


Simply answers with ça vain a neutral to confident tone the voice—only if you space feeling that way, the course!

In act so, you space letting the speaker understand that life is going okay.

Ça va. (I to be fine./Everything is good.)

To combine this feeling (or do it an ext emphatic), you can add a positive adverb such together bien (well).

Ça va bien. (Things are going well.)

Ça va in the negative

Many French learner think that the expression comme si, comme ça (like this, favor that) is the suitable thing to say at this point, especially if you are feeling “so-so.”

The truth is that while understandable to francophones, this is no the well-used expression anglophones think it is.

You are an ext likely come hear ça vain the positive form but talked in a ton of voice that indicates the speak is not feeling wonderful for every little thing reason.

If you want to be much more explicit around your an adverse feeling, you can simply answers with:

Ça (ne) va pas. (Everything is not good./I am not okay.)

You can also express this by using the adverb mal (badly).

Ça va mal. (Things space not going well.)

Ça Va and also Fashion

Does this dress do me watch fat?

Before we strike a pose, go you know that the vain ça vais the third-person singular that the verb aller (to go)?

Aller à (qqn) is supplied when you desire to speak that an object of clothing suits or looks good on somebody.

Let’s imagine the I have just walked out of a installation room in a rather coming to be pair that trousers. We room close friends (i.e., we use tu) and also you want to compliment me on mine astute fashion feeling by saying, “hey, those trousers look great on you!”

In i m sorry case, you deserve to say:

Ça te va bien! (That really suits you!)

Or if girlfriend think ns look hideous but want to be polite and also honest:

Ça car va pas.(That does no suit you.)

Using Ça Va to speak to in Sick

Whether you room too worn down the next day ~ an exhausting trouser shopping spree or space genuinely feeling a little bit under the weather,there room two nifty expression you deserve to use come express this, specifically if you require to call out of work:

Je ne me sens pas bien. (I perform not feeling well.)

Ça ne va pas. (I do not feeling well.)

Let’s look in ~ a possible exchange in between you and your boss:

Boss: Bonjour __, c’est très tôt—ça ne va pas ? (Hello__, that is very early—is over there something wrong?/are girlfriend sick?)

You: Oui monsieur/madame, ça ne va pas du tout. Je crois que j’ai une gastro-entérite. (Yes, sir/madame, I do not feeling well at all. I think I have gastroenteritis.)

Totally in commitment with Ça Va

Do you desire to learn how to use ça va to keep everyone happy?

Ça vais often used once you desire to know if what you are proposing is agree to who else.

It can begin the sentence as in:

Ça (te) va si j’achète cette voiture? (Is it it s okay if ns buy this car?)

Or at the finish of a sentence as a quick confirmation:

Je veux y aller ce soir—ça (te) va? (I want to go there tonight—is that alright?)

Let’s look at some more examples:

Ça dare va si je m’assois là? (Is that alright if ns sit there?)

Je peux manger le sandwich qui reste—ça (te) va? (Can i eat the leftover sandwich—is that okay?)

Everything will Be Alright using Ça Va

Ça vacan be provided to typical that something will certainly happen.

The building ça va + infinitive suggests that something will take place in the future.

Let’s to speak you are having a really bad day—you acquired a parking ticket, flood soda down the prior of her shirt before a meeting and dropped her front door vital down a deep crack in the sidewalk.

You space feeling low and also decide to share the story of her day through a friend.

In this situation, they might respond through something like:

Ça va passer. (It will certainly pass.)

Ça va aller. (It will certainly be alright.)

You have the right to of course change the an interpretation to say the something will happen in a negative sense utilizing mal (badly) together we have actually encountered before:

Ça va mal finir. (It is walk to finish badly.)

Ça Vawith many Nouns

Ça vacan be used to ask just how everyone is doing.

As much importance together French locations on agreement, this is one case when learners can happily throw the rulebook the end the window.

So, if there isa entirety group of men at a party and also you desire to asking how all of them are doing, you can walk in and say:

Ça va les gars? (How is the going guys?)

Notice the les garsis plural, but the verb does no conjugate come agree through this.

Another example instance where ça va have the right to be offered in this method is once a parental comes right into their daughter’s bedroom come ask how her homework is going:

Comment ça va les devoirs? (How is the homework going?)

Using Ça Va to Say Sparks will certainly Fly

There are a few expressions that begin with ça va that show that a future case is walk to it is in difficult, or more accurately “heated.”

You: Mais qu’est-ce qui se passe? (What is happening?)

Friend: Jean a encore joué un tourism à Pierre. Ça va barder. (Jean has actually played another trick ~ above Pierre. Things are going to acquire heated).

Ça va barder/ça va chauffer (sparks will fly/things space going to acquire heated) build upon what us have currently established in regards to usingça va come talk about the future.

But, this intake takes that one step more in her French learning. Through this particular usage, you are going past studying grammatical constructions come actually using the language naturally—as in using day-to-day expressions that take you closer come proficiency.

Shooting Someone down (Figuratively) through Ça Va

That is a little rich—and I do not mean the cake!

There are times once someone is being hypocritical and not in a place to justification what they are saying.

Maybe her friend is constantly making funny of how tasteless your baking is as soon as they cannot even bake themselves!

In English (and sticking v the cake theme) we might say something like:”that is rich coming indigenous you!” or “you can talk!”

Equally, there are multiple methods to to express this idea in French, however this one could be the very thing to sum up this tasty food selection of ça va:

Ça dare va bien! (Figuratively—that is affluent coming native you!)

Notice this is specifically the same revolve of expression as in the point about fashion. That is all around the means you say it here.

Practicing Ça Va with


By now you space hopefully emotion a little clearer around the multiple provides of ça va—our nifty, all-purpose friend.

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Now the you are conscious of the ways that it is used, you will most likely start hearing it together you conference French being talked by indigenous French speakers. Fantastic way to offer yourself this chance is to access the hundreds of authentic French videos ~ above