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  5. "It breaks."

"It breaks."

Translation:Ça casse.

February 25, 2013



how do I know when to use ça and when to use ce?


"ce" is an adjective and therefore qualifies a noun. "ça" is the abbreviation of "cela", which like "ceci" is a pronoun which can stand alone, notably as the subject of the verb, like here.


Could you please use an example where "ce" would be appropriate, and a similar situation where "ça" would be appropriate? It'd be much appreciated!


Demonstrative adjective ce:

  • ce chien = this/that dog

Demonstrative pronoun ce:

  • c'est un chien = it/this is a dog
  • c'est un homme = he/this/that/it is a man
  • c'est une femme = she/this/that/it is a woman
  • ce sont des enfants = they/these/those are children

Demonstrative pronouns ceci, cela, ça:

  • je veux ceci = I want this/it
  • je veux cela/ça = I want that/it


This helped me a lot. Thank you!


Thank you so much! This clears up a lot!


Sitesurf, you are the best. You and Duo make a great ...ah, trio? :)


When should you use "il casse" versus "ça casse?"


"Ca casse" would be used for a thing, an action or a plant (not a person, nor an animal) breaking itself or something else.

Example of an action : Arrête de sauter, ça casse ton lit! (Stop jumping, it's breaking the bed)

Example of a thing : De l'eau, ça casse ton ordinateur (Water, it breaks your computer)

"Il casse" would be used for an animal or a person breaking

Example : Il casse ma jambe avec un marteau (He is breaking my leg with a hammer)


There is a phrase: "ça passe ou ça casse" which means "make-or-break" or "make it or break it".

Note that instead of "il casse ma jambe..." we would say: "il me casse la jambe..."


il casse (+ object) would translate to : he/it breaks/is breaking (+ object)


From some corner of my memory I came up with "il se casse", DL didn't like it but I still have the feeling it is correct.


Maybe it didn't break by itself. Someone may have been involved!


Actually, "il se casse" is an idiom. If I said "Je me casse", that would mean something like "I'm out of here!"


Not only, you can also say it to mean that's something it's breaking following an evolution or a situation (consequence).

Example : Si tu lances un verre, il se casse. (If you throw a glass, it breaks).


I thought the same.

The way my French teacher put it was if I say "it breaks" ("il casse"), then a french speaker would think "what is it breaking?". But if we say "il se casse", then we know what it's breaking; itself.

Unfortunately, we don't know whether Duo is meaning for there to be another noun after "il casse", so we don't know whether "it" is breaking something else, or itself.

Hopefully that makes sense.


I answered "il casse" and it was approved.


I think you guys are referring to the reflexive verb. Se is used before a verb to imply the meaning do it to oneself. For example if we say se laver it means to wash onself. So if you say il se lave it means he washes himself. So just like that if u say Il se casse it sort of implies that it breaks on it own or itself. That is the difference. Here DL does not directly say who breaks. The doer or he cause is not important. Thats why it should be il casse. I guess it makes sense.


What's wrong with "Il rompt" ?


The verb "rompre" sounds very literary nowadays.


When to use casser, briser or rompre? I'm not really sure which one to use and when to use it.


The most common is "casser" and you will find the other ones in set phrases:

  • elle m'a brisé le coeur = she broke my heart
  • il va briser/rompre le silence = he is about to break the silence
  • ils ont rompu les relations diplomatiques = they broke off diplomatic relations
  • lui et sa petite-ami ont rompu, mais ils sont toujours bons amis = he and his girlfriend split up, but they are still good friends


Thank you Sitesurf :') You're a legend


Why can't "on casse" work?


Have I got this right? In the active sense of 'casser' -- 'to break' -- we'd use a personal pronoun like "il" as the subject, while in the passive sense -- 'to get broken' -- we'd use an demonstrative pronoun like cela as the subject?

Which means in this case, the pronoun "il" cannot be used to mean "it", because that would imply the active form of the verb?


According to other users "Il casse" was accepted too...


would tombe en panne work here?


It breaks as in it is broken, or it breaks something else. Is the ca the direct object or the subject. It's ambiguous in English. Is it also ambiguous in French?


I wrote il casse and yet it was accepted. According to the comments it shouldn't have been.

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