what does cest ça mean?

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Tina

Kwiziq community member

16 November 2017

3 replies

what does cest ça mean?

I saw the sentence "qu'est ce que c'est ça". I thought c'est and ça means the same thing "it", so I'm a little confused why do we need to repeat it twice. My teacher said that we can also use "qu'est ce que c'est" and "qu'est ce que ça". How exactly are they different?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

16 November 2017

16/11/17

It means: "What is this?" Literally: What is this that is this. "Qu'est ce que c'est" and "Qu'est ce que ça" are really not different in meaning at all. At least not that I could discern. -- Chris (not a native speaker).

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

16 November 2017

16/11/17

It's actually "Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça ?"

You were missing another 'que' - yep, there are in fact three in this form of the question!

When spoken though, this is usually run into something much shorter that sounds far less cumbersome: kess-kuh-sek-sah?
There's not much point trying to understand the phrase word by word as it doesn't make much sense that way. It just means: What's that?

On it's own, "c'est ça" means "that's it". (but in the above, it would be '...it is that').

Hope that helps!

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

17 November 2017

17/11/17

Bonjour Tina !

Actually "c'est" means "it is / that is / this is", whereas "ça" only means "it / that / this" :)

Here are our related lessons:
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/cest-means-it-is

https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/ca-means-that-this-or-it-pronoun

Bonne journée !

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