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French grammar - The demonstrative pronoun ça

The demonstrative pronoun ça

The word ça means 'it', 'this' or 'that'.

It is actually a contraction of cela, which means 'that' or 'that there'.

It is familiar but very commonly used colloquially, especially in idiomatic expressions.

And it can be used both as a subject and object.

Comment ça va ?
How is it going? *OR* How are you?
Ça va ? Oui, ça va bien.
Is it going (OK)? Yes, it is going fine.
Ça dépend.
It depends.

dépendre (verb) means 'to depend'

C'est ça.
That's it.
Ça alors !
Wow! *OR* So that is how it is!

alors means 'so' (Used widely and has in fact many different and subtle meanings)

Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça ?
What is that?
Ça marche !
That works!

marcher (verb) means 'to work' or 'to walk'

Qu'est-ce que ça veut dire ?
What does it mean?

literally 'What does it want to say?'

vouloir dire means (literally) 'to want to say' but also 'to mean'

Ça m'aide beaucoup.
It helps me a lot.

aider (verb) means 'to help'

Est-ce que vous pouvez me donner un peu de ça ?
Can you (formal) give me some of that?
La grammaire française ? Je trouve ça trop difficile !
French grammar? I find it too difficult!

trouver (verb) means 'to find'

Les escargots ? J'adore ça !
Snails? I love that!

Can even be used as a plural pronoun

escargot (m) means 'snail'

Ça ne m'intéresse pas.
It does not interest me.

intéresser (verb) means 'to interest'

Ça se passe comment ?
How does it happen?

se passer (reflexive verb) means 'to happen' or 'to take place'

Bravo, ça commence bien.
Well done, it's off to a good start.
On peut dire ça.
You could say that.

dire (verb) means 'to say'

Comme ça !
Like that!

comme means 'like' or 'in (that/this) way'

C'est comme ça.
It's like that. *OR* That is the way it is.
La vie, c'est comme ça.
Life - it is like that.

vie (f) means 'life'

Voyez-vous ce monsieur ? – Qui ça ?
Do you (formal) see this gentleman? - Who is that?