"Ça va."

Translation:I am fine.

June 20, 2013

74 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

So this is either "How are you?" or "I am doing well"?? Does this mean a conversation starter can be... Person #1: "Ca va?"

<h1>2: "Ca va"</h1>
June 20, 2013

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

You can differentiate by the tone. The question "ca va - how are you?" will rise in tone at the end, while the response "ca va - I'm well" will have a lower tone at the end.

June 20, 2013

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

Yes, it can mean "How are you?" and "I'm well." It can also be said when someone is checking up on you or asking whether or not you are okay. For example, if you were getting a massage, the masseuse could ask, "ça va?" several times in order to confirm that you were not in pain from the massage...

June 20, 2013

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

and again another one: you show your teacher/boss something you have worked on and inquire about its meeting his/her expectations.

June 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jaxie911

Yeah, in my french class our professor would ask us "ça va" and it was appropriate to respond with "oui, ça va".

June 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE
  • ça va?

  • Oui, ça va!

Yes, it's perfectly correct, very unformal but correct!

April 15, 2014

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

Good explain "very unformal but correct" By the way what is formal way

July 22, 2014

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

Formal way, AFAIK, would be: -Comment ça va? -Très bien.

May 30, 2015

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

As far as I know, the formal way would be:

  • Comment allez-vous ? - Très bien, je vous remercie.
May 30, 2015

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

"Ça va" in general is an informal phrase. It's similar how "tu" is informal in comparison to "vous". In other words, ça va- informal, comment allez-vous- formal.

While people really won't complain about informality, I've been lectured a few times in Québec for saying ça va instead of comment allez-vous.

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sally410

Just to help, we say 'formal' & 'informal', there is no word 'unformal' related to this context.

May 2, 2015

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

Yes. "ça va" can also mean "that's fine"

June 20, 2013

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

I agree, we use this for 'fine thanks'

March 24, 2014

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

Yes. It seems strange only because the translation is the most common English equivalent for that kind of exchange. Literally though, the French question is saying "It goes?" and the response is "It goes." Much less strange when thought of that way.

January 9, 2014

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

I've always thought this as "How are you?" but when I answered it as so I was told that I was wrong. Odd because I was taught in highschool that "ca va?" was akin to "Hey, how are you?" in a conversation opener.

January 22, 2014

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

Typical conversation:

A: salut ! ça va ?

B: ça va. Et toi, ça va ?

A: oui, ça va.

January 22, 2014

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

Is 'toi' the form of 'you' to be used after 'et' in a sentence or only if at the beginning of the sentence or wut? These example conversations are very nice for learning extra vocab/details/formalities n whatnot, maybe Duolingo should have some early enough into the language :/

November 28, 2014

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

"Moi, toi, lui, eux" are stressed pronouns. They are used in replacement for "je, tu, il and ils", respectively, in a number of cases:

  • in short questions: et toi ? (and you?)
  • in short answers: c'est moi ! (it's me!)
  • as multiple subjects: lui et moi allons bien (he and I are fine)
  • after propositions: elle part avec lui, je suis content pour eux (she leaves with him, I am happy for them)
  • between commas, for emphasis: moi, je suis content (me, I am pleased)
November 29, 2014

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

Yes. Ça va literally means "It goes".

Question: Comment ça va - How's it going? (How it goes)

Repondre: Ça va - It goes

Alternatively: Ça va? - (How) It go?

Ça va - It's going (It go)

August 29, 2014

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

Literally, you'll hear a conversation start with "It goes?", "It goes." Colloquially, it's closer to "How goes it?", "It's going fine".

February 25, 2014

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

Maybe you need it to remember it, but the right translation for "Comment ça va" is "How are you"/"How do you do". I don't know the exact meaning of "how goes it", but I guess it's a bit different, because in this idiomatic expression, the English use the verbs "to do" or "to be" where the French uses "to go" (aller)

April 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1800

"How goes it?" is a very informal, rather slangy way of saying "How is it going?" which is less formal than "How are you?" It is commonly heard among close friends but would not be appropriate on a formal level.

July 8, 2014

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

Also, if you are responding, you can add on bien or mal. So, Ca Va? Ca Va Bien. Ca Va? Ca Va Mal.

February 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maddy32203

Yeah I was just wondering about it; because my 5th grade teacher taught us a little and she said it meant "how are you?" (It was last year)

July 23, 2015

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

Think of "ça va" as "all right".

When you ask about someone's well being, it has to look and sound as a question:

  • ça va ? = all right?

If you answer that question, you make a statement:

  • ça va = all right.

So you have to pay attention to the tone of voice and to the presence or absence of a question mark.

  • how are you? = ça va ?
  • I'm fine. = ça va.
July 23, 2015

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

The answer can be "Ca va" or you can say "Tout va bien", Yes you can use it to begin a conversation.

September 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sunilkumar13

Yes indeed, ca va' can be a good response to ca va?

December 21, 2013

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

Yes, but with the "ç" and the "?"

Like saying "It's ok?" "(Yes) it's ok!".

April 15, 2014

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

It would be similar to:

Person 1: (is everything) All right? Person 2: (everything's) All right.

January 27, 2015

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

Ussually in france its "how are you" while the person you asked answers "Ca va bien merci" for "i am doing fine, thanks"

May 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/momo782

Their trying to say that u have to answer what to say. ;Like if I say How are you doing. You will probably say I'm fine

August 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/epops667

My problem is with the program: I know very well what this phrase means - but the "well" part is only implied. In other words, is the program asking for a literal or a colloquial translation? The phrase taken literally means "it goes", does it not? The "well" is implied. I'm sure I'm the only one who cares about this ...

July 3, 2013

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

Yes, I'm curious about the same thing. In English, if someone said "It goes." I would assume they were not doing particularly well. Is the "well" really implied when using "ça va"?

