In entry #1040, we saw a common expression underused by learners of French: ça se peut. It means that’s possible.
In today’s post, let’s look at another common expression learners of French tend not to use.
This week, I returned an item I’d bought at a store. As the cashier was processing the return, she asked me to sign a form and to write in a reason for the return. She explained it didn’t really matter what the reason was; I just needed to write in anything. She said:
Ça prend juste une raison.
You just need (to provide) a reason.
Ça prend is used frequently in spoken language, but it’s usually not taught to learners of French. You’ve probably learned il faut, but not ça prend. They mean the same thing.
Pour magasiner en ligne, ça prend une carte de crédit.
You need a credit card to shop online.
Pour aller en Turquie, ça prend un billet d’avion.
You need a plane ticket to go to Turkey.
Ça prend literally means it takes (it takes a credit card; it takes a plane ticket), which is sometimes used in English too:
Ça prend du guts pour apprendre le français.
It takes guts to learn French.