1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Bonjour, comment ça va ?"

"Bonjour, comment ça va ?"

Translation:Good morning, how are you doing?

January 2, 2013

99 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bella1211

what is the difference between- "comment ca va" and only "ca va" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BushBot

"Comment ça va?" and "ça va?" are the same question in different forms (i.e., "how are you?"). Both are informal. You can answer either with just "ça va" to say "OK".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/super_moi

Not exactly, as "comment ça va" is literally "how does it go?", and ça va is literally "Does it go?". Meaning that you can also answer to "comment ça va"? with "bien" or "mal", and to "ça va" with "oui" or "non". The opposite is not true.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Super_moi. Technically: yes.

Comment ça va? = how = you can use an adverb bien/mal.

ça va? = yes or no question.

But the usage can be different.

-Comment ça va?
-ça va! (I didn't use an adverb)

-ça va?
-Oui! Je vais bien! (I used an adverb)

And it's perfectly proper and common.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bom7319

Then, is it possible to use like this?

-ça va?

-ça va.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daniel.w

So "comment" means "how"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jraulmondonedo

If comment means how why do you have to say comment pardon which means pardon me what happened to the ho


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

There's a difference between "Comment ça va?" and "ça va?" (as a question), "ça va?" is more informal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slho1982

I used "hi" instead of "hello" and was marked wrong. In English they are interchangeable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/namaesl41

I have the same problem and I don't actually think their is a difference. if you know that hello Is bonjour and hi is salut why should it matter if you put the informal one as long as you get the gist!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/olympianqueen

As a grammar connoisseur, I don't see them as completely interchangeable. Hear me out, though. When speaking informally to friends or adults you know well, you would say something like, "Hi! How's it going?" more often than a greeting like, "Hello, how are you?" in a conversation with a more respected elder.

They're basically the same, but you wouldn't walk into a dinner party and start off saying "Hi! How's it going?" to the first stranger you meet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

Salut is hi in french.

They have different levels of formality, both in french and in english. Hi is lower formality than hello.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SBunka
  • 1047

Couldn't it be "Hello, how goes it?" I know that's more literal, but it's still a phrase..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kes05d

I say "how goes it" occasionally, but it's slang, as far as I know. I've never actually researched the phrase.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2036

And it is accepted as a variation of "How are you?" or "How are you doing?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/parhamsmazhari

Isn't "hi" one of the meanings of "bonjour" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/olympianqueen

Bonjour is directly translated as "good day," as bon means "good" and jour means "day" in English. The phrase doesn't really mean "hello," to my knowledge.

The way I think of it as a greeting is by imagining an old western movie where two cowboys meet in the town square. One tips their hat and says, "Good day, sir."

That's rather elaborate, but how I imagine it in order to separate the difference of meaning ("hello" and "good day") and translation ("good day").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

It's an idiomatic phrase. a general greeting used throughout the daytime. it can be translated as hello, good morning, good afternoon, or good day.

You don't have to translate idioms literally.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

no. Bonjour is more formal- hello. Hi would be salut.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wittkin

I think comment ca va is the full proper way of saying it, while "Ca va" is a more colloquial way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

The full proper way (and formal way) is "Comment vas-tu?"/"Comment allez-vous?"

"Comment ça va?" is already informal.

"ça va?" is even more informal, almost slang.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/372897

So that would mean how are you? Since comment is how


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/olympianqueen

No, ca va (accent omitted) means "it's going" when translated. Therefore, Comment ca va? (accent omitted) would mean "How's it going?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

non-standard english isn't usually accepted on duolingo.

Comment ça va doesn't translate directly in standard english. how are you is a perfectly acceptable translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2036

"Comment ça va ?" may certainly be translated as "How are you?" The literal translation is on the order of "how's it going?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheGandalf

"Hello, how's it going?" is a more helpful way of phrasing it, and they accept it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vinivinizz

"Hi, how are you?" should be correct too right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

No, hi is more informal than bonjour. "salut" means hi.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChiTong

Is there a difference in usage between salut and bonjour?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MargaretBobb

As I understand it, salut is okay to use informally with friends, but bonjour is ALWAYS correct, no matter what the social situation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pever13

'How are you going' should be an acceptable english translation for this idiom


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/olympianqueen

First, ca va (accent omitted) is not an idiom by any means. An idiom is defined as "a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words," which is commonly seen in examples such as "It's raining cats and dogs!" and "Don't make a mountain out of a molehill."

