"Hello, how are you?"

Translation:Bonjour, comment vas-tu ?

December 23, 2012

103 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Actually, the closer translation is "bonjour, comment vas-tu / allez-vous ?"

December 24, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/CJCatStack
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Would 'Comment ça va' be extremely informal or altogether lacking as a phrase?

June 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ChannonLaplanche

its correct but its informal

July 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/daas88
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I wrote: "salut, comment vas tu ?" Without the "-", got it wrong :/ They should let it pass but tell you something like "you forgot the "-" sign"

March 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BetterThanErica
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It should have been fine as long as there was a space between the words. I never use hyphens or diacritical marks unless my phone auto corrects it for me

November 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/leannakrichards

yes, but that is simply because you're not using correct punctuation. its called text talk. i don't use apostrophes and etc when typing to others in an informal or non professional manner. For example, in English, dont , wouldnt , couldnt etc. are actually incorrect without their punctuations.. same with English words using hyphens.. thats why your phone corrects it because it is technically not right.

November 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/leannakrichards

punctuation can be necessary in cases with the word its and it's ..

November 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis
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  • hell, he'll
  • shell, she'll
  • well, we'll
  • Ill, I'll
  • were, we're
  • Id, I'd
  • shed, she'd
  • wed, we'd
  • cant, can't
  • wont, won't
November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/yetanothername
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Maybe I'm one of the few people who uses apostrophes in text messages but I'm trying to think of an example where context wouldn't make the true meaning obvious.

December 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ycUvuSap
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Not using hyphens and diacritics and other sloppy language makes it more difficult for others to understand you. It is especially challenging for non-native speakers of the language.

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/philipparker
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Why would the hyphen be needed in this case? This is matter of a direct object, right? Not, "inversion"?

July 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"allez-vous" or "vas-tu" is an inversion, used in formal interrogative forms and the hyphen is required.

The affirmative form is "vous allez" or "tu vas".

July 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/VyPmJ
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What is meant by interrogative and affirmative and inversion?

August 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

The best way to find out meanings of words is to look them up in a dictionary. "Interrogative" is from the word "interrogate" which means "to ask questions". "Inversion" is from the word "invert" which means turn upside down. "Affirmative" is from the word "affirm" which means "to state that something is true", so an affirmative statement is one that is positive.

August 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/J.C.Fink
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Yes, " 'Inversion' is from the word 'invert' which means turn upside down." But in the discussions here, it means "to reverse [word order]". "tu vas" is a statement; to change it to a question, one does an "inversion" to "vas-tu?"

August 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/yetanothername
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Which is completely unhelpful to someone who has never heard of "inversion" as a language construct.

¿uoısɹǝʌuı uɐ sıɥʇ sI

December 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Well, @yetanothername, if you used a good dictionary like Cambridge, it actually does explain inversion with regard to grammar: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/grammar/british-grammar/word-order-and-focus/inversion

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/excellence2018

True

February 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jmafD2

How do say allez vous? And how say it

March 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

If you type it out on Google Translate and click on the speaker icon, you can hear how to say it.

I have done that for you here for just those two words then the greeting with the liaison.

March 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ShotgunEm

Isn't comment vas-tus / allez-vous the more formal version? At least that's what I learned in my French class. (Also, I couldn't remember this phrase, thanks for commenting)

November 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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It's comment vas-tu (not "tus"). Inversion is generally considered to be a bit more formal/polite.

February 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Tom_MitchellUK

I thought that Salut was "Hi" and Bonjour was "good day" or "Hello"??

January 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/FatimaAnnour

It is. But some say that "salut" also means hello. mostly it's an informal way of greeting someone. usually used for people you know.

April 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/RebeccaAnne

Why is "comment ca va" wrong, but "comment tu vas" is right?

January 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SumOne1

If you hold down the c in Français, you'll get the necessaty ç symbol for "ça”. "Ça" sounds like "Sa". Otherwise, "ca" with the hard syllable does not exist.

