Alors, tu viens?
Are you coming, then?
One of our listeners emailed us this morning about the adverb alors.
It's a word we meet frequently in French. Alors has different meanings, depending on the context. Consider the examples below.
alors = à le moment-là (at that time (in the past or in the future))
- Ma soeur Caroline finira ses études de droit dans 2 ans. Elle aura alors vingt-deux ans.
= My sister Caroline will finish her law studies in two years' time. She will then be 22 years old.
- Il travaillait alors au ministère de la Santé.
= He was working in the Ministry of Health at that time.
- J'avais alors quinze ans.
= I was fifteen years old at that time.
alors = donc (so, therefore, then)
- Cela me contrarie, alors n'en parlons plus!
= That upsets me. So let's not talk about it any more!
- Il y avait la queue pour avoir un taxi. Alors je suis rentré à pied.
= There was a queue for taxis so I went home on foot.
alors to express interrogation, surprise, indignation, etc
- Alors là, je ne sais plus quoi te dire!
= Well then, I don't know what to say to you!
- Alors, que vas-tu lui dire?
= So, what are you going to say to him/her?
Note also the expression alors que (= while)
- Il a commencé à pleuvoir alors que nous étions encore loin de la maison.
= It started to rain while we were still a long way from home.
- Installe-toi confortablement alors que je prépare le repas.
= Make yourself comfortable while I prepare the dinner.
Comment(s)/question from napoleaon on May, 02 at 20:32
Very helpful. This is the sort of thing that makes learning a language very difficult. I believe alors can also mean 'in fact'.
Comment(s)/question from equipe_lfbp on May, 03 at 08:09
Hmm... 'in fact' would be en fait. I can't think of a situation where alors has that meaning.
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