Ça va, How are you in French, Meaning, Usages, Pronunciation

meaning of ça va

Ça va is one of the most common greetings and one of the most important words to know in the French language. Ça va literally means “that goes”.

In addition to being used as a greetings, it’s used in lots of other situations. We’ll look at all of usages in this lesson.

usages of ça va

When used as a greeting you may here the following question. Here ça va? is demanding a yes or no answer.

  • Question: Salut, ça va? Hi! How’s it going?
  • Answer: Oui, ça va, merci. Fine, thank you.
  • Answer: Non, ça ne vas pas. No, not well (literally: that does not go).

There are lots of ways of using ça va to ask how somebody’s doing. Here “comment” is being added before ça va to mean “how” are you doing?

  • Question: Salut, comment ça va? Hi! How’s it going?

The question “Comment ça va?” can yield lots of different answers:

  • Answer: Ça va bien, merci. It’s going well. This could also translate loosely to “I’m going well”.
  • Answer: Ça va tres bien, merci. It’s going very well, thanks.
  • Answer: Ça va mal. It’s going poorly. (Or I’m not doing well, etc.)
  • Answer: Ça va tres mal. It’s going very poorly.
  • Answer Ça va comme ci, comme ça. I’m so-so.

more examples

You will hear lots more uses of ça va sprinkled throughout the French language. Here are a few common examples.

  • Ça va pas, non? (slightly familiar language) That’s not okay!
  • Bon, ben, ça va. (again, familiar language). Well, okay.
  • Ça ne va pas! (Said loudly). No way! You must be kidding!
  • Ça ne va pas la tête! (Expression). Are you out of your mind? Are you nuts?
  • Ça te va bien. That looks good on you (article of clothing, etc.)
  • Ne t’inquiète pas. Ça va aller. Don’t worry. It will be alright/fine.
  • Ça te/vous va? Is it/that okay with you?
  • Ça ne va plus du tout. It’s not going well anymore at all.

There are a lot more examples of ça va. Wordreference.com has lots of good examples.

ça va pronunciation

Video source: French pronunciation

Discover more:

Sign Up For A FREE Trial French Lesson On Skype And Get Instant Access To My French Pronunciation Crash Course.

Get the French Pronunciation Crash Course!