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What does the phrase comme toi mean (in the following context)? According to google, it means “like you”. But it is not clear to me. Context: In a conversation between two friends (coming out of theatre) one appreciates the actors and the other replies by this

Bruno: Quel talent! Ils dansent, ils chansent, ils jouent la comédie… Pourtant, ce ne sont pas des professionels!

Nadége: Comme toi!

Does it mean:

  • That he likes the play as well as the first friend?
  • He says it because he knows that the first friend has a habit of appreciating plays (no matter they are actually good or bad)?
  • They (the actors) are amateurs (non-professionals) just like you are?
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The “meaning” is highly dependent on the sentence to which this phrase responds. It is just as ambiguous as “like you” in English. –  Stéphane Gimenez Aug 20 '13 at 15:45
You could edit your question to ask about the meaning of "comme toi" in this context/dialogue. I am actually curious about its meaning here as well. I wondering if Nadege could be expressing agreement? I have never seen agreement expressed like this in French, but it for some reason my brain goes to that meaning - still I am unsure. –  Patrick Sebastien Aug 20 '13 at 16:06
Yes, in fact it could also mean «they (the actors) are amatuers just like you» –  Abhimanyu Arora Aug 20 '13 at 16:10
With no additional context, I understand it as “they are not professionals like you are”. But as you can see, interpretations differ. The context would probably make it clear which of the several possible meanings applies. –  Gilles Aug 20 '13 at 20:59
The answer of Nadége can also be rephrase as : "Bruno, your comments can be applied to yourself". meaning more than "You're a non-professionals". Bruno is talented, he can dance,sing and play. A classic french way to practice the irony. –  Emmanuel Devaux Aug 23 '13 at 17:28
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

In such contexts, chances are that “Comme toi !” is used to express “Je pense exactement la même chose que toi !” (I think the very exact same thing as you do!). It's a commonly used shortcut in familiar speech. However, as noticed in the comments, the first line resorts to rather formal language and consequently the likeliness of such a reply is quite low.

Another possibility: It could be that Nadège is following up on Bruno's sentence. Pourtant, ce ne sont pas des professionels… comme toi ! Nadège is then implying either that Bruno is a reference professional, or more likely that he is like them, i.e. dancing, singing, playing, without being a professional. Without additional context, the intention remains unclear though.

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I don't feel it works very well with the formality of the first line of dialogue. Comme toi for “Je pense comme toi” is rather familiar, while Bruno's line sounds like a review in a magazine. –  Evpok Aug 20 '13 at 16:22
Indeed, this tone and register change is puzzling me a little as well. –  Stéphane Gimenez Aug 20 '13 at 16:26
+1 "Comme toi" could basically mean "Same here !" though I rarely hear it, at least in France. –  guillaume31 Aug 23 '13 at 13:20
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