It is among the an initial things you will certainly encounter as a débutant(a beginner)in French.

You are watching: What is ca va in french

Even if you have actually unsavory memory of finding out the language in school—perhaps traumatic sufficient to cause a type of amnesia—I gambling you still remember these two tiny words.


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

So let’s take it a look at this tiny but mighty creature. I promise that by the end of this article, you will have rekindled your partnership with this word!

Download: This blog article is obtainable as a convenient and also portable PDF that youcan take anywhere. Click right here to get a copy. (Download)


shot for for free!

The Straightforward an interpretation of Ça Va

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

You are (insert age here) year old and also just trying to survive life allow alone one more French class.

Many language teachers perform not get in detail about literal translations, which can sometimes it is in a good reference allude to start with.

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

This expression is most typically used come ask just how someone is doing, also if you are not necessarily expecting or wanting a reply.

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

The register of this expression is classified as informal, which method that you should exercise caution once using it in specific situations, specifically with those friend would deal with using vous(you—formal/plural) rather than tu (you—informal/singular).

I will be utilizing the last for the rest of the article, and occasionally dropping the “ne”in the negative, which is regularly omitted in unshened conversations.

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

Ça Va as a Response

Ça va in the positive

Now the you have asked how someone is, or as in the above example, somebody has just asked you; you are going to have to know just how to reply.


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

In doing so, you space letting the speaker understand that life is walk okay.

Ça va. (I am fine./Everything is good.)

To combine this emotion (or make it an ext emphatic), friend can add a positive adverb such as bien (well).

Ça va bien. (Things space going well.)

Ça va in the negative

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

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

You are more likely to hear ça vain the positive type but talked in a tone of voice that indicates the speaker is no feeling wonderful for whatever reason.

If you desire to be more explicit around your negative feeling, you can simply answer with:

Ça (ne) va pas. (Everything is no good./I am not okay.)

You can likewise express this by utilizing the adverb mal (badly).

Ça va mal. (Things are not walking well.)

Ça Va and also Fashion

Does this dress do me look at fat?

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

Aller à (qqn) is used when you want to to speak that an item of apparel suits or looks good on somebody.

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

In i m sorry case, you have the right to say:

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

Or if friend think i look hideous but want to be polite and also honest:

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

Using Ça Va to contact in Sick

Whether you are too tired the following day after an exhausting trouser shopping main actor or space genuinely emotion a little under the weather,there space two nifty expression you have the right to use to express this, specifically if you need to contact out the work:

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

Ça ne va pas. (I do not feel well.)

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

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

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

Totally in covenant with Ça Va

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

Ça vais frequently used when you want to understand if what you are proposing is acceptable to who else.

It can begin the sentence together in:

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

Or in ~ the end of a sentence together a fast confirmation:

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

Let’s look at some an ext examples:

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

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

Everything will Be Alright utilizing Ça Va

Ça vacan be supplied to typical that something will happen.

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

Let’s speak you are having a really negative day—you gained a parking ticket, spilled soda down the former of your shirt prior to a meeting and dropped her front door vital down a deep crack in the sidewalk.

You room feeling low and decide to share the story of her day with a friend.

In this situation, they could respond with something like:

Ça va passer. (It will pass.)

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

You deserve to of course alter the meaning to say that something will occur in a an unfavorable sense using mal (badly) as we have actually encountered before:

Ça va mal finir. (It is walking to end badly.)

Ça Vawith plural Nouns

Ça vacan be provided to ask how everyone is doing.

As lot importance together French locations on agreement, this is one case when learners can happily litter the rulebook out the window.

So, if there isa entirety group of males at a party and also you desire to ask how every one of them are doing, you deserve to walk in and also say:

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

Notice that les garsis plural, however the verb does not conjugate come agree v this.

Another example situation where ça va have the right to be provided in this method is once a parental comes 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 Fly

There room a few expressions that start with ça va that show that a future instance is walking 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 tour à Pierre. Ça va barder. (Jean has played one more trick ~ above Pierre. Things are going to obtain heated).

Ça va barder/ça va chauffer (sparks will certainly fly/things are going to gain heated) construct upon what us have currently established in terms of usingça va come talk around the future.

But, this intake takes the one step further in your French learning. V this details usage, you are going past studying grammar constructions come actually using the language naturally—as in using daily expressions the take you closer to proficiency.

Shooting Someone under (Figuratively) through Ça Va

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

There space times when someone is being hypocritical and not in a position to justify what they room saying.

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

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

Equally, there space multiple methods to to express this idea in French, yet this one might be the an extremely thing to sum up this tasty food selection of ça va:

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

Notice this is exactly the same revolve of phrase as in the point around fashion. The is all around the way you speak it here.

Practicing Ça Va with


By now you room hopefully feeling a bit clearer around the multiple offers of ça va—our nifty, all-purpose friend.

See more: Why Did Greg Rolie Leave Journey, Ringo Starr, Gregg Rolie

Now the you are mindful of the ways that it is used, friend will likely start hearing it together you encounter French being spoken by aboriginal French speakers. Fantastic way to provide yourself this possibility is to accessibility the hundreds of authentic French videos top top