I just said to my colleague:

Tu as fini par regretter de t’en être débarrassée, de tous ces fichiers ? Ça fera toujours ça de moins à organiser, pas vrai ?

I instinctively went for « ça » for lack of a better word, only to realise in hindsight that this phrasing wouldn't cut it in writing or more formal speech. How would you paraphrase this part accordingly? I'm not talking about simply swapping « ça » for « cela », but rather a more fundamental change.

  • I don't know if it's relevant to say this or if you're trying to have a generic answer, but I can't for the life of me think of a context where "ça" is too informal but the rest of the sentence is fine. Doubling the complement ("tu t'en es débarassée, de tous ces fichiers") is less formal than "ça fera toujours ça de moins" to me. May 30, 2017 at 23:49
  • @TeleportingGoat Nice point you've raised there! I didn't reliase this "chose" in Stéphane Gimenez's answer was meant to be construed as a substitute for general things rather than one particular thing. I'm so used to expressing the "general things"-idea in the plural that its intended meaning eluded me. For instance, I would say the following in the plural: May 31, 2017 at 4:26
  • Both are correct but lean different things. "Des fichiers" can be "une chose" or "des choses" depending on what you're saying. May 31, 2017 at 11:02

1 Answer 1


Here is a rather simple formal phrasing:

Cela fera une chose de moins à organiser.

  • Hi. Is it possible to swap in some other word or phrase that denotes a vague quantity, just like « ça {that much} » does? May 30, 2017 at 17:46
  • 'ça' may be fairly informal, but it's not the 19th century any more, it's perfectly acceptable in writing. Maybe not in a cover letter for a stuck-up organization :-). But if you have a good point for it, like needing to connote a vague quantity, there's no reason not to use it.
    – user13512
    May 30, 2017 at 19:16
  • 1
    @Alone-zee: Autant de moins seems possible as well. A little less natural though. May 30, 2017 at 19:28
  • @Alone-zee "Une chose" works very well in this sentence. A "chose" can be a group of things. May 30, 2017 at 23:44

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