There is no "you" in ca va (accent omitted), as the phrase is translated to mean "Is it going?" when asked as a question, and "It's going." when used as a response to the former. Comment ca va? (accent omitted) asks, "How's it going?" rather than "How are you doing?" in English.

If you were intending to ask if the person is doing well, you would say Comment vas-tu? instead of the phrase used here.

Hope this helped! If you need any more help, let me know and I can break it down for you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

You're being extremely tight about your definition of idiom.

Comment ça va? does not translate directly into standard english. how's it going? is non-standard.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2036

There is a broad range of expressions for "comment ça va" and its variations. As such, it is not translated literally.

  • How are you?
  • How's it going?
  • How are you doing?
  • How's everything?
  • and in Australia... "How are you going?" I know it sounds strange, but it is not strange to them.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Herminator123lol

I tought it mean hello how are you...... so ok i think....?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tia1805

"Bonjour " what is the meaning ? Good morning or hello . I'm so confused in this word please reply


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gianna.DeRose0

both good moring is a greeting and so is hello so both


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

Bonjour is a general daytime greeting which can be translated as hello, good morning, good day, or good afternoon.

In real life you'd use context and tone to translate the feeling of the greeting more accurately, but duo does not have that. If you're ever unsure, translating as "hello" will always work.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/captainsasss

What is the difference between comment and comme


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

"Comment" means "How", but "comme" means "like" and "comme ci comme ça" means "so-so" (literally, " like this like that") "Comment ça va?" "Ça va bien, et vous?" "Comme ci comme ça, j'ai attrappée un rheum."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

There's no "ç" in "comme ci".

"comme ci, comme ça" (also: couci-couça) is very used in French courses, but not much in real life, it's an old expression, not very used nowadays in my opinion.

If you want to remember "comment" is "how", memorize this sentence: "How is your comment?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

Thank you! Silly me, I should watch that cedille more carefully. My parents still use that expression, but they are from Quebec. I do feel sometimes as though they are two generations behind.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

alinto- I use it all the time in Quebec.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soccerstarkelsey

I learned in school that Bonjour is Hello. But I am just learning that Bonjour actually means Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening. WIERD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JazzyFrench

Typically, bonsoir for evening but bonjour is not uncommon.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

soccer-jazzy- bonjour in the morning or the afternoon, that's all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zoiechau

doesn't bonjour mean hello and good day or good morning cause i learned the it was hello


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

yes, it can mean all of those.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dyllandry

How does "Bonjour, comment çava?" not equal "Hello, how are you?". I got it wrong, it said bonjour was "Goodmorning" not "hello".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

Bonjour is a general daytime greeting and can be translated in many ways, hello, good morning, good day, good afternoon. Duo likes to show other acceptable correct translations in such cases, this does not mean you have a wrong answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avivah4

How do you know when it is mornin, evening or noon? #very confused. :-/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

bonjour will never be evening. bonjour is a general daytime greeting translatable to hello, good day, good morning, or good afternoon.
people switch to bonsoir in the evening.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MLGBBN-ALEX.Y

whats the difference between hi how are you and hello how are you?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

formality. salut would be hi.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JakobHellm

How am I supposed to know to say "Hello how're you?" instead of "Hello how are you?" When both the questions are "Bonjour comment ça va?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

how're might not be accepted as standard english. duo only accepts standard english.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SalahObeng0

I dont understand does it matter if I say Hi instead of bonjour since its the same thing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

hi is too informal. an informal greeting would be salut.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MuneebHyde

ca va and comment ca va have a difference


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

yes, formality. ça va? is more informal than comment ça va? More formal than comment ça va? would be comment vas-tu or comment allez-vous


