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More on Greetings

Let’s break down Comment vas-tu ?, Comment allez-vous ?, and Ça va.

comment how
ça (before a vowel, ça changes to c’) it, that, this
ça va it goes
tu vas you go (familiar)
vous allez you go (polite)

Aller (to go) in Greetings

As you can see, French often uses forms of to go in greetings, similar to How’s it going? or It’s going fine in English.

Comment allez-vous ?/Comment vas-tu ? How are you? (literally, How are you going?)
Ça va. I’m fine. (literally, It’s going./It goes.)

You’ll learn more about to go in Lesson 8. And wondering why the order of tu vas and vous allez is reversed in those questions? That’s actually just one way of forming a question in French.