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  5. "You are eating that."

"You are eating that."

Translation:Tu manges ça.

April 9, 2013



this has to be said officially: Sitesurf's explanations are brilliant. Merci

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What is the difference between "tu manges ca" and "tu manges cela" ?


"ça" is the oral, familiar version of "cela" (formal)


So you normally wouldn't use "cela" in spoken French I guess?


True, only in speeches at the Académie Française!


In formal academic writing, it would not be advisable to ever use "ça". It's too casual.


Of course you would use it in spoken French in some situations. Same as happens with formal words in English. E.g. you could say "Cela m'est égal" ("That's all the same to me") for a little more stress on "cela/ça" or for a hint of comic effect. Just like you can use "notwithstanding" instead of "nevertheless".


Why can't I say "Tu cela manges"


For the same reason that you can't say "you that eat"


Is that also the reason we can't say, "I my brush the teeth?" Oh, wait...we can say that. Je me brosse les dents. I got it wrong as well by saying Vous ça mangez. (sad face)


That's a reflexive verb isn't it? Like je m'appelle So it follows its own set of rules seperate from basic sentences


Personal pronouns as subjects, direct objects and some indirect objects are placed before the verb:

  • je lave ma chemise = subject
  • je la lave = direct object representing "ma chemise"
  • je leur lave les cheveux = indirect object (the direct object is "cheveux"): "leur" stands for "à+ils/elles" (to them) in this case.
  • elle se lave = direct object, reflexive: herself

So, you have to know the various classes of personal pronouns:

  • subject: je, tu, il, elle, on, nous, vous, ils, elles
  • direct object: me, te, le, la, nous, vous, les
  • indirect object (preposition à): me, te, lui, nous, vous, leur
  • reflexive pronouns: me, te, se, nous, vous, se

"Y" and "en" are also pronouns you have to place before the verb, remembering that "y" stands for "à + something mentioned before" and "en" for "de + something mentioned before:

  • je pense à mon école
  • j'y pense: "y" stands for "à mon école"
  • je parle de mon école
  • j'en parle: "en" stands for "de mon école".


Yes, it's a reflexive verb, and yes, it's best to learn their rules separately.

However, the basic principle, which applies regardless of whether the verb is reflexive or not, is that only certain pronouns get moved before the verb. Me is one of them, but cela/ça is not.

So sdrc22's basic point stands: When it comes to pronouns, French (like the Romance languages in general) tends to have a weird word order that does not correspond to English word order. The key thing to know is that this affects only some very basic pronouns, such as e.g. me, te, but not others such as cela:

  • Je vois cela. (Normal word order)
  • Je te vois. (Special word order for certain pronouns)


but I think when pronoun after verb, you can put it before the verb?


Anyone: feel free to correct me if I'm wrong or if there is an exception to what I'm saying.

evelim: Most direct object pronouns do go before the verb, including the five: me, te, se, nous, vous; as well as with others: le, la, les (when used as OBJECTS, not articles), lui, leur, y, and en.

All others, including nouns and demonstrative pronouns, go after the verb as in English. These include pronouns like cela or ça.


Is there any diff between... "Tu manges ca". & "Vous mangez ca"


You say "Tu manges ça" to a single person who is a close friend or a child.

You say "Vous mangez ça" to several persons or to one adult who is not your close friend.


What is the difference between ça and cette?


"ça" is short for "cela", a pronoun meaning "that thing".

"cette" is an adjective to be placed before a noun: cette tortue = this/that turtle.


What is the difference between ce and ça????!!!!!>:(


As a subject pronoun, "ce" can be used before the verb "être": c'est, ce sont.

"ça" is short from "cela", a pronoun you can use as the subject or the object of any verb:

  • Tu manges cela/ça = you eat that


Can someone please explain the difference between ce and ça?


"ça" is the spoken contraction of "cela" which means "that thing".
"This thing" is translated to "ceci", although the French do not use it much.
"Cela, ça and ceci" can be used as subjects or objects of any verbs.

"Ce", as a pronoun is almost exclusively used as the subject of the verb "être" (and "pouvoir").


Why couldn't you say "en train de manger"? I tried "Tu es en train de manger cela" and it was rejected.


why can't you say 'tu manges celle-la'?


in English, it would be "you are eating that one"


I assume your response would be the same if I offered the tranlation "Viys mangez celui-la" (with accent)?


what is the difference between cela and celui...? Thank you in advance...


"cela" is "that": you eat that = tu manges cela (or ça, as a contraction)

"celui" is "the one": you eat the one I gave you = tu manges celui que je t'ai donné (celui here is food but it can also be any other masculine object or animal or human being)

cet homme est celui que j'ai vu hier = this man is the one I saw yesterday


merci! that is a VERY helpful explanation! Ok so... is "celle" the feminine of "celui"? And "cela" is for masculine and feminine objects? Thanks again!


With the same example as above: cette femme est celle que j'ai vue hier = this woman is the one I saw yesterday.

ceci" or "cela" (or ça) as a pronoun, can be used to represent masculine and feminine objects, yes.


I used "vous" and it said was wrong because i didn't use "tu." As a non-native speaker who will be visiting for a week, I'm always going to default to "vous." Why would they assume otherwise, and how would i know it is supposed to be informal??


It's not supposed to be informal. "Tu manges ça" and "Vous mangez ça" are equally correct answers. However, if you enter something like "Vous manges ça", then an algorithm has to guess what you tried to enter, and occasionally it may be wrong. Perhaps more relevantly, if you enter something unusual like "Vous êtes en train de manger ça", then it is possible that it's not in the database of correct answers yet, but that the variant "Tu es en train de manger ça" is in the database because someone has proposed it and it was accepted. In that case, the algorithm may well guess that that's what you tried to write.


Why is "tu manges cet " wrong?


"Cet" is an adjective which cannot stand by itself and needs a noun to follow.

In this sentence "that" means "that thing", and there is a demonstrative pronoun for that meaning: cela or ça

[deactivated user]

    Is there a pronunciation difference in the "c" with the cedilla (ça) vs. without (ce)? For some reason I always remember that ça uses the cedilla, but I don't know why. Is it just spelling, or some other reason? The accents on vowels change the sound of the vowels, but I don't hear a difference with the c's.


    The cedilla is added before "hard" vowels: a, o, u, to keep a S sound. Otherwise, the C sounds like K.

    Soft vowels do not need a cedilla: e, i, y, and the C naturally sounds S.

    [deactivated user]

      Thank you. I don't recall ever learning there were hard vs. soft vowels!


      It is the same in English, actually: "cedilla, circuit, cycle" vs "cat, cure, code".


      What is the appropriate pronoun to use if i wish to use this in the plural form; that is "vous mangez ..."?


      Using a plural in this situation is optional and would only be done for stress. I think if you really want, you can say "Vous mangez ceux-là" or "Vous mangez celles-là", but this doesn't really sound idiomatic to my (German native speaker) ears.


      Why can't I use tu manges ce? I dont understand the difference between ca and ce


      The pronoun "ce" is only used as the subject of the verb "être": c'est, ce sont.

      With other verbs, you use "ceci, cela/ça".


      I am confused by the whole ' ce cet ça' thing. Where can I find it set out clearly like a verb conjugation?


      Please, Google "French demonstratives" and you should get a lot of free resources including some videos if it is easier for you.


      Why cant i say tu manges cette?


      "Cette" is an adjective which needs a feminine noun to follow: cette pomme, cette chose...

      "That" in this sentence is a pronoun meaning "that thing". The translation for the pronoun "that" is "cela" or its informal contraction "ça".

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