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xQuadlingo

Isn't bonjour hello and not good morning?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

bonjour is a general daytime greeting, it can be translated as hello, good morning, good day, or good afternoon.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christine333

Good morning, are you doing well? --> that's NOT a correct answer??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BushBot

That would be more akin to: "Bonjour, ça va bien?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/u83rmensch

"good morning, how do you do" I seriously didnt think that would work.. "ca va" is apparenly just an understanding and less of a word.. like "aloha"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lilygilder

"How do you do" is only used when you first meat someone, it's more like a "Nice to meet you." But you could say "ça va" to someone every time you meet them or to someone you already know very well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

"ça va" is a sentence with a subject and a verb, not a greeting word like "aloha".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catalpa

Is "bonjour" not an accepted translation for "good afternoon"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danielbrackett

'Bonjour' is literally 'good day' but in France (read not Quebec) this 'Bonjour' is used until the evening say about 18-19H.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

daniel- I don't understand why you say that about Quebec. We have the same parts of the day as in France. We say bonjour all day. Duo also says that bon matin is used in Quebec only, instead of bonjour. I don't know anybody who says that around me. Sometimes, I hear it on tv or from persons who aren't natives, but this is a big mistake, nobody should say that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/inablue78

What about bonne matin for good morning ???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrandNewDaddy

Bon matin means good morning :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JazzyFrench

Actually, according to French.about, it is a no-no to greet someone in French with "Bon Matin" or "Bon après-midi:"

http://french.about.com/od/mistakes/a/bonmatin.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Yes, it's only used in Québec, not in the other French areas speaking as far as I know.

"de bon matin" in France has another meaning. Je me lève de bon matin = I wake up very early.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

perce-neige- bonjour et de bon matin have the same meaning in Quebec as in France. This isn't used here by natives and it's a big mistake. Ifound that in Internet and it says exactly what you're saying. HERE IT IS : Wrong: Bon matin

Right: Bonjour

Explanation: In English, "good morning" is a typical greeting. Its literal French translation, "bon matin," is not. If you want to greet someone in the morning, you just say bonjour.* The only time you would use bon matin is in the expression de bon matin, which means "bright and early."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/izelvereskala

"Hello what are you doing?" Can it be true?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

No, that would be "Que fais-tu?" or "Que faites-vous?", or more commonly, "Qu'est-ce que tu fais?" or "Qu'est-ce que vous faites?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/epiclavander

in french there is no good morning, bonjour is for entire day


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Almost, not when it's late. You would use "bonsoir" or "bonne nuit", there's also other greetings as "bon après-midi", etc... but you're right "bonjour" is almost for the entire day unlike the other ones.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuliaTheJon

Comment is "how". So it translates to "how are you?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadeleineAte

I thought that "Ca va" Sounded like it's spelled, but it really sounds like: "Sa va"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AutumnAkin1

It does sound like its spelled. The ç makes the c sound like s before a o and u. Otherwise it would sound like k and that wasnt what they wanted. So yes it does sound like sa va but that's their way of spelling it. So any c before an e or i sounds like s and any c before a o or u sounds like k. Ç is always an s sound and only comes before an a o or u.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iedgars

Whats the difference between 'ça va bien?' and 'comment ça va?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

are doing you well? vs how are you? but the feeling is very similar in french.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/13141173062

whats the difference with hi and good morning


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

salut can be translated as hi. it's more informal, used for friends and family. bonjour is a general polite daytime greeting, translatable as hello, good morning, good day, or good afternoon.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/naomihicks8

hey and hello are the same thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

hey is more informal. for a more informal greeting use salut.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tomboygirl22

it can be used as a question and answer but with different sounding!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joel2u

bonjour actually means both hi and hello


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fl1ps

can't be informal apparantly and say hey


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

the more informal greeting is salut.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/caitlynn750

Isn't Ca va also I am fine too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateSimpson0

Yes, it can be used as a question and a response.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chrisriley

In Australia 《how are you going》 is synonomous with 《how are you doing》

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.