November 2, 2013

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

Yes it is. When a french person replies with "Ca va." they mean to convey that they are doing well. That's what the phrase means in french.

November 2, 2013

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

"ça va" = "ça va bien" ("bien" can be implied as you said)

"ça ne va pas" = "ça ne va pas fort" = "Je ne vais pas bien. = I'm not well.

April 15, 2014

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

The program accepts both the literal translation and the colloquial meaning.

September 11, 2013

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

But the colloquial ones are a very large bunch, are not they ?

December 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/quack17

i said "how are you?" and got it wrong???

July 31, 2013

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

This was discussed in an earlier comment thread--it is wrong because of the punctutation. The phrase above lacks a question mark, so it's just a statement/response. Using it to ask "how are you?" would require voice inflection as well.

"Ça va?" = How are you?

"Ça va." = I'm fine.

August 1, 2013

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

Why do so few words mean so much?

November 19, 2013

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

Because it's the short and unformal for "Comment vas-tu"? Unformal are always shor ways.

April 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CCanton675

Could this also mean "that works" in response to a question about what or how to do something?

January 19, 2014

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

As said before, yes. Do you think my work is ok? Oui, ça va. (it's ok)

April 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jalo4

Should it be. .. je suis ça va

June 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1800

Ça va is an expression, not a word-for-word translation. When formed as a question, it simply means "How are you (doing)"? If you are doing alright, you answer with "Ça va" or "Ça va bien", meaning "I'm doing OK", "I'm alright" or "I'm fine". As you proceed in your learning French, you will find many such phrases which do not translate word-by-word. New learners are sometimes stymied by wanting to translate each word in English into a corresponding word in French and that is a method that breaks down almost immediately. Yes, je suis means "I am", but it has no place in "I am fine". BTW, you may delete the redundant message below.

July 8, 2014

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

all I did was put a common c at the beginning and I got it wrong

June 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1800

Sometimes we learn more by making mistakes than by getting the right answer. Hopefully you learned that "c" and "ç" are not interchangeable.

July 8, 2014

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

I thought you didn't put accents on capital letters?

December 1, 2015

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

A cedilla is not an accent but "ç" is a specific letter that has the sound of an S.

By the way, in French, most typefaces allow for accenting capital letters, like "Écœurant - Être - À demain".

December 1, 2015

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

Thank you for the explanation!

December 2, 2015

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

This sentence Ca va has in the translation: "how are you", yet when I have written this as such it was taken as a mistake. It is certainly used in that meaning in Quebec Canada.

August 31, 2014

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

"ça va ?" (question) translates to "how are you?" (question)

"ça va." (statement) translates to "I am fine" (statement).

August 31, 2014

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

so if this means "im doing fine" and "how are you", would it be proper to have a converstation like this?

Person 1: ca va? person 2:ca va, ca va? person 1:ca va

in english

person 1: how are you? person 2: im fine, how are you? person 1: im fine

September 14, 2014

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

does ca va mean how are you or i am fine

September 17, 2014

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

ça va ? as a question means "how are you?"

ça va. as a statement means "I am fine."

You just have to pay attention to punctuation and/or tone of voice to distinguish questions from statements.

September 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/moonwalk01

Can someone please tell me what the curve below C is called? And why it is used? Why can't we write just plain C ?

September 30, 2014

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

It is called a cedilla (une cédille), and it is required to change the pronunciation of KA to SA.

It is also used in other words like "garçon" or "gerçure" (skin crack) for the same reason, because A, O and U are "hard vowels". So, in front of E or I (soft vowels), C is naturally pronounced S.

Remember that "ça" is the shortened version of "cela", pronounced Seuh-la

October 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christina-10

Am I misunderstanding that there are no longer accents used on the capital letters? If so why does Duo suggest every possible accent on any capital letter?

November 27, 2014

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

So that you know that when these words do not start a sentence, they have an accent.

November 27, 2014

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

Do you say c with a tail or do you just call it c?

June 24, 2015

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

The sign under the C is called a cedilla (une cédille). this is the way to change the K natural sound of a C to a S sound, and this happens in front of a hard vowel: a, o or u.

June 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anna832508

How do you add the tail to the c on phone?

July 21, 2015

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

Normally if you keep your finger on the 'c' key, you should see variants then you can pick 'ç'

July 21, 2015

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

If you're using Android, install the keyboard "SwiftKey X". Very awesome keyboard, and has many languages and emojis. You can also toggle between languages, or as @Sitesurf said, hold down the key and select the accented character.

July 21, 2015

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

What is the difference between

Ca va

Ca va bien

Comment ca va

Can anyone explain this for me please?

December 15, 2015

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

ça va ? / ça va bien ? - with a question mark - = how are you?

ça va. / ça va bien. - with a period - = I am fine.

comment ça va ? is a question and remains a question = how are you?

December 15, 2015

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

Hmm. So how do we use the same while speaking to someone. While speaking, we can't add any such marks(?,.)

December 16, 2015

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

When you ask a question, your voice raises on the last syllable.

When you make a statement, your voice drops on the last syllable.

December 16, 2015

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

I live in Bassac, France a small village along the Charante river...the locals use this phrase as "How are you? The response is Tre bien...

January 18, 2016

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

Its funny to think "Ça va?" "Ça va." could be an actual conversation

June 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christophe125783

Why not say "ça va bien" as in "It goes well"? Why do we only say "ça va"?

July 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mico12345

They're just different ways of saying it. Much like "good morning" is shortened to just "morning" by some people.

July 11, 2016

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

i thought ca va meant its going, and ca va bien, or ca va mal ect., would be a proper way to say it because in my french class we dont say just "ca va"?

September 23, 2016
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