Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Plus ça change
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Pessimistic French Expression

Meaning The more things change, the more they stay the same
Literally More it changes, more it’s the same thing
Register normal
Pronunciation [plu sah sha(n)zh plu say lah mem shoz]
IPA   [ply sa ʃãʒ ply se la mɛm ʃoz]

Usage notes: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose offers a pessimistic look at current events, expressing dissatisfaction and reluctant acceptance of the status quo. It can be used in reference to anything at any scale, from personal to international.

Par exemple…

– J’ai mis à jour mon ordi mais il marche toujours lentement.
– Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose !
  – I upgraded my computer but it’s still running slowly.
– The more things change, the more they stay the same!
Ce n’est pas la peine de regarder l’actualité, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.   It’s not worth watching the news, it’s always the same thing.

Variations

  • Plus ça change …* – The more things change …
  • Plus ça change, plus ça reste le même – literally, "The more it changes, the more it stays the same"
  • Plus ça change, plus c’est pareil – "The more it changes, the more it’s the same"
  • Plus ça change (et) moins ça change – "The more it changes (and) the less it changes"

 * While the full expression is sometimes used in British English, this shortened version is more common.

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Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

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