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Vous veillez sur nous en permanence. Il n’y a que quelqu'un de vraiment gentil pour en faire autant. That's what does it for me.

This colloquial English expression means:

= That's what pleases / impresses / inspires etc me (about you).

= C'est ça qui me plaît (en vous).

I came across the following three phrases, but I’m not sure if they really capture the meaning of the original English expression.

1: Ça me branche.

2 : Ça me botte.

3 : Ça m'interpelle.

  • Sorry, but That's what IT does for me and That's what YOU do for me are not the same thing at all. /That's what IT does for me/ has to refer to an activity or thing. Please clarify your question. – Lambie Jan 10 '17 at 1:24
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    @Lambie Hi. I'm afraid I fail to see your point here... "That's what does it for me {= That's what pleases/impresses/inspires/etc me}" is the very expression that I want to use here. And it is an entirely different expression from saying "That's what it does / you do for me". Your phrase is used completely differently: "Cleaning my room – that's what it{this robot} does / you do for me". – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Jan 10 '17 at 2:23
  • For example (in Line 8): capitalgazette.com/neighborhoods/… – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Jan 10 '17 at 2:23
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    Here is my issue: You say that /That's what does it for me/ means That's what I like about you. That's not correct at all so my objection is correct. That's what DOES IT for me means: That's what turns me on OR That's what satisfies me (some desire I have). That's what DOES IT FOR ME, does mean: Cela me branche. – Lambie Jan 10 '17 at 17:20
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    Beware of matching the langage levels - you couldn't say "Vous veillez sur nous en permanence. Il n’y a que quelqu'un de vraiment gentil pour en faire autant. Ça me branche.". The last sentence is a different language register. – Frank Jan 11 '17 at 16:13
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"That's what does it for me"

word by word translates to:

C'est ça qui le fait pour moi.

This resemble the French casual expression:

Ça le fait → It is properly/well done, it is the right way

but it is not exactly what the English one means.

Your translation is quite good, and likely the one I would have suggested too:

C'est ça qui me plaît.

All three alternatives you found have issues:

Ça me branche → "I'm interested about doing something (in the future)."

Ça me botte → "I like it a lot" but very outdated.

Ça m'interpelle → Frowned upon, "I'm concerned about it; I feel the need to react."

Other suggestions can be:

  • C'est (ça) mon trip. colloquial but doesn't work when followed by "chez toi".

  • C'est (ça) mon truc. common, same issue with chez toi.

  • C'est ça que je kiffe. This is banlieues slang going mainstream but it isn't usable by everyone and far too colloquial.

Note that your introduction is too formal French to be followed by anything colloquial. To stay in the tone, that would be:

Vous veillez sur nous en permanence. Il n’y a que quelqu'un de vraiment gentil pour en faire autant. C'est ce que j'apprécie particulièrement chez vous.

  • Duh. I was wondering whether it should be tutoies and vouvoies since you conjugate French verbs in English :-) Or… perhaps tutoyez and vovoyez? Errr. – Stéphane Gimenez Jan 9 '17 at 20:56
  • @StéphaneGimenez Yes, trying to mix French conjugated verbs with English was a failure, fixed. Thanks ! – jlliagre Jan 9 '17 at 22:37
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    "c'est ça qui" suggests the person you are talking to already know you like her/him, whereas "c'est ce qui" doesn't have this meaning. To me at least. – Anne Aunyme Jan 10 '17 at 14:14
  • @AnneAunyme Yes, that's an interesting nuance and I agree with you about it. – jlliagre Jan 10 '17 at 14:53
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    @jlliagre Surfing really does IT for me. Skiing really does it for me veut bien dire: Faire du surf me branche. Je pense que That what does it for me veut bien dire: X me branche. X me satisfait (pas très jolie) mais c'est ça que l'expression veut dire. Il y avait un malentendu pour l'anglais dans la question.... – Lambie Jan 10 '17 at 17:23
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Your translation of the meaning:

C'est ça qui me plaît en vous.

is actually more appropriate than the other suggestions you make. You could, however, change it a bit like this:

C'est ce qui me plaît en vous.

Using "ça" puts a lot of emphasis on the object (the fact he/she is watching over you): it's like saying "It is that thing, that I like about you". On the other hand, using "ce" puts more emphasis on the "vous" at the end of the sentence: it is like saying "This is what makes me like you". Using "ce" also feels a bit more natural.

You could shorten without ambiguity it by using just:

C'est ce qui me plaît.

This gives much more importance to the "plaît" word, and produces more impact, overall.

Regarding your suggestions, I fully agree with jlliagre. The first two are quite outdated, and none of them would fit well.

  • Je dirais plus "chez vous" que "en vous" – Teleporting Goat Jan 9 '17 at 14:30
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    Je trouve que le "en vous" a une connotation plus intime. Pour exagérer, "chez vous" penche plus dans le registre de la plaisanterie que dans la déclaration d'amour. Mais les deux sont corrects, en effet. – dim Jan 9 '17 at 14:35
  • "C'est ce qui me plait" feels a lot more correct than "C'est ça qui me plaît en vous.". Maybe it's just a matter of taste. That "ça qui" does not quite feel right to my French ear. "C'est ce qui" sounds a lot better to me. – Frank Jan 11 '17 at 16:08
  • @Frank I agree, especially when written. But it is still correct, and if you imagine it spoken, with a lot of emphasis on the "ça", it makes sense. The intent is a bit different, though. – dim Jan 11 '17 at 16:16
  • @dim - yes, it is correct, absolutely... when speaking :-) – Frank Jan 11 '17 at 17:01
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Contemporary and idiomatic? Just the simple word "cool". But, like some of the suggestions above that wouldn't mesh with the OP's example too well:

Vous veillez sur nous en permanence. Il n’y a que quelqu'un de vraiment gentil pour en faire autant. C'est ca que je kiffe.

No, you couldn't say that IMHO, the language register/level is not the same.

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