How to Use the French Expression 'Quand Même'

The English equivalent is 'anyway,' 'even so,' 'nevertheless'

Je l'ai fait quand même.
Je l'ai fait quand même. Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

Quand même, pronounced ka(n) mehm, is a versatile adverbial expression, one of the most common in the French language, that means many things: "anyway," "even so," "all the same," "nevertheless," "really," "finally," "how about that!"

'Quand Même' and Its Synonyms

In France, you'd hear the useful adverbial phrase quand même several times a day, every day, and each time you might deduce a new meaning.

"Even so" seems to be one of the most frequent meanings, one that quand même shares with tout de même, although you hear quand même more often.

A synonym in the sense of "all the same" or "even so" is the adverbial phrase malgré tout.

That said, quand même is also a conjunction (along with quand bien même) meaning "even if" or "even though," as in: "We're coming even if we're late."  

Examples of 'Quand Même' as Adverbial Expression

  • C'était quand même bien. > It was still good. / It was good all the same.
  • Je pense qu'il ne viendra pas, mais je l'inviterai quand même. > I don't think he'll come, but I'll invite him all the same.
  • Tu pourrais faire attention quand même ! > You really should be more careful !
  • J'avais peur, mais je l'ai fait quand même.> I was afraid, but I did it anyway.
  • Merci quand même. > Thanks anyway.
  • C'est quand même difficile. > All the same / Even so / Actually / Still, it's really hard.
  • Quand même ! > Really! / Honestly! (disbelief, outrage)
  • Je suis enceinte. > I'm pregnant.
    Quand même ! > How about that!
  • Oui, mais quand même ! > Yes, but still!
  • Quel idiot, quand même ! > Really, what an idiot!
  • Elle est polie, quand même. > At least she's polite.
  • Quand même, tu aurais pu me prévenir ! > Hey, you could have warned me!
  • Tu ne vas pas sécher les cours, quand même ! > Come on, you're not really going to play hooky!
  • Il ne veut pas vivre seul quand même. > He doesn't want to live alone, does he? (rhetorical)
  • Tu as nettoyé ta chambre quand même. > You finally cleaned your room.
  • Tu aurais dû quand même me consulter. > Even if I wouldn't have agreed, you should still have consulted me.
  • Cela semble évident mais attention quand même. > This seems obvious, but be careful anyway.
  • Pas trop quand même, grâce à toi. > Not too much though, thanks to you.

Additional Resources

Quand vs lorsque
All about même
Most common French phrases

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Lawless, Laura K. "How to Use the French Expression 'Quand Même'." ThoughtCo, Aug. 2, 2017, thoughtco.com/quand-meme-1371360. Lawless, Laura K. (2017, August 2). How to Use the French Expression 'Quand Même'. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/quand-meme-1371360 Lawless, Laura K. "How to Use the French Expression 'Quand Même'." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/quand-meme-1371360 (accessed November 18, 2017).