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The French They Never Taught You 20: Là and Voilà

July 7, 2015

They teach you that ici is "here" and is "there."  Voici means "here is" and voilà is "there is." That is true, as far as it goes. But and voilà can be used in ways in French where "there" or "there is" won't work in English. 

 

Notice how French uses être là. These sentences have to be completely recast in English:

Le fait est là. That's the fact of the matter.

Les choses en sont là. That's how things stand.

Les faits sont là. The facts speak for themselves.

Tout le pari est là. That's what's at stake.

L'affaire en est là. There's the stage things have reached.

Le résultat est là : l'inflation est tombée à 5 %. There is no doubt about the result: inflation has fallen to 5%.

 

Voilà qui is another common expression:

Voilà qui est louche. That's a bid odd/suspicious.

Voilà qui promet beaucoup de plaisir. That promises to be a lot of fun.

Voilà qui s'appelle jouer ! Now that's what I call playing!

Voilà qui est clair maintenant. Now I get it!

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