Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I'll answer your most common French questions.
The question for this lesson is-- What is ça and how do you use it?
Ça is a pronoun and the informal word for cela, which means "it" or "that."
Let’s practice some expressions so you can learn how to use ça correctly.
The expression Ça te dit? literally means, “Does it say something to you?” It’s used to ask, "Does that sound good to you?" For example, Ça te dit d’aller voir un film? “Does going to see a film sound good to you?”
In response, you can say, Ça ne me dit pas (vraiment), which means, “I don’t (really) feel like doing that.” If it does sound good, then you’d say something like, Oui or Bien sûr! “Yes,” or “Of course!” respectively.
On the other hand, Ça me dit quelque chose, literally, “This says something to me,” usually means, “That rings a bell.” The opposite would be Ça ne me dit rien, literally meaning “This doesn’t say anything to me,” or “That doesn’t ring a bell.”
Another common expression is, Ça alors! It means something like, “How about that!” and it can be used in both positive and negative ways.
For example, a friend tells you he’s moving to Senegal. You might respond, Ça alors! C’est super! “How about that! That’s awesome!”
Here’s another scenario. Your friend tells you he has tons of work to do, then you see him at the beach. You can say, Ça alors! “How about that!” with a negative connotation.
You might also hear C’est ça. That means, “That’s it!” in the sense of, “You got it,” or “I got it,” depending on who you’re talking about.
Ça y est also means “That’s it,” though it’s more along the lines of, “finally” as in Ça y est, j’ai fini! “That’s it! “Finally, I’m done.”
You can also add ça before c'est to add emphasis. For example, c'est beau means "It's beautiful." But, if someone says, Ça, c'est beau, then they really, really mean it!
Pretty cool, right?
If you have any more questions, please leave them in the comments below!
A bientôt, see you soon!