5

I am playing a correspondence chess game, and I would like to say to my opponent, "How complicated!" in reference to the position. How would I go about saying this in French?

I plugged it into Google Translate and it gives me Quelle complication! This uses a noun, not an adjective, and I was wondering whether there is a closer French equivalent.

  • @Alone-zee I actually figured that out after I suggested the edit and then couldn't find a way to undo my suggestion. Feel free to discard my edit. – ktm5124 Oct 11 '17 at 6:39
4

I'd use the following:

Qu'est-ce que c'est compliqué !

Ce que c'est compliqué !

Mais c'est que c'est compliqué !

Que c’est compliqué !

Que de complexité !

Quelle complexité !

Comme c’est compliqué(, ça) !

Combien compliqué !

(Mais) ô combien compliqué !

  • 5
    In French they'd never say combien compliqué. Quelle complexité exists but I would not use it here. – Laure Oct 4 '17 at 6:19
  • @Laure Hi. Wouldn't you use "Combien compliqué !" as a short cut to saying "Combien c'est compliqué !"? I heard this "combien" construction used in Switzerland. :) – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Oct 4 '17 at 6:31
  • 5
    In France Que c'est compliqué (not combien) is the most common way to express it. – Laure Oct 4 '17 at 6:39
  • C'est ben compliqué ton move (ou ton affaire) là ;-) – user3177 Oct 13 '17 at 14:13
4

I would tend to say “Comme c'est compliqué !” or “Ce que c'est compliqué !”. The second sentence can be shortened to “Que c'est compliqué !”, or lengthened to “Que'est-ce que c'est compliqué”, without any change in meaning or usage (except that because “qu'est-ce que c'est …” is longer, it's also slightly more emphatic).

In this particular case, “Comme c'est …” and “Ce que c'est …” are interchangeable, but this is not always the case. I'm having a hard time identifying the difference, but there are cases where I would tend to use rather than the other, and others where both are equally possible.

Regarde la toile que j'ai peinte. — Comme elle est jolie !
Voici ma maison. — Comme / Ce qu'elle est grande !
J'attends depuis des heures. Comme c'est long !
(Ce) qu'il fait chaud aujourd'hui ! Comme c'est étrange !
Comme c'est gentil !

I feel that “comme c'est X” emphasizes that the binary quality X (it's X or not X) is remarkable, whereas “que c'est X” emphasizes that X is true to a high degree. In many cases there is no material distinction between the two, but sometimes one works better than the other. But I'm not sure if this explains all the examples.

“Ce que c'est …” can get further emphasis by expanding it to “Ce que ça peut être …”.

Ce que ça peut être compliqué !
Ce que cette position peut être compliquée !

But:

Comme cette position est compliquée !

3

Here is a simple one with an overtone of irony:

C'est bien compliqué!

Or more colloquial:

C'est super compliqué!

C'est dingue ce que ça peut être compliqué!

1

There's a good general answer already, but to complement it with more colloquial (and ungrammatical) language:

Comment c'est compliqué !

Trop compliqué ! (Trop literally means "too much" but can be used to mean "very")

Abusé comme c'est compliqué !

-3

One that Alone-Zee didn't mention too you is:

comment compliqué

  • 2
    No, French speakers would never say that. – Gilles Oct 18 '17 at 19:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.