French Expression of the Day: en masse

French Expression of the Day: en masse
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This is one of those expressions that has successfully made the journey into the anglophone world. But do you know what it really means?

Why do I need to know en masse?

This is one of those expressions used in both English and French.

You might have head it thrown around a lot — and you may have even adopted it yourself. Here's a look at this very common expression and its origins. 

So, what does en masse actually mean?

En masse is an adverb which has its origins in French literature, it literally means “in a mass”. 

So when it's used in both English and French it means 'all together', 'as a group', 'in a body', 'as one', 'as a whole', 'in a mass'.

Basically when you do something en masse everyone does it together.

For example: Les investisseurs étrangers se retireraient en masse. — 'Foreign investors would pull out en masse'. 

Or, Les membres des communautés tribales votent souvent en masse pour le même candidat, habituellement le fils d'un des chefs de tribu. — Members of tribal communities often voted en masse for the same candidate, usually the son of one of the tribal leaders.

How to pronounce it

Here's a handy YouTube video to make sure you're pronouncing correctly. 

 
 
 

 

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