Par exemple

On peut repeindre, par exemple
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Essential French Expression

Meaning for example
Register normal, informal
Pronunciation French sound files [pa reh gza(n) pl(eu)]
IPA   [pa ʀɛ gzã pl(ə)]

Usage notes: The French expression par exemple is extremely common, with both literal and figurative meanings. Literally, of course, it means “for example,” and is used much like in English:

Par exemple…

J’ai beaucoup d’idées pour cette pièce. Par exemple, on peut la peindre ou bien la retapisser.   I have lots of ideas for this room. For example, we can paint it or redo the wallpaper.
On peut commencer avec ce livre, par exemple.   For example, we could start with this book, We could start with this book, maybe.
Asseyez-vous où vous voulez … par exemple [en indiquant une chaise].   Sit wherever you like … here, for instance [pointing at a chair].

Par exemple can also be used as a question, which is much less common in English:

– J’ai déjà fait plein de travail ce matin.
– Par exemple ?
  – I’ve already done tons of work this morning.
– For example? Such as? Like what?

The figurative meaning of par exemple or, often, ça par exemple is where it gets really interesting. These expressions indicate surprise, indignation, or disagreement, which are translated by completely different expressions in English:

– Il m’a offert sept cadeaux.
– Par exemple !
  – He gave me seven presents.
– Oh my! How about that!
– Elle a pris la voiture, sans me demander la permission.
– Ça par exemple !
  – She took the car, without asking me for permission.
– Well really! You’re kidding!

 Watch out for the spelling – the French word is exemple, not example.

French lesson plans Par exemple in action

Examples of par exemple in real-life videos from Lawless French Immersion:

Et c’est intéressant, parce que, par exemple, on parle de l’accent du Sud.   And it’s interesting because, for example, let’s talk about the accent from the South of France.
Video: French regional accents and linguistic discrimination
Mais je regarde ça, par exemple au Congo ou en Afrique d’une manière générale …   But I see that, for example in Congo or in Africa, in general …
Video: French-speaking immigrants to Canada recount culture shock anecdotes
« Kiffer » vient de l’arabe, par exemple.   “Kiffer” (to like) comes from Arabic, for example.
Video: Why is French more difficult than other languages?
… on commence vraiment à voir par exemple des jeunes à l’Assemblée nationale et qu’on nous donne dans les médias par exemple de plus en plus la parole.   … we’re really starting to see for example young people at the National Assembly and that they’re giving us in the media for example more and more time to talk.
Video: Climate: French youth join worldwide protest

 Related lesson

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Par exemple

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