D'ailleurs: French Expression Explained

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The French expression d'ailleurs (pronounced [da yeur]) can mean besides, moreover; for that matter; might I add, or by the way. It has a normal register and literally translates to "from elsewhere."​

Explanation and Examples

The adverbial French expression ​d'ailleurs literally means "besides" or "moreover," but it also has two other uses:

  1. It can be used to add a bit of interesting but non-essential information, the way you might say "might I add" or "by the way."
  1. It's often tacked on to sentences with no real meaning—it's kind of a filler, like the English word "so."

Examples

  • Je n'ai pas réussi à l'examen, et d'ailleurs je dois admettre que je n'ai même pas révisé.
    I didn't pass the test, and I have to admit that, moreover, I didn't even study.
  • Moi non plus, d'ailleurs.
    Me neither, for that matter.
  • Ton château de sable, magnifique d'ailleurs, ne peut pas durer avec ces fondations.
    Your sand castle, which by the way is magnificent, can't last on that foundation.
  • J'ai parlé à Jean, d'ailleurs il a maigri, et il va venir vers midi.
    I talked to Jean, who has lost weight, by the way, and he'll be here around noon.
  • D'ailleurs, on y va ?
    So anyway, are we going?

Usage

D'ailleurs is the required contraction of the preposition de (of, from, about) plus the adverb ailleurs (elsewhere, somewhere else).