Ça m'est égal = I don't mind/care (idiomatic expressions)

Look at these sentences:

Ça m'est égal.
Cela m'est égal.

I don't mind/care.


Ça t'est égal.
Cela t'est égal. 

You don't mind/care.


Ça lui est égal.
Cela lui est égal. 

He doesn't mind/care.
She doesn't mind/care.


Ça nous est égal.
Cela nous est égal.

We don't mind/care.


Ça vous est égal.
Cela vous est égal.

You don't mind/care.


Ça leur est égal.
Cela leur est égal.

They don't mind.

To express indifference when facing a choice in French (I don't mind/I don't care), you use the expression ça m'est égal.

Literally, you're saying "It is equal to me", hence the use of the indirect object pronoun to refer to the person who doesn't mind.

Ça m'/t'/lui/nous/vous/leur est égal. = I/You/He-She/We/You/They do(es)n't mind/care

Note that ça is the less formal form of cela: both are correct, cela would be used more in writing, and ça in speech.

See also Ça = that, this, it (pronoun)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Ça m'est égal.
Cela m'est égal.

I don't mind/care.


Ça nous est égal.
Cela nous est égal.

We don't mind/care.


Ça vous est égal.
Cela vous est égal.

You don't mind/care.


Ça t'est égal.
Cela t'est égal. 

You don't mind/care.


Ça leur est égal.
Cela leur est égal.

They don't mind.


Ça lui est égal.
Cela lui est égal. 

He doesn't mind/care.
She doesn't mind/care.


Q&A

Katie

Kwiziq community member

3 September 2018

1 reply

Sometimes the "t" of "est" is pronounced and sometimes it isn't. Can we choose whether to liaise or not when using this phrase?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

7 September 2018

7/09/18

That's an interesting question Katie,

In the conjugated examples of the lesson , the only one where there's no liaison between the 't' and the 'est' is the 'tu' form and I can't justify why.

You just wouldn't say "Ça t'est_égal

There are some liaisons that are compulsory, 

on_a , vous_avez, un_ examen

and some forbidden like after 'et'  

or to sound a 'h aspiré':

des héros, des haricots, en haut.

Maybe a lesson on this would be useful...

Hope this helps!

 

Vernon

Kwiziq community member

4 July 2018

1 reply

Can you use, "Ça me n'est pas égal", to mean it does indeed bother you?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

5 July 2018

5/07/18

Hi Vernon,

I have checked with other French people in France as it sounded odd to me and they agree to not having heard it used.

We would probably say something like "Je (ne) suis pas d'accord avec ça. "

Hope this helps!

Anish

Kwiziq community member

11 July 2017

2 replies

Why is it nous not notre, and Vous not vorte?

Mica

Kwiziq community member

13 July 2017

13/07/17

Hi, Anish. "Notre" and "votre" are used to indicate possession ("notre/votre ami" == "our/your friend") and must be followed by the noun they describe. In this expression, you need the indirect object pronoun, which is the "nous" or "vous" form. Hope that helps!

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

14 July 2017

14/07/17

Bonjour Anish !

As Mica pointed out, notre and votre are possessive adjectives = our / your.

In the expression "Ça nous/vous est égal.", what you're literally saying is "It's equal to us/you.".

Here's a link to our related lesson on object pronouns nous/vous:
https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/when-to-use-me-te-nous-and-vous-as-me-you-us-and-you-direct-and-indirect-object-pronouns

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Julie

Kwiziq community member

1 July 2017

6 replies

Can you use this expression as part of a longer sentence?

Julie

Kwiziq community member

1 July 2017

1/07/17

For example, can you use this expression to say "I don't mind/care if you listen to music." or other things like that?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

1 July 2017

1/07/17

Bonjour Julie, I am unable to locate anything in the lesson that discusses the idiom use in a longer sentence; however, ça m'est egal si tu écoutes de la musique pendant nous travaillons. seems perfectly plausible. Of course, it is possible that there is a more correct way to utilize the idiom to say this phrase. I am hedging my answer here because I do not know all of the idiom uses correctly. Bonne chance !

Ron

Kwiziq community member

1 July 2017

1/07/17

Alors, I found an example phrase in Collins-Robert. «Elle a le dos rond, et le bide assorti, les pieds en compote et le moral au diapason Dis donc, Josyane, ça t'est égal ?» As can be noticed from this phrase, it is a response to a statement, albeit, with a question. Perhaps this idiom is intended to be simply used as a response, not unlike yes or no.

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

4 July 2017

4/07/17

Bonjour Julie, Yes, you can say "ça m'est égal si ..." and "ça m'est égal que ..."

Ron

Kwiziq community member

4 July 2017

4/07/17

Merci, Laura !

Julie

Kwiziq community member

4 July 2017

4/07/17

Thank you both for taking the time to answer my question :)

Susan

Kwiziq community member

16 April 2017

1 reply

Why are the expressions repeated?

Example: "Ça m'est égal.Cela m'est égal."

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

18 April 2017

18/04/17

Bonjour Susan ! It's simply to show that both "ça" and "cela" are acceptable here :) Bonne journée !

Dareen

Kwiziq community member

20 March 2017

1 reply

Can i use this expression in formal speaking?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

20 March 2017

20/03/17

Bonjour Dareen ! Yes, though you might want to use the "cela" version, even more formal :) Bonne journée !
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