"It all depends!"

Translation:Ça dépend !

January 10, 2013

This discussion is locked.


What's wrong with "Ça tout dépend"? How would you emphasise the "all" in French?

[deactivated user]

    Try this one: http://www.freetranslation.com/en/translate-english-french Then enter 'it all depends' and it will return: "Tout cela dépend" which is accepted by DL. 'tout cela' in return gets translated to 'all this. Et je comprends tout cela. :-)


    I think if you look at the references HERE you'll see the common - and I would say more entitled - usage is Tout depend or Cela/Ca depend.

    [deactivated user]

      Hmmm perhaps. What about this argument: Tout depend = All depends (without 'it'). Cela/Ca depend = It depends (without 'all'). On the one hand one must guard against literal translations, on the other, one must also correctly translate the exact notion of what is being said. So perhaps sometimes 'it all depends' will translate to 'Cela depend' or sometimes to 'Tout depend' or sometimes to Tout cela depend'. No?


      I don't think its a big issue if you use your version. But if 99 out of 100 examples use Tout/cela, these are the options I'd use. Language use is often about what's relevant rather than simply grammatically correct. The arguments re "It" are already discussed throughout the thread. Whilst frustrating for learners, its no different to English when we get down to colloquial or casual speech.


      Amen. I've found that a lot a people on duo are simply trying to translate like Google translate robots


      I can understand "Tout depend" to an extent that the literal translation is very close. But "Ça depend" feels incomplete. So why not "Ça tout dépend" as mentioned by Melarish?

      Merci à tous.


      To comment on my own question, Wordreference & elsewhere indicate "all" is more implied in English whereas "Ça dépend" is a standalone phrase. If conjugated as part of a complete sentence, it becomes "it depends". S'on veut dire "It all depends on love" you could say "Tout dépend d'amoureux". However, I think Duo should also accept "it depends" here.

      But I'll still be grateful for further clarification from a Francophile. Merci d'avance.


      Can someone please answer Melarish and Runakom, how does one emphasise "all" in this translation?


      Basically is this AGAIN one of those "It just is that way in French..." I still don't feel someone has really answered why not "Ca tout depend." (with all of the accents. I am not able to use accents in the discussions...)


      Ça dépend / Tout dépend

      Both are correct - one is not more correct than the other, unless you really want to stress the all or everything by using tout:

      Ça dépend. (also written as "Cela dépend.") = It depends. (a direct translation) // It all depends. is also correct.

      Tout dépend = All depends and Everything depends (direct translations) // It all depends or even It depends is also correct.

      [de = on]


      This could be easily translated literally: ;It depends' = Ca depend. Why complicate things, DL?


      When do you use tout vs tous?


      "Tout" is singular and "tous" is plural.


      Sorry not trying to be obtuse but what's a singular all?


      When they're used as adjectives, "tout/tous" has to agree with the number of what it's describing.

      For example:

      "J'ai mangé tout le gâteau." = "I ate the whole cake." There's only one cake involved.

      "J'aime tous mes chats." = "I like/love all my cats." Multiple cats, so the plural form is used.


      As accents on capital letters are optional, surely 'Ca dépend' is also correct?


      I don't know what to say about this one... to me personally it just makes more sense to use accents also on capital letters, I always use them. This is the response of the Académie française: http://www.academie-francaise.fr/la-langue-francaise/questions-de-langue#5_strong-em-accentuation-des-majuscules-em-strong


      I don't think so. The pronunciation of a word (hard or soft) is affected by the accent.

      **I have not formally studied French and might be wrong.


      It is optional, but cedillas are far less frequently dropped than grave or acute accents, or circumflexes.


      As I understand it, the cedille is not optional, but the accents (aigu, grave, and circonflexe) are.


      Is your response in relation to capitals or in general? The only accent which seems to have no phonetic impact is the circonflex. I'd say the others are required for correct pronunciation.


      Yes, sorry for being vague: it regards capital letters. They are not necessary, even though they do distinguish pronunciation.


      In general, the circumflex places emphasis on, and/or slightly lengthens the vowel. For instance, "être" is pronounced (roughly, and with a French R of course) as if it were "aitre," not "etre." This varies with dialect--some Canadian speakers pronounce "même" much like the English word "mime"--and to some extent, with the vowel. For instance, I'm pretty sure "tot" and "tôt" would be pronounced the same. "Jeune" and "jeûne" have different pronunciations, however.

      I think (and the following is just speculation, really), that the circumflex is sometimes redundant, as it may reflect a historical pronunciation that differs from the modern one, or the distinction may only exist in certain dialects. Some circumflexes in words were recently (in the 90s or thereabouts) made optional, such as the one in "boîte" which can now be correctly spelled "boite."

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