December 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/iamgelain

Hi-Salut, Hello-Bonjour. >< that's what i thought

December 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/MINOASP

Bonjour is good morning actualy

February 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ksumner2865

Bonjour is actually hello also, Salut is just an informal way to say hello. Its mainly used toward people you know.

March 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PakPolyGlot

I came across this variation of above given salutation "comment vous portez vous" is it old fashioned now?

October 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Comment vous portez-vous ? or comment te portes-tu ? is a bit old fashioned, but still very nice.

October 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LanguageButcher

So that in a sense means "How are you carrying yourself?" What would the response be? "Je me porte bien"?

March 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, indeed. As if the fact that your legs can carry the rest of your body were a sign of good health.

March 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LanguageButcher

In English we do say "You carry yourself very well," "You carry yourself with grace and dignity," or "You carry yourself with elegance and poise." Of course, the opposite of that is "You make a fool of yourself." So if someone asks how my day was going, I would say, "Not good. I made a fool out of myself." So I can see why it's part of a greeting.

March 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Thanks for the info!

The translations of your examples would use the verb "se comporter":

  • tu te comportes très bien
  • tu te comportes avec grâce, dignité, élégance et prestance.
  • tu te comportes comme un crétin/idiot/imbécile
  • je me suis comporté comme un.../je me suis ridiculisé
March 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis
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"You carry yourself ..." is about posture, comportment or bearing. As such, "to make a fool of oneself" is not exactly the opposite. The Police song "Born in the '50s" mentions the King falling down the stairs. He carried himself well and yet he still made a fool of himself.

March 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LanguageButcher

Haha. Thanks. Every time I think I know something, I don't :-(

March 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ZoMoulder

Could you write it "Salute es ça va bein?

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Wunel

I believe you could say "salut et ca va bien?", much like you could say "hello and how are you going?" but I would be careful to put a pause after "hello" in speech or a comma in writing otherwise it sounds quite odd.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Lamas_with_hats

I did Italian for a little while, and if my memory serves me well than "salute" is the same as "bless you" and a way of saying "be safe." So is Italian just not very close to French at all? I would really appreciate some help with this question, because I want to know so that I stop making the mistake of using Italian to figure out what I'm supposed to say. Thank you for any help or responses I receive.

April 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis
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I've started learning both Italian and Spanish and they seem closer to each other than they are to French. You have to remember that the meanings of words change over time and that each language is under no obligation to stay in line with any other language.

A little bit of research shows that French « salut » and Italian "salute" both come from Latin "salus"/"salutem", however, they now mean different things. You need to learn each word separately and whether they're related in meaning to words you already know or not.

April 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KnockOut15

What's the difference between "comment ça va" and "comment ça vas"

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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"ça", juste like its translation "that" is 3rd person singular. Therefore the conjugation is 3rd person singular which in French never gets an S: "Comment ça va ?"

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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We can see the informal nature of the French when we translate it more literally, like saying "How's it going?" = Comment ça va ? "Vas" is the 2nd person singular conjugation, though. It doesn't work in this sentence.

January 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Noriko863898

The question was to choose a good translation for "Hello, how are you". Two of the three options were "Bonjour, ça vas?" and "Bonjour, ça va?" and I chose the former one and it was incorrect. I thought it "ça vas?" might be used for a close "tu" person. Can somebody tell me why this is wrong? Thanks.

January 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

The verb aller must agree with the subject which in this case is ça and that would take the third person conjugation va not the second person conjugation vas.

January 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Noriko863898

Thanks! Reading your comment, I went to Wiktionary and learned that ça is a shortened form of cela, which means "that". I really appreciate your help.

January 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/paulsub63

Bonjour is good morning, isn't it?

January 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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"Bonjour" can be used any time during daylight hours. In general, it is just a polite "hello", but in the morning you might use it for "good morning", and in the afternoon you might use it when you would say "good afternoon". "Salut" is an informal way of saying "hi", "bye", or "hello", "goodbye" to a friend. It is not used as "good morning" or "good afternoon".

