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C'est ça la vie

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by etudian, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. etudian Senior Member

    Japanese, Japan
    Bonjour !

    "C'est ça" is often followed by a noun. For example:

    C'est ça la vie, c'est ça l'amour.
    C'est ça le probleme.

    In such cases, does "c'est ça" roughly mean "that's"?

    That's life, that's love.
    That's the problem.

    What's the difference between "c'est ça" and "ça, c'est"? Maybe the latter is used for something you can point at? What's the difference between "c'est ça" and simple "c'est"? I would appreciate any explanation or clarification.

    Merci d'avance !
     
  2. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    I would say "c'est ça, la vie" is something more like "that's life for you", and "Ça, c'est la vie" is "that's life". My impression is that the "ça, c'est" version is a bit stronger.
     
  3. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    France
    Français
    Hi. Having studied Japanese for some time, I have always found it difficult to understand the intended meaning of Japanese sentences. I guess that the converse is true. If you are certain to understand the intended meaning of the sentence "that's life !", Then you are right, "C'est ça, la vie" has exactly the same meaning.

    you are right "ça, c'est" is rather used for something you can point at.
    About the difference between "c'est ça", and "c'est" :
    In sentence with the same intended meaning as "that's life !", they mean the same, but "c'est ça, la vie" is more colloquial.
    In sentences without intended meaning, you should use "c'est", as it simply means "it is", and "ça, c'est ..." to mean "that is", when pointing at some object.
     
  4. Pattern Junior Member

    Geneva, Switzerland
    Français, France
    Bonjour,

    > In such cases, does "c'est ça" roughly mean "that's"?
    Roughly, yes.

    In this context, "c'est <...>" is a fatalist lesson of life, usually after something bad happened. You can say "C'est la vie !" even when you are alone and nobody will hear you.

    "C'est ça <..>" is similar to "C'est <..>", but insists more on the lesson of life than on the acceptance of destiny. It implies that you are talking to someone else.

    "ça, c'est", is as you said used with something you can point at. It is not fatalist.

    Examples:
    ---------

    Your car is broken. You say "c'est la vie!".

    The car of your friend is broken. You either say "c'est la vie!" or "c'est ça, la vie".

    You see to people kissing each other (you are in France). You say "ça, c'est l'amour".

    Well, that's my two cents.
     
  5. etudian Senior Member

    Japanese, Japan
    So French think "ça, c'est l'amour" when they see two people kissing. That's so beautiful.

    I think I'm clear on "c'est ça" etc now. Timpeac's comment gave me a general idea, and Fred_C made it clearer. Pattern's examples are so good that I can't forget them!

    Fred_C: If you have any questions about Japanese, I'll be happy to help you in the Japanese forum.;)
     

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