French Expression of the Day: comme d’hab

French Expression of the Day: comme d’hab
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Comme d’hab, the Local is here to explain the French expressions you hear all the time, but aren’t quite sure how to use..

Why do I need to know comme d’hab?

The handy little phrase will let you emphasize the routine or repeated nature of any occurrence or situation. And is a handy response to the most common French question: “ca va?”

What does it mean?

In French there are many slang shortcuts and like petit dej (breakfastand Bon app (enjoy your meal), comme d'hab is one of them

Comme d’hab is a shortened version of comme d’habitude, meaning ‘as usual’, 'as always' or ‘same as ever’. It is pronounced ‘com dab’ and can stand on its own or be used as an adverbial phrase to describe an action or situation.

For example, comme d’hab is a common response to the ubiquitous ça va?, and can save you a good deal of explaining :

(Comment) ça va ? – ‘How’s it going?’ Oui ca va comme d’hab. – ‘Yeh OK, same as ever.’

Or if a certain behavior has become so frequent that it is habitual, you can emphasize that by adding in a comme d’hab:

Il est déjà 10 heures, et, comme d’hab, Mylène n’est pas encore arrivée  – ‘It’s already 10 o’clock, and, as usual, Mylène hasn’t arrived yet.’

The same goes for commonplace situations:

J’ai cherché de quoi manger, mais, comme d’hab, il n’y avait rien ouvert dimanche soir – ‘I looked for something to eat, but, as always, there was nothing open on Sunday evening’.

As you can see, if the behavior or situation being described is a negative one, comme d’hab can take on and even multiply that negative connotation.


Saying the complete version of the phrase, comme d’habitude, makes it less colloquial and may be more appropriate for more formal situations.

Comme toujours or à l'accoutumée are also alternative manners of communicating the same idea, though none of these is as concise and catchy as comme d’hab.

To give you a few more examples, we’ll leave you with Claude François’s 1967 hit Comme d’habitude, which may sound familiar, as it was later adapted into an English-language hit by the likes of Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra, and Sid Vicious:

by Edward O'Reilly

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