Ça va: Informal "How Are You" in French

A group of French speakers meet for the first time

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Now that we have studied the formal ways of saying "how are you" in French, let's look at the informal ways. Granted, ça va is not the most formal French. But it's so practical that it's been used a lot in French lately, and has really made its way in almost all situations: among friends and family, of course, but also at the office or with acquaintances. It's only in the most formal of situations that it may not be appropriate. For example, you wouldn't say to the Queen of England Bonjour Votre Majesté, ça va ?

Ça Va: How Are You / How Is It Going?

Ça va (pronounced "sava," since the cedilla makes the C sound like an S) is truly the magical French language word language. Why? Because it never changes. It is used to both ask and answer common questions about well-being.

Use Ça Va to Ask an Individual "How Are You?"

Ça va Camille ? (How are you, Camille?)
Oui, ça va bien, merci. Et toi ?
(Yes, I'm fine, thanks. And you?)

Whether you are using "tu" or "vous" doesn't matter:

Ça va madame Chevalier ? (How are you, Madame Chevalier?)
Oui, ça va bien, merci. Et vous ? 
(Yes, I'm fine, thank you. And you ?)

Use Ça Va to Ask Several People "How Are You?"

Ça va bien vous deux ? (How are you both?)
Ça va, ça va, merci. Et toi ?
(Fine, fine, and you?)

Use Ça Va to Ask About Others

Et vos enfants, ça va ? (And your kids, are they OK?)
Oui, ça va bien, merci.
(Yes, they are well, thanks.)

You don't even need to use ça va to talk about people.

Votre travail, ça va ? (How is work?)
La santé de votre mère, ça va ?
(How is your mother's health?)

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Your Citation
Chevalier-Karfis, Camille. "Ça va: Informal "How Are You" in French." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/how-are-you-in-french-1368096. Chevalier-Karfis, Camille. (2023, April 5). Ça va: Informal "How Are You" in French. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-are-you-in-french-1368096 Chevalier-Karfis, Camille. "Ça va: Informal "How Are You" in French." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-are-you-in-french-1368096 (accessed June 5, 2023).