Au fur et à mesure

Au fur et a mesure
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French Expression

Meaning as, while; as one goes along; gradually
Literally at the rate and in measure
Register normal
Pronunciation [o fu ray a m(eu) zur]
IPA   [o fy ʁe a mə zyʁ]

Usage notes: Au fur et à mesure is a long French expression with a precise meaning. While it’s commonly translated as "as," au fur et à mesure is more exact than that: it is used only for two actions that happen at the same time and at a consistent pace.

Par exemple…

Elle nettoie au fur et à mesure que je cuisine.   She cleans while I cook.
Au fur et à mesure que le jour J approche, nous préparons tout.   As the big day approaches, we’re preparing everything.

The second verb can be implied …

Ramasse les vêtements au fur et à mesure.   Pick up the clothes as you go (around the room).
Je fais la vaisselle au fur et à mesure.   I do the dishes as I go (as I dirty them).

or replaced with de + noun.

Tenez moi au courant au fur et à mesure de votre progression.   Keep me informed about your progress.
L’idée du film a mûri au fur et à mesure du tournage.   The film’s idea matured during filming.

 Somewhat synonymous: Au fur et à mesure can only be used with active verbs like aller and parler, not with passive verbs like regarder and écouter. For simultaneous happenings with the latter, you need tandis que instead.

Etymology

  • Fur dates back to the 16th century, when it meant “rate.”
  • Mesure = “measure” or “measurement.”
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