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French Expression of the Day: Quand même

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French Expression of the Day: Quand même
Photo: Depositphotos
12:14 CEST+02:00
Here's another French expression that you'll see pop up here, there and everywhere. This is what it means.
Why do I need to know quand même?
 
Quand même seemingly can be (and is) thrown into conversations all over the place to mean a range of different things.
 
Getting to grips with expressive phrase will add liven up your French conversation skills.
 
What does it mean?
 
The translation of quand même (‘when even’) doesn’t make it easy to glean the meaning of this expression, and given that it can mean so many things, intonation and context are key to understanding it in conversation.
 
One of the most common uses of quand même is to show you’re surprised by something (the same way you might use ‘really?’ in English.) This can be in a positive or negative sense. 
 
For example, tu peux gagner €2000 (‘you could win €2000’) or ça va coûter €2000 (‘it’ll cost €2000’) could both elicit a surprised Quand même! in response.
 
Another meaning for quand même is ‘even so’ or ‘anyway.’ In a sentence you might hear it used like Je pense qu’il est déjà parti, mais je vais y aller quand même. (‘I think he’s already left but I’m going to go there anyway.’)
 
You might use Merci quand même (‘thanks anyway’ or ‘thanks for trying’) with someone who attempts but fails to help you with something. Pay attention to intonation though, because this phrase can also be used sarcastically if someone hasn’t made enough of an effort to help.
 
Another use for quand même is an intensifier to add emphasis to an opinion like c’est beau, quand même (‘it’s really beautiful’) or c’est quand meme difficile (It’s really difficult.)
 
Finally, quand même can also mean… finally. For example, J’ai fait le ménage. - Ah, quand même! (- ‘I’ve done the cleaning.’ – ‘Finally!’)
 
How can I use quand même?
 
Tu arrives, quand même! ça fait une heure que je t'attends.
 
You’ve finally arrived! I’ve been waiting an hour.
 
Un amis, c'est quelqu'un qui vous connaît bien et qui vous aime quand même.
 
A friend is someone who knows you well and likes you anyway.
 
Timide, moi? Oh non, quand même pas.
 
Me, shy? No, not really.
 
(The above examples are from wordreference.com)
 
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