It is one of the initially things you will encounter as a débutant (a beginner) in French.

You are watching: What does va mean in french

Even if you have actually unsavory memories of learning the language in school—probably traumatic enough to cause a kind of amnesia—I bet you still remember these 2 bit words.

Why?

Because choose allobjective flour, ça va is a widespread and also versatile expression offered in a range of various methods.

So let’s take a look at this little yet mighty creature. I promise that by the finish of this write-up, you will certainly have actually rekindled your relationship through this word!

Download: This blog article is accessible as a convenient and also portable PDF that youhave the right to take anywhere. Click here to obtain a copy. (Download)


*

Try aramuseum.org for FREE!


The Straightforward Meaning of Ça Va

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

You are (insert age here) years old and simply trying to survive life let alone one more French course.

Many kind of language teachers carry out not go into information about literal translations, which deserve to occasionally be a great recommendation suggest to begin with.

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

This expression is many typically offered to ask exactly how someone is doing, even if you are not necessarily expecting or wanting a reply.

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

The register of this expression is classified as informal, which means that you have to exercise caution once using it in certain cases, especially via those you would certainly attend to using vous (you—formal/plural) rather than tu (you—informal/singular).

I will certainly be making use of the latter for the remainder of the article, and occasionally dropping the “ne” in the negative, which is regularly omitted in informal conversations.

Ça Va: The All-purpose French Expression and also How to Use It Like a Pro Pastry Chef

Ça Va as a Response

Ça va in the positive

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

Simple.

Ssuggest respond with ça va in a neutral to positive tamong voice—just if you are feeling that method, of course!

In doing so, you are letting the speaker understand that life is going okay.

Ça va. (I am fine./Everypoint is excellent.)

To strengthen this feeling (or make it even more emphatic), you can add a positive adverb such as bien (well).

Ça va bien. (Things are going well.)

Ça va in the negative

Many kind of French learners think that the expression comme si, comme ça (like this, choose that) is the correct point to say at this allude, especially if you are feeling “so-so.”

The truth is that while understandable to francophones, this is not the well-supplied expression anglophones think it is.

You are more likely to hear ça va in the positive create but spoken in a tamong voice that suggests the speaker is not feeling wonderful for whatever before factor.

If you desire to be more explicit around your negative feeling, you have the right to simply respond with:

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

You have the right to also expush this by utilizing the adverb mal (badly).

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

Ça Va and Fashion

Does this dress make me look fat?

Before we strike a pose, did you recognize that the va in ça va is the third-perboy singular of the verb aller (to go)?

Aller à (qqn) is provided as soon as you want to say that an object of garments suits or looks good on somebody.

Let’s imagine that I have actually simply walked out of a fitting room in a rather ending up being pair of troindividuals. We are cshed friends (i.e., we usage tu) and also you desire to compliment me on my astute fashion feeling by saying, “hey, those trocustomers look excellent on you!”

In which situation, you deserve to say:

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

Or if you think I look hideous but want to be polite and honest:

Ça te va pas. (That does not suit you.)

Using Ça Va to Call in Sick

Whether you are also tired the next day after an exhausting trouser shopping spree or are genuinely feeling a little under the weather, there are two nifty expressions you deserve to use to express this, particularly if you need to contact out of work:

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

Ça ne va pas. (I do not feel well.)

Let’s look at a feasible exchange between you and also your boss:

Boss: Bonjour __, c’est très tôt—ça ne va pas ? (Hello__, it is incredibly early—is tright here somepoint 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 carry out not feel well at all. I think I have actually gastroenteritis.)

Totally in Agreement through Ça Va

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

Ça va is frequently offered once you want to know if what you are proposing is acceptable to someone else.

It deserve to begin the sentence as in:

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

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

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

Let’s look at some more examples:

Ça te va si je m’assois là? (Is it alright if I 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 va have the right to be provided to suppose that somepoint will certainly occur.

The building ça va + infinitive shows that somepoint will certainly occur in the future.

Let’s say you are having actually a really poor day—you gained a parking ticket, spilled soda dvery own the front of your shirt prior to a meeting and dropped your front door crucial down a deep crack in the sidewalk.

You are feeling low and also decide to share the story of your day with a frifinish.

In this case, they might respond through somepoint like:

Ça va passer. (It will pass.)

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

You can of course change the definition to say that somepoint will certainly happen in an unfavorable feeling utilizing mal (badly) as we have encountered before:

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

Ça Va with Plural Nouns

Ça va deserve to be supplied to ask exactly how everyone is doing.

As much prestige as French places on agreement, this is one situation once learners have the right to happily throw the rulebook out the window.

So, if there is a entirety team of males at a party and also you desire to ask exactly how all of them are doing, you have the right to walk in and say:

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

Notice that les gars is plural, yet the verb does not conjugate to agree with this.

Anvarious other instance instance where ça va deserve to be offered in this means is once a parent comes right into their daughter’s bedroom to ask how her homeoccupational is going:

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

Using Ça Va to Say Sparks Will Fly

Tright here are a couple of expressions that start via ça va that indicate that a future situation is going to be challenging, or even 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 an additional trick on Pierre. Things are going to gain heated).

Ça va barder/ça va chauffer (sparks will fly/things are going to gain heated) develop upon what we have actually currently establiburned in regards to using ça va to talk about the future.

But, this usage takes it one action better in your French discovering. With this specific intake, you are going past studying grammatical constructions to actually making use of the language naturally—as in utilizing daily expressions that take you closer to proficiency.

Shooting Someone Dvery own (Figuratively) via Ça Va

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

There are times when someone is being hypoinstrumental and not in a place to justify what they are saying.

Maybe your frifinish is constantly making fun of just how tastemuch less your baking is once they cannot also bake themselves!

In English (and also sticking with the cake theme) we can say something like:”that is wealthy coming from you!” or “you can talk!”

Equally, tright here are multiple methods to expush this idea in French, but this one can be the exceptionally thing to amount up this tasty food selection of ça va:

Ça te va bien! (Figuratively—that is wealthy coming from you!)

Notice this is exactly the very same turn of phrase as in the suggest around fashion. It is all about the way you say it below.

Practicing Ça Va through aramuseum.org

*

By now you are hopetotally feeling a little clearer about the multiple provides of ça va—our nifty, all-objective frifinish.

See more: Living Thing That Makes Its Own Food Through Photosynthesis?

Now that you are mindful of the means that it is provided, you will most likely start hearing it as you enrespond to French being spoken by native French speakers. An excellent means to offer yourself this opportunity is to accessibility the thousands of authentic French videos on aramuseum.org.