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Expression: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
Pronunciation: plu sa sha(n)zh plu say la mem shoz
Meaning: the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Literal translation: more it changes, more it's the same thing.
How to Use Plus ça Change
The pessimistic French expression plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose is very often cut down to just the first clause: plus ça change… / "the more things change… " The shortened French expression is often used in English too, particularly British English.
In either language, plus ça change indicates a certain disillusionment or resignation regarding whatever is being talked about. A company makes all kinds of policy changes, for example, but the personnel issues are unaffected. A couple go to marriage counseling, but continue fighting about everything. A new sheriff comes to town, but there is no noticeable impact on crime. New people, new promises, but the same old problems - plus ça change…
- 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