The French phrase "Combien ça coûte" explained

You are in the right place to find out everything you have to know about the basic French phrase “Combien ça coûte”.

Including a detailed explanation of what it is and how you can use it in a dialogue with an audio example. And also the cool things we sprinkled like synonym, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

Oh and on this page you will find our others phrases explained plus the list of all our French words tutorials on this page. Wish you a good learning!

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French to English

Pronunciation example

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean?


“Combien ça coûte ?” is the common way to say “How much is it?” in French

It’s composed of:

  • Combien → How much / How many*
  • ça → it
  • coûte ? → costs

*In French, we have only one word for “how much” and “how many“. So when talking about money, “combien” naturally has the meaning of “how much“.

How to use it

There are three different ways to ask “How much does it cost?” in French, your choice will depend on the context (formal, neutral or informal).

  • Formal: Ça coûte combien ? / Combien ça coûte ? → How much does it cost?
  • Neutral: C’est combien ? / Combien c’est ?→ How much is it?
  • Informal: Combien ? → How much?

Synonyms and similarities

  • Ça coûte combien ? → How much does it cost?
  • C’est combien ?→ How much is it?
  • Combien c’est ?→ How much is it?
  • Combien ? → How much?

Example in a story with slow French audio

Now, let’s see a complete example of this sentence in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Prêt pour le rendez-vous
Ready for the date
Nicolas n’avait jamais été attiré par les rencontres en ligne.
Nicolas had never been attracted by online dating.
Mais il avait fini par essayer…
But he ended up trying…
Après quelques conversations, il avait trouvé une fille qui lui plaisait, Johanna.
After several conversations, he had found a girl he liked, Johanna.
Ils ont décidé de se rencontrer le lendemain.
They decided to meet the next day.
Comme c’était nouveau pour Nicolas, il ne voulait faire aucune erreur.
Since it was new to Nicolas, he didn’t want to make any mistakes.
Alors il commença à repasser sa chemise préférée.
So he started to iron his favorite shirt.
Mais quelqu’un l’appela et il répondit….
But someone called him and he answered…
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