Exclamative Conjunctions

French exclamative conjunctions
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Conjonctions exclamatives

To add emphasis to responses or explanations, you can use the French exclamative conjunctions mais or que.

Mais

Mais can be used with words, phrases, and sentences.

1) Mais makes affirmative and negative responses more emphatic.

Par exemple…

– Tu as faim ?
– Mais oui !
– Are you hungry?
– I sure am!
– Tu aimes Marc ?
– Mais non !
– Do you like Marc?
– Definitely not!
– Je vous embête ?
– Mais pas du tout !
– Am I bothering you?
– No, not at all!

 Note that translating mais as "but" would make no sense here – it needs a less literal, more considered translation.

2) Mais can also reinforce a phrase or statement.

Par exemple…

Mais c’est de la folie !But that’s crazy!
Mais je te jure que l’eau est chaude !I swear, the water is warm!
Il ne fait rien, mais rien !He does absolutely nothing!

Que

As an exclamative conjunction, que can emphasize only affirmation or negation (oui, non, si).

– Tu as soif ?
– Que oui !
– Are you thirsty?
– I sure am!
– Tu aimes Anny ?
– Que non !
– Do you like Anny?
– Definitely not!
– Vous n’êtes pas fâchés ?
– Que si !
– Aren’t you mad?
– Yes, we sure are!

 Que can modify other words as an exclamative adverb.

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French exclamative conjunctions

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