Ça = that, this, it (pronoun)

Look at these sentences using ça:

Oh! J'ai regardé ça aussi hier.
Oh! I watched that too yesterday.

La grammaire française ? Je trouve ça trop difficile !
French grammar? I find that too hard!

Ça me dérange quand on fume à côté de moi.
It bothers me when people smoke next to me.

The pronoun ça is a contraction of cela, but it is used much more frequently, particularly in speech or informal writing.

Depending on the context, ça can mean it, this or that.

ATTENTION:
When referring to something in general, even if the thing is plural, ça is used and followed by the singular form:

Les lasagnes? J'adore ça!
Lasagna? I love it!

Les probabilités, ça m'énerve !
Probabilities get on my nerves!

See also the more advanced C'est vs il/elle est: Saying it is

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Oh! J'ai regardé ça aussi hier.
Oh! I watched that too yesterday.


La grammaire française ? Je trouve ça trop difficile !
French grammar? I find that too hard!


Les probabilités, ça m'énerve !
Probabilities get on my nerves!


Ça me dérange quand on fume à côté de moi.
It bothers me when people smoke next to me.


Les lasagnes? J'adore ça!
Lasagna? I love it!


Q&A

Roy

Kwiziq community member

16 November 2018

1 reply

In the sentence".....quand on fume....". "On" is translated as "people", I thought that "on" was singular.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

17 November 2018

17/11/18

Hi Roy,

If you take a look at the following Kwiziq lesson, you will see the different uses of 'on' and their equivalence in English , one of which being 'people'-

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/on-can-mean-we-one-and-people

Hope this helps!

Malik

Kwiziq community member

6 August 2018

2 replies

Can anyone explain the note with an example?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

7 August 2018

7/08/18

Can you post a sentence as an example?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

7 August 2018

7/08/18

Bonjour Malik !

Thanks to your feedback, I've now updated the lesson to make the note clearer :)

I hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !

nora

Kwiziq community member

4 November 2017

3 replies

ça vs celui/celle-là

In this lesson why was ça preferred over celui-là? Thanks - Nora

Ron

Kwiziq community member

5 November 2017

5/11/17

Bonsoir Nora, Since I do not have the precise question referred to, this may be a bit of a guess. The definitive pronoun «ça» translates as «that, it» ; however, «celui-là» translates to «that one». Depending on the phrase in question it would be two different senses to the phrase.

Jim

Kwiziq community member

7 November 2017

7/11/17

Hi Nora, It will be a matter of context. Ça (informal) / Cela (formal) -- impersonal pronoun Celui / celle-là -- demonstrative pronoun The choice depends upon the context and to what is being referred in the sentence. Regards, Alan ( Non-native speaker)

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

24 August 2018

24/08/18

Hi Nora,

Celui/Celle-là mean 'that one ' ,  when you are comparing two things and highlight one of them.

Ça is the contraction of Cela meaning simply (this or) that.

Just different pronouns for different situations...

Hope that helps!  ( J'espère que ça vous aidera!)

nim

Kwiziq community member

31 July 2017

2 replies

j'aime ça vs je l'aime

a quick question... what's the difference between j'aime ça and je l'aime

Ron

Kwiziq community member

3 August 2017

3/08/17

Bonjour Nim, J'aime ça usually translates as I love that with ça being the contracted version of cela; however, je l'aime translates as I love it, I love him or I love her. Sometimes it is easier to understand the difference between two phrases simply by study how each translates. J'espère que cela vous aidera.

Geoff

Kwiziq community member

28 September 2018

28/09/18

But from the examples:

Les lasagnes? J'adore ça!

Lasagna? I love it!

Meghna

Kwiziq community member

5 October 2016

1 reply

Ça and ça

Qu'elle est la différence entre ça et ca ?

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

6 October 2016

6/10/16

Bonjour Moushumi, Ça is a pronoun, "ca" does not exist in French. That said, sometimes capital letters don't include accents, so you might see "Ça veut dire" or "Ca veut dire." They mean exactly the same thing.

Joakim

Kwiziq community member

13 September 2016

1 reply

Ça or il

"Oh! J'ai regardé ça aussi hier." How can we know it is not "Oh! Je le ai regardé aussi hier." (with contractions)? Last time I asked this you pointed me to the c'est vs il est lesson but "ce" is not "ça" so I don't see how that helps.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

14 October 2016

14/10/16

Bonjour Joakim ! Here is the nuance between "J'ai aussi regardé ça hier." and "Je l'ai aussi regardé hier.": - In the first sentence, "ça" brings emphasis to the thing you watched, therefore translating as "I watched THIS too yesterday."; - the second sentence is more neutral, and will be translated as "I watched IT too yesterday." . I hope that helps! À bientôt !

Joakim

Kwiziq community member

2 June 2016

2 replies

Ça vs il

What's the rule here, i.e. how can we now it is not "il me dérange quand on fume..."

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

2 June 2016

2/06/16

Bonjour Joakim !

To know when to use ça versus il/elle, please have a look at the following lesson:
https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/when-to-use-cest-or-il-est-elle-est-to-say-it-is

Thanks to your question, we've also added this link to the current lesson.
Merci et à bientôt !

Joakim

Kwiziq community member

2 June 2016

2/06/16

Thanks for the lesson link, Aurélie, but that lesson seems to be about "c'est" vs "il est". "ça" is a third alternative, right?

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