February 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel589120

Can one also say "Hola" like it is said in Spanish?

August 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Not if you are speaking French! That would be like asking "Can you say salut in English like they say in French?"

August 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel589120

The French book I am following uses it in some of their examples when one person is looking for another other, calling out Holà! and then gives this entry in their glossary;

holà (ola) interj. hallo!

I also visited "le Trésor de la langue française informatisé", after this lesson and found this example usage;

Holà, ne faites pas tant de bruit (Ac.).

So I am beginning to feel that in the context of making a statement unexpectedly and interrupting the other person or trying to catch their attention that holà is hello.

So, in the scenario where a French speaker catches you off guard they could say "Holà, comment ça va?" would that be a correct way of saying "Hello, how are you?"?

August 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"hola" is not used in France, and it is not a French word.

"oh la !" is an onomatopea you can use to mean "hold on!", when you are suddently surprised, taken aback, frightened...

When you answer the phone, you say "allo !"

August 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/PiotrLitwiniuk

It is formal way to say 'hello' just like 'good morning' is in English but you can use it any time of day unlike 'good morning'

June 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/daniellindhaga

Isn't there a circumflex above allo? I wrote "allô, ça va?" and I got wrong!

November 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Good question: "allo ?" (no circumflex) is exclusively used on the phone to establish the first contact.

November 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/P.Salamander

Okay, so what does this mean? : "Allô, comment appelez-vous ?" It was an option.

November 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

It means "Hello (like you say on the phone), what is your name?"

January 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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If you got it in a MCQ, you should remember that you are requested to tick all correct answers and consequently, the other one(s) are wrong, irrelevant and often meaningless.

November 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MugtabaGar

"...comment vas-tu" for singular n "...comment allez-vous" for plural, huh? What's the significance of this hyphen form? Does "comment vas tu" make sense? :/

December 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Hyphens are required in interrogative inversions verb-subject, and also in imperative between verb and object pronoun:

  • comment allez-vous ? (how are you?)
  • apporte-nous du thé, s'il te plaît ! (bring us some tea, please!)
December 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JTieku

what does allez-vous mean?

December 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"are you going"

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MusicSoulMan7

Can someone explain the usage/meaning/conjugation of " ça" and "vas"? And how they correlate to each other?

March 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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"ça" is the shortened version of "cela", used in spoken French.

It means "this/that thing" or "it".

"vas" is the 2nd person singular ("tu" = familiar "you") conjugation of verb "aller" (to go).

"How are you?" uses verb "to be" to inquire about someone's health.

In French, the verb used is "aller".

so "how are you?" translates to "comment (how) vas (go) -tu (you) ?"

"comment vas-tu ?" is closer to "how are you going?"

"comment ça va ?" or "ça va ?" literally means "how are things doing/going?"

March 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/greenowl96

I used Àllo and it didn't accept my answer! Also Duolingo said that joli is the same as sympa! It isn't! I learned four years ago that sympa is sympathetic not nice!!

June 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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allo (no accent) is used as your first word on the phone. There is no indication here that the sentence has such context.

this girl is really nice = cette fille est vraiment gentille, agréable, aimable, sympa

this dress is nice = cette robe est jolie, ravissante, sympa

So, "nice" and "sympa" are good friends as they very often translate one another.

June 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/hungham2806

Can I say "Salut, bien ça va"?

October 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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It would sound like: hi, fine are you? (very Yoda-like)

October 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CameronLaz1

What about "Salut, comment est tu?"

September 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Comment est tu ? is not only grammatically incorrect (The conjugation of the verb être for the second person tu is es) but also idiomatically incorrect as that is not how you say "how are you?" in French. It would have to be comment vas-tu ?

September 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/heatherbaroo

Why isnt "comment vous etes" right? It was "how are you?" And the correct answer was "comment vous allez"

January 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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January 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis
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Think of it as "How are you going?". Then you'll get the French translation. In English there are many ways to ask and "How are you?" is short for some of them because it doesn't really make sense by itself.

