Does the impersonal expression 'ça roulait très mal' literally mean the traffic was very bad ?
Freeform Writing Exercise B2
In a traffic context such as in this exercise, ‘ça roulait très mal’ means ‘the traffic was awful.’
In everyday life, you might hear this following expression:
ça roule (?) = how are things? - All good! - That works for me! (= ça marche)
Here is a link on ça roule / ça marche
And the famous one: ça roule, ma poule ? (how are things?) Or ça roule, ma poule ! (that works for me!) Usually it is used in a light-hearted way although be aware to use it only with people you know very well. I would never use it in a formal situation, even at work (unless you socialise outside of work) !
I hope this is helpful.
The idiom ça roule means something like "OK" or "alright" in a lot of different contexts and connotations. If, at the end of a long drive, you say, ça roulait, it would mean something like "that went ok". Conversely, ça roulait très mal means "that went pretty badly". In a driving situation, it would also apply to the traffic, I presume. But that's not the predominant meaning of it.
The input of a native speaker would shed more light on this.
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