If you look up the word “horse” in French, you will certainly pretty much always getcheval.

You are watching: What does quand mean in french

But unless you’re often at the races, out in the landscape or in Paris’s finer restaurants, you’re not going to need that word for this reason often.

One the youwillneed come express againand again, though, is “when.”

However,look that one up in her dictionaryand friend will check out it’s a steed of a different color: You can be surprised at the size of sub-entries needed to define all the French translation possibilities and usage requirements.

Two the the main translations that “when” arequandandlorsque, which take center stage in this post.

Since“when” is so frequently used,there’s a good cost-benefit payoff to really mastering the various ways that itmight it is in translated. For this reason saddle up and also let’s get to it!

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The Difference in between Quand, Lorsque and also Other French Words for “When”

Before we move on to the specifics, among the finest ways to find out the difference in between commonly perplexed words is through hearing castle in use by French speakers. You deserve to do this (and so lot more) ~ above yellowcomic.com!


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The offers of quand

This is the most common word girlfriend will usage for “when.” right here are three instances in i beg your pardon you will usequand:

1. You have the right to use it as an interrogative native to form questions.

Quand est-ce que vous avez rendez-vous ? (When execute you have anappointment?)

C’est quand la fin du monde ? (When is the finish of the world?)

2. You can likewise usequandin statements, much like in English, come talk about the correlatingof different things in time.

Je dormais quand il est arrivé. (I was resting when he arrived.)

Dis-moi quand tu arriveras. (Tell me when girlfriend arrive.)

3. An additional important use is for illustration contrasts. This usage is less frequent.

Pourquoi dormir quand la fête bat son plein? (Why sleep when the party is swinging?)

In this third situationhere, girlfriend may also hearalors que used instead.

The uses of lorsque

This word can sometimes sounda bit an ext formal and also even stiff, although you will still hear that in conversation. I hear it often on (the excellent) RFI podcasts, as soon as an expert is holdingforth ~ above an concern of thoughtful or global importance.

Note the lorsqueis not used like the first use ofquand above, come ask questions about when other happens. Yet it does have actually some overlapping uses.

1. Just like quandin allude twoabove, you have the right to uselorsque come talk about temporal correlation.

Je dormais lorsque le monsieurest arrivé. (I was sleeping when the manarrived.)

Dites-moi lorsquevous arriverez. (Tell me when friend (formal) arrive.)

2. Friend can also use lorsqueto attract contrasts, together with allude three for quand above.

On a raison de ne pas voter lorsqu’il faut une révolution. (We are appropriate to not vote when a revolution is needed.)

Note that manyspeakers preferquand because that the usage above, particularly in talked French. Forsome,lorsque gives a emotion of “at the moment when.” However, the over is considered correct.

As girlfriend can additionally see in the above example,lorsqueloses its final “e” whenthe following word starts v a collection or a mute “h,” being changed by an apostrophe. This is obligatory.

The provides of à quelle heure

À quelle heure is the indistinguishable of “at what time” and also it is provided to questioning questions. It’s common to usage this phrase for talking about the time that something wake up in French (whereas in English we would regularly just speak “when”).

À quelle heure est le rendez-vous ? (At what time/when is the meeting?)

À quelle heure on fait la fête ? (At what time/when carry out we party?)

Remember the whilequandcan certainly refer come time, it can be far better touse this more precise phrase when you want to ask about the really time that something is happening. Posing the inquiry with justquand will periodically net girlfriend the day but not the hour. French civilization are not purposely trying come frustrate you through this, they just tend to think of quand together referring more to the day that something happens quite than the time.

Other usual quandvariants come be mindful of

Quand même

This is an extremely common and likewise rather tricky for French learners. Its interpretations can it is in something favor “even if,” “even though,” “all the same” or “even so.”

C’était bien, mais j’étais quand même fatigué. (It to be good, even thoughI to be tired.)

C’était quand même bien. (It was great even so.)

Il est venu quand même. (He come anyway.) — Perhaps in spite of not gift invited, because that example.

It can also just be an intensifier.

C’est bon, tu peux quand même dare taire. (Okay, you have the right to just close up door up.)

Mais quand même ! (Oh god, enough already!/That’s shocking!)

N’importe quand

This literally translates to “not crucial when,” but often have the right to be best translated together “anytime.”

Ça peut arriver n’importe quand. (This can take place anytime/whenever.)

Incidentally, your various other French concern words have the right to be combined withn’importein the very same way. For this reason you deserve to be simply as carefree v what/who/where/etc.: n’importe quoi(anything),n’importe qui(anyone), n’importe (anywhere), etc.

Practice: Talking about when things happen in French

At this point you should have actually a quite clear expertise of the key uses forquand,lorsqueand their siblings, but all of that is unsecured if friend can’t correctly employ the native in context. In particular, it’s valuable to exercise the more nebulous uses, likequand même together an intensifier—you at some point have come hear and also use it enough that you just obtain a feel for it.

Here room some methods you can practice the offers above. I’m assuming the you are currently designing your own language lessons with a teacher or a language exchange partner; if girlfriend don’t have one you must of course get one online!

First that all, friend can try out quand.This is an possibility to exercise not just forming questions, however to use whatever tenses you have actually been recently working on. Because that example, if you have actually recently learned the previous tense you have the right to transform the an initial example question over to ask your partner:

Quand est-ce que vous avez eu rendez-vous ? (When did you have actually anappointment?)

Then you can ask her partner other things about when things occurred in the past, together as:

déménager (moving)apprendre l’anglais(learning English)goûter un très bon vin (trying a very great wine)

These are an easy examples, but it’s much better for retention if you can ask around things that you personally uncover interesting/compelling/funny. Therefore if ns weredoing this exercise, I might replace great wine v cognac, huîtres(oysters) oruntowardadventures due to the fact that I’m an ext likely to important care around the response, and also thus take care to both kind the inquiry correctly and also really understand and also remember what is said.

Then,take the very same things the you asked her partnerabout andtalk about when they taken place to friend and what someone else was doing when theywere going on(lorsqueorquand are both well here).

Finally, take one more look in ~ the instances ofquand même. Try to follow the design sentences, while substituting actual things native your very own life to make new ones. If this one seems tricky, ask your language partner for instances of once theyhaverecently offered the phrase, and then shot mimicking the phrase precisely while substituting a indigenous or two to do it pertinent for you. For example, if your partner says:

Je ne parle pas bien russe, mais je vais quand même essayer. (I don’t speak Russian well, however I’m walk to shot anyway.)

You could say:

Je ne parle pas bienfrançais, mais je vais quand même essayer. (I don’t speak Frenchwell, yet I’m walk to try anyway.)

And don’t forget tobe top top the lookout for any type of of these words andphraseswhile you clock TV shows, review magazines or connect with any type of other native French content. The cool tune “Papaoutai,”for example,has a beautifullorsqu’right in the third line!

I hope the this gives you a an excellent jumping off suggest for discovering the uses ofquand,lorsqueand associated words, as well as a pattern that you have the right to use for practicing these and also other varieties of indigenous that have lots of uses and also translations which don’t exactly enhance up to your English versions.

With any kind of luck, your next trip come a dictionary entry that includes a few pages will be a small less dispiriting.

See more: How Many Inches Is 900 Mm To Inches, 900 Mm To Inches

Mose Hayward is a language-learning addict who has been bouncing approximately Europe because that years. He has his own blog around French romance, cocktails and also gluttony, among other hazards.

Download: This blog article is available as a convenient and portable PDF the youcan take anywhere. Click right here to gain a copy. (Download)