[...] mais ce n'est pas parce que personne ne se bat que le gens se sentent en sécurité pour autant.

I wonder what purpose the phrase "pour autant" serves in this sentence.


3 Answers 3


[...] mais ce n'est pas parce que personne ne se bat que le gens se sentent en sécurité pour autant.

The pour autant can often be rendered in English by just because.

[...] but just because no one is fighting does not mean people feel safe. For me, in this case the pour autant qualifies the whole thing.

Pour autant is a phrase. In a more formal text (not speaking), it can be rendered as merely because. In English, though complicated, the because is a preposition. And here is a link explaining it: because as part of a preposition phrase: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=9494. I submit that in French it functions more or less the same way but is often placed at the end of the argument presented.

Please note that dictionaries translate it as: for all that. In some cases, that works but not so well here.

It also is a discourse marker in French that restricts an idea: http://monsu.desiderio.free.fr/atelier/lienslog.html

Tu devrais étudier d'avantage mais pas te fatiguer pour autant.

You should study more but you needn't tire yourself just because you do.

Sometimes it only qualifies the possible outcome, unlike your example.

  • Collins has even so but the entry is sparse. Larousse has something much more interesting imho...
    – user3177
    May 1, 2016 at 22:21
  • 1
    I sure it does. I am going my by knowledge of French and English and natural sounding sentences. It can also mean even so.
    – Lambie
    May 2, 2016 at 13:01

Pour autant means that it's not because something is happening that something else is happening too.

In this sentence, it is said that it is not because people are not fighting that people feel safe. Even if people are not fighting, it does not lead to people feeling safe. That is the idea.

If we take another sentence :

Ce n'est pas parce que je mange gras que je vais mourir pour autant.

That could be translated with :

It is not because I'm eating fat that it means that I will die.

Or, changed a bit :

Even if I eat fat, it does not mean I will die.

  • Could the “pour autant” in your French example be omitted as slightly redundant, just as the “because of/from that” is omitted, yet understood, in the translations? (or would the French sentence without “pour autant” be ambiguous enough to make it sound like maybe the speaker thinks they’re immortal and will never die of/from anything?)
    – Papa Poule
    May 1, 2016 at 19:04
  • 1
    You can totally omit it. The "pour autant" expression is there in a way to emphasize that it is not the case. That nothing forces the person to die because he's eating fat.
    – Izuka
    May 1, 2016 at 19:16

Pour autