How to Use the French Expression 'Quand Même'

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

Woman climber hanging from the side of a cliff
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.