C’est Comme Ca vs. Comme Ci, Comme Ca – Meaning in English

Is “c’est comme ca” or “comme ci, comme ça” the correct saying? Let’s learn more about these phrases to determine which you should use.

French phrases like “c’est comme ca,” “c’est la vie” and “bon appétit” are commonly used by English speakers.

As Stephen King once said: “French is the language that turns dirt into romance.” It’s even estimated that 30% of English words come from French.

Some of the most commonly confused French phrases used by English speakers are “c’est comme ca” and “comme ci, comme ça.” So, which of these sayings is correct?

Neither of these sayings is wrong, it just depends on the point you are trying to convey. “C’est comme ca” means “it is what it is,” and “commi ci, comme ça” is used to describe something that is so-so or meh. Let’s learn more about how to use these sayings correctly.

You might be interested in our round-up of the best books for French beginners.

“C’est Comme Ca” Meaning

The literal translation of “c’est comme ca” is “it’s like that.” People use it to say “It is what it is” or “That’s how it is.” If you were to search for this phrase in a pronunciation guide, you would find it sounds like “se kom sa.”

It is used to comment on something that can’t be changed. You can say it out of frustration or resignation. In other cases, it can be used to impart wisdom about a fact of life.

Here are some example sentences to illustrate how to use “c’est comme ca” correctly.

  • Everyone dies one day, c’est comme ca.
  • I know you hate going to school, but you have to get an education, c’est comme ca.
  • That’s the reality of role, c’est comme ca.
  • We just have to start the project again, c’est comme ca.
  • Sometimes you try your best and things don’t pan out, c’est comme ca.
  • There’s no point dwelling on it. There’s nothing we can do about it now, c’est comme ca.
  • We have this discussion every single year, you know we have to pay property taxes on time, c’est comme ca.

C’est Comme Ca Synonyms

If you want to vary your vocabulary, below are some English phrases that share the same sentiment:

  • Tough luck.
  • Oh well.
  • That’s life.
  • Such is life.
  • What will be will be.
  • The usual state of affairs.
  • That’s the way of the world.
  • That’s how the world works.
  • That’s reality.
  • That’s how the cookie crumbles.
  • That’s part of the human condition.

Comme Ci, Comme Ca Meaning

As mentioned earlier, “comme ci, comme ça” means that something is so-so; not good or bad. The literal translation is “like this, like that.” It is pronounced “kom-see kom-saw.”

You might say it if someone asked you how your day was and it was uneventful. Below are some example sentences:

  • The holiday wasn’t bad, but I didn’t have a really good time either. It was comme ci, comme ça.
  • The meal was comme ci, comme ça.
  • The concert was only comme ci, comme ça, I couldn’t see the stage very well from my seat.
  • I can’t complain, my week was comme ci, comme ça.
  • My new hairstyle is convenient, that’s all, it’s comme ci, comme ça.

Comme Ci, Comme Ca Synonyms

To avoid repeating this phrase too much in your writing, below are some synonyms for “comme ci, comme ça”:

  • Okay
  • Alright
  • Mediocre
  • Middle-of-the-road
  • Not bad
  • Not great
  • Tolerable
  • Adequate
  • Average
  • Acceptable
  • Passable
  • Decent
  • Unremarkable

Why Do English Speakers Use French Words And Phrases?

William the Conqueror
The French influence on English is believed to have begun in 1066 when William the Conqueror became the first Norman ruler of England following the Battle of Hastings.

As mentioned earlier, linguists estimate that around 30% of English words come from France. Some examples include the following:

  • Artisan
  • Accord
  • Barter
  • Bassinet
  • Cirque
  • Connoisseur
  • Deluxe

While English speakers use a lot of French words and phrases, the English language does not come from France. English is a Germanic language with some influence from Greek and Latin. French is a Romantic language, meaning it descended from Vulgar Latin. Other Romance languages are Romanian, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.

The French influence on English is believed to have begun in 1066 when William the Conqueror became the first Norman ruler of England following the Battle of Hastings. For the next three centuries, French was spoken in British courts and literature. Even though French is no longer spoken in the British courts or monarchy, some of the influence remained.

Another reason for the prevalence of French expressions by modern-day English speakers is that many people think French is a beautiful language. The use of French vocabulary is considered classy.

Below are some more French words and expressions commonly used by English speakers:

  • C’est la vie: That’s life.
  • Oui: Yes.
  • Excusez-moi: Excuse me.
  • Bon appétit: Good appetite or enjoy your meal.
  • Bon soir: Good evening.
  • Au revoir: Goodbye.
  • Bon voyage: Enjoy your trip.
  • Ça va: How’s it going?
  • Qu’est-ce que c’est: What is it?
  • Belle âme: Beautiful soul.
  • Enchanté: Nice to meet you or delighted.

If you liked this post, you may also be interested in our Greek root words and Latin root word lists.

C’est Comme Ca: FAQs

Is “Que Sera, Sera” French?

The saying “Que sera, sera,” meaning “whatever will be will be,” is not French. It has Italian (che sarà sarà) and Spanish (qué será será”) origins.

  • Aisling is an Irish journalist and content creator with a BA in Journalism & New Media. She has bylines in OK! Magazine, Metro, The Inquistr, and the Irish Examiner. She loves to read horror and YA. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.