Ça Alors

French expressions analyzed and explained

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The French exclamation ça alors can express a whole range of reactions, from delight to surprise to indignation. It's used to mean "how about that" or "my goodness" and literally translates to "that then." Like the second meaning of its old-fashioned cousin ma foiça alors serves mainly to emphasize whatever it is said with. It has an informal register.


Ça Alors is pronounced [sah ah luhr].

Be careful not to contract the two words into [sah luhr] - you need to pronounce both a's with a tiny pause between them.

Example Usage of Ça Alors

  • Ça alors ! Je n'aurais jamais imaginé un produit pareil.
  • My goodness! I'd never have imagined such a product.


  • -Je vais déménager au Sénégal.
  • -Ça alors, c'est formidable !
  • -I'm going to move to Senegal.
  • -How about that! / Wow, that's great!


  • -J'ai invité Thomas à déjeuner, mais il prétend être débordé de travail.
  • -Ça alors, je l'ai vu à la plage trois fois cette semaine !
  • -I invited Thomas to lunch, but he claims to be snowed under with work.
  • -Well, really, I saw him at the beach three times this week!
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ThoughtCo. "Ça Alors." ThoughtCo, Feb. 26, 2018, thoughtco.com/ca-alors-1371133. ThoughtCo. (2018, February 26). Ça Alors. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/ca-alors-1371133 ThoughtCo. "Ça Alors." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/ca-alors-1371133 (accessed March 21, 2018).