  • How do you do? (excessively formal)
  • How are you going?
  • How are you doing?
  • How's it going?
  • etc.
January 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/odiemolina
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Why is "Bonjour, comment-allez vous?" almost correct? Where did I go wrong?

January 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Maybe the space missing before the question mark?

January 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

No, it is not the missing space before the question mark. It is the placement of the hyphen in the wrong place. The correct phrase would be Bonjour, comment allez-vous ? The hyphen comes between the last two words allez and vous, not between comment and allez.

January 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Matviy7

"Ca Va?" Is the short form of "Comment Cava?"

August 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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No, "Comment ça va ?" is everyday French for "how's it going?" There is no "cava".

August 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ACHUHUHUHU1018

what is the informal form of this sentence?

May 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

How informal do you want to get? Like "Hi! What's up?"

Salut! Quoi de neuf ?

May 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MasterZsword

Oddly enough, when I am given the French sentence "Salut, comment ça va?" first, it says I am wrong when I translate it to "Hello, how are you?", claiming that the translation is actually "Hey, how are you?" However, when it gives me the English sentence "Hello, how are you?" first, the word bank only has the translation "Salut, comment ça va?" Is this something I need to report?

May 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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On principle, every single translation must be the closest possible to the original, in all aspects.

"Hello" is less formal than "good morning" but more than "hi", so the prime translation should be "salut" or "bonjour".

"how are you" has "how", which should and can translate to "comment"

"how are you" has "you", which should translate to "tu" or "vous".

That should be your order of priority and therefore "Hello, how are you?" has among its best translations, "Salut/Bonjour, comment vas-tu / allez-vous ?".

If you apply the above principles to every translation, you should not have issues with your submissions.

May 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EveMillington

I wrote comment allez vous and it was wrong? Since when? This is the polite term when meeting strangers in a professional setting. Je pense qu'il y a une problème!!

July 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

The hyphen is not optional. It is required in inversion in French. You would have been marked correct if you had written: Bonjour, comment allez-vous ?

July 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mark.one.too

should we use formal French with all older people and of 'higher status'?

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Barbara865093

Hello Mark, Hope you are doing well. From my knowledge, we should use formal French for our elders and people who we do not know personally.

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/arpan399539

I wrote "salut" for "hello" in french. They marked me wrong. Why? If "hi" means "salut", the same can be said for " hello" too, I suppose? Or they hold different meaning altogether in french language?

November 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Salut is not as formal as "hello". It is as informal as "hi". If you were meeting the Queen of England, you would be advised not to say "hi" to her, but "hello" may be OK. Accuracy of translation is important. Back translating is a good way to check how accurate your translation is.

November 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ballerina1427

Why is "Bonjour, comment vas-tu ?" correct as well? Can anyone explain subjects to me?

December 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Is your confusion about the pronouns tu and vous? They both mean "you". Tu is always singular. Vous can be the plural of tu or the alternative of tu and therefore it too can be used to address a single person if that person is:

  • unfamiliar to you; or

  • more senior than you in age or rank.

Vous is used when you want to show respect.

So you choose the greeting depending on whom you are addressing.

Here is a little more info on greetings: https://frenchtogether.com/how-are-you-in-french/

December 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mimo_99

told me comment t'allez vous is wrong? am i right

February 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

No you are not right. There is no t' between comment and allez, and there is hyphen between allez and vous. The correct phrase for "how are you?" is:

Comment allez-vous ?

Also, for this particular exercise, you need bonjour before the phrase to represent "hello".

February 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mimo_99

@mere_des_chats thank you

February 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ambur_Qureshi

What is the difference between "ca va" and "vas tu" and the others?

March 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Do you read the discussion before rushing to post? I ask because the discussion does cover the meanings you ask about. Also, when it comes to meanings, dictionaries are good resources too. As is doing an online search for the topic of interest.

March 19, 2019
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