Au cas où

Au cas où
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French Expression

Meaning (just) in case
Literally in the case where
Register normal
Pronunciation [oh kah oo]
(forbidden liaison)
IPA   [o ka u]

Usage notes: Au cas où is one of those French expressions you need to learn "just in case." (See what I did there?) The normal way to use it is in front of a clause with a verb in the conditional.

Par exemple…

J’apporte un pull, au cas où il ferait froid.   I’m bringing a sweater in case it’s cold out.
Au cas où tu dépenserais tout ton argent, je te donne ma carte de crédit.   In case you spend all of your money, I’m giving you my credit card.

Variation: juste au cas où

Synonyms

  • dans le cas où
  • des fois que
  • pour le cas où

Informally, au cas où is added to the end of a sentence as a sort of filler when the reason doesn’t need to be stated explicitly.

Par exemple…

J’apporte un pull, au cas où.   I’m bringing a sweater, just in case.
Je te donne ma carte de crédit au cas où.   I’m giving you my credit card, just in case.

Synonym

  • à tout hasard

 Related lessons


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Au cas où

The Subjunctivisor!

Does au cas où require the subjunctive?

No, au cas où does not take the subjunctive:

Par exemple…

J’amènerai un pull au cas où il ferait froid.
I’ll bring a sweater in case it’s cold.

Au cas où is always followed by the conditional (as is dans le cas où).

Lesson: Au cas où

The Subjunctivisor!  |  Subjunctive lesson


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2 Responses

  1. Chris 20 May 2017 / 16:57

    The example “J’apporte un pull, au cas où” given above, should it not be ” J’emporte un pull?” The sweater is inanimate and it is staying with me.
    Merci

    • lkl 21 May 2017 / 16:52

      Technically yes, you’re right. But in reality, the French tend to use amener in place of apporter, emmener, and emporter.

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