"What does that represent?"

Translation:Ça représente quoi ?

December 29, 2012

This discussion is locked.


"cela" is the correct, formal translation of "that", when "ceci" means "this".


So if cela and ceci are the formal translation, how about "Ça" and "ce/cet etc"?


ceci = demonstrative pronoun (this): ceci est un chien (this is a dog)

cela = demonstrative pronoun (that): cela me convient (that suits me)

ça = shortened version of "cela" = demonstrative pronoun (that): ça va ? (are you doing fine?)

ce, cet, cette, ces = demonstrative adjectives:

  • ce chien = masculine singular

  • cet arbre /cet homme = masculine singular, in front of a vowel or a non aspirate H

  • cette fille = feminine singular

  • ces chiens, ces arbres, ces hommes, ces filles = plural



Didn't know about ça being a contraction of cela.

cela is also a contraction of ce + là (this there)

ceci is a contraction of ce + ici (this here)

Apparently cela often replaces ceci in actual use. So presumably Ça is used for "ce ici" too?

What about "ces là" and "ces ici" (Those there) and (those here), do they have their own contractions? Also "cette là" and "cette ici"?

  • "ça" often replaces cela and ceci as well in speech.

  • "j'aime ces fleurs-ci mais je préfère celles-là": this is a typical comparative statement where the English would use "this/these" and "that/those".

  • "cette fille-là" or "ces gens-là" can mean you are simply pointing to specific individuals, but it can also mean that your judgement on them is rather negative (if your tone is sarcastic).

  • "ces jours-ci" means "nowadays"

  • "voici" and "voilà" literally mean "see here" and "see there", respectively. In English: "here is/are".


Que représente Ça? ... does this not work?


I am not sure if anyone tries to explain it below (in which case I might not understand your situation), but I still don't understand why this is not an option. Anyone?


It is an option now.


why can't I say "qu'est-ce que ça signifie?"


No, that is not the intended meaning. "ça représente quoi ?" could refer to a painting, for example. The question is about the object displayed, not is meaning.


You could probably say ""qu'est-ce que ça représente?", though. But sitesurf is right, "représente" has to do with appearance, not meaning. Don't confuse English synonyms with French words!


Why not Que represente ca?

[deactivated user]

    Why can't I say "Quoi ça représente?"


    Not french. You can't begin a question whith quoi, you would say "cela représente quoi ?" It's the same meaning. There are few exception, "quoi faire ?" Or "quoi prendre ?" With infinitif verb you can use quoi on the first position. I thing that correspond to "what to do ?" and "what to take ?", this is English sentence ?


    Why not "Que représente cela ?" ?


    it works now 29/1/2015


    Why "Qu'est-ce qu'il représente ? " is wrong


    I just made the same mistake. I believe it's because "il" is more "it", while we want the demonstrative here of "that". Subtle, but important.


    I think it should be right, but only if you were specifically talking about an object to begin with. Just looking at the sentence, you couldn't tell if it was "it" or "him".


    "Que cela représente-t-il" refused, don't know why. Reported.

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