"No, that is going too far."
Translation:Non, ça va trop loin.
Does this phrase in French refer to actual distance, or does it mean something excessive as it does in English? Or both?
Excessive. I guess it could be used for distance, but I don't think anyone would choose to use those words.
It can be used for both.
But in the case of distance, it's more like an oral expression, you'll probably never see it in books or any French text.
It would highly depend on context. What example do you have in mind ?
"très" means most of the time "very".
- "Il est très gentil." = "He's very nice."
"trop" can mean either "too" (with an adjective) or "too much".
- "Il est trop gentil." = "He's too nice."
- "Il a trop mangé." = "He ate too much."
In common French, "trop" can also be used to mean the equivalent of "très" or "tellement", then you could translate it with "so".
"C'est trop beau !" = "It's so beautiful!"
"C'est allé trop loin." = "It has gone too far."
It's just a matter of tense, and here we're not in the past.
Actually, I wasn't trying to use past. In the English sentence, the "going" is structurally ambiguous. It could be the continuous/progressive tense to refer to actions right now, or it could be a gerund to refer to the action in general. The gerund in English is generally translated as the infinitive in Spanish, so I tried the infinitive in French too.
We can use the infinitive form in French as well :
"C'est en train d'aller trop loin."
Strictly speaking, we could also use "il" because French can use "il/elle" to designate objects as well.
Forgive me if I missed seeing this in the thread, but could you use c'est instead of ça or cela?
No, because we don't need an auxiliary verb for this exercise. We could have used "c'est" if it was using a past tense, see my answer to Persikov.
The English sentence "that is going too far" has 2 meanings.
That is (going too far) : where going too far is a noun phrase, and going is a gerund.
That is going too far : where that represents the noun, is going the non-gerund verb, and too far the adverb. Similar to "that goes too far".
From my limited understanding of French, it appears that ça va trop loin only translates the second meaning. For the first meaning, would we use the gerund for aller :
Ça est en allant trop loin ?