Why have we chosen C'est parti?
C’est parti is a useful little phrase that crops up all the time… right at the beginning of things.
You'll also spot it in headlines from time to time.
So, what exactly does it mean?
C’est parti literally means ‘it has left’, but it is commonly used in spoken French to get something going or to say that something has started.
If you followed last summer’s football World Cup (won by Les Blues, of course) you will have heard this expression all the time from commentators, moments after kick off as a way of saying ‘and they’re off!’
In more everyday circumstances you might hear it used at work to mean something like ‘let’s go’ or ‘here we go’.
For example, C’est aujourd’hui le lancement de notre project. C’est parti! (Our new product launches today. Here we go!).
As this expression is informal you may well also hear it used regularly between friends or family members at the start of small events like car journeys, holidays or even a meals, such as Tout le monde est prêt? C’est parti! (Is everybody ready? Let’s get going!)
C’est+ the past participle (in this case, of the verb partir) is a pretty common structure in French but despite the fact that it contains a past participle, c’est parti can only be used in this form to describe things that are happening in the present moment.
From the headline above:
Foire Internationale de Metz: C'est parti pour dix jours – Metz International Fair – Here we go for ten days!
C’est parti pour cinq jours au soleil! – It’s time for five days of sun!
On va au déjuner? – C’est parti! – Shall we go for lunch? – Lets go!