The French sentence "Comme-ci comme-ça" revealed

On this page, we are going to explain you everything you ever wanted to know about the funny French sentence “Comme-ci comme-ça”.

More precisely, it includes a full guide of what it is and how to use it in a casual conversation with an audio example. But wait, we also sprinkled useful things like slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example, synonyms and more!

If you are interested, you can also find our others sentences guides on this page and the complete directory of all our French words content on this page. Wishing you a good learning!

Table of Contents

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English translation

Pronunciation guide

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

Comme-ci, comme-ça meaning

Definition

The literal meaning is:

  • Comme → Like/As
  • Ci → That/This
  • Comme → Like/As
  • Ça → That/This

It’s basically a funny way for French people to say “So-so“, very similar to another French expression with the same meaning “Couci-couça“.

How to use it

It’s useful when someone asks for your opinion, but you don’t have a firm point of view on the topic. When you can’t (or don’t want to) decide between “It’s lame” and ” It’s amazing“. It’s a very neutral answer.

For example, you are asked: “Tu aimes ma nouvelle coiffure ?” (Do you like my new haircut?) but you have mixed feelings about it, then you can say: “Comme-ci comme-ça” (So-so).

Fun stuff

Where is this coming from? To find the answer, we need to travel to… Italy!

In Italian: “Così così” means “So-so“, then French people started to use something similar: “Couci-couci“, which became with time: “Couci-couça“. That’s already far fetched, right? But wait! That’s not over!

“Couci-couça” is an expression made of words that doesn’t exist in French (“Couci” and “Couça“). But is does sounds a lot like words we actually use… Comme… ci… comme… ça !

Boom. This is how you create an expression!

N.B. Nowadays, you can still use “Couci-couça” but “Couci-couci” disappeared.

Synonyms and similarities

  • Couci-couça. (“So-so“)
  • Bof bof. (“So-so“)
  • Bof. (“So-so“)

Everyday life dialogue example

Audio dialogue by French natives

Dialogue audio

Dialogue text

” J’ai regardé ce film dont tout le monde parle “
” I watched this movie everybody is talking about “
” Alors, c’est rigolo ? “
” So, is it funny? “
” Comme ci, comme ça “
” So-so “
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