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Lesson 6: How are you?

A simple conversation

Two good friends—Marie and Jean—are meeting:

  • Marie: Salut Jean. Ça va ?
  • Jean: Ça va bien, merci. Et toi, ça va ?
  • Marie: Pas mal.
  • Jean: Quoi de neuf ?
  • Marie: Pas grand-chose.
  • Marie: Au revoir Jean.
  • Jean: Au revoir, à demain.

How are you?

French Vocabulary • How are you?
How are you? Ça va?
Comment allez-vous ? (formal),
Comment vas-tu ? (informal),
Comment ça va ? / Ça va ? (informal)
How are you?
Ça va (très) bienI’m doing (very) well
(lit. It’s going (very) well)
Oui, ça va.Yes, it goes.
Très bien, merci.Very well, thanks.
Pas mal.Not Bad
pas si bien/pas très biennot so well
(très) mal(very) bad
Comme ci, comme ça.So-So.
Désolé(e).Sorry.
Et toi ?
Et vous ?
And you? (informal)
And you? (formal)

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Basic phrases – Dialogue

French Exercise • How are you?
Basic Phrases Expressions de base
Exercise
Put the following conversation in order:
FirstSecondThirdFourth
1. MichelJe ne vais pas très bien.Bonjour, JacquesAu revoirComment ça va?
2. JacquesDésolé.Ça va très bien! Et vous?
Allez-vous bien?
À demain.Salut, Michel!
Solution:
FirstSecondThirdFourth
1. MichelBonjour, Jacques.Comment ça va?Je ne vais pas très bien.Au revoir.
2. JacquesSalut, Michel!Ça va très bien! Et vous?
Allez-vous bien?
Désolé.À demain.

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Formal lesson – Asking how one is doing

Ça va? is used to ask someone how they are doing. The phrase literally means It goes?, referring to the body and life. A more formal way to say this is Comment allez-vous?. You can respond by using ça va as a statement; Ça va. roughly means I’m fine. The adverb bien is used to say well, and is often said both alone and as Ça va bien. Bien is preceded by certain adverbs to specify the degree to which you are well. Common phrases are assez bien, meaning rather well, très bien, meaning very well, and vraiment bien, meaning really well. The adverb mal is used to say badly. Pas is commonly added to mal to form Pas mal., meaning Not bad. Comme ci, comme ça., literally translating to Like this, like that., is used to say So, so. To be polite, add merci, meaning thank you to responses to questions.


1 Comment

  • #1 by Viky on December 20 - 9:09 am

    Quote

    Hi,
    In Quebec, at the question “Ça va ?”, they answer [popei, popei] … Could you spell this for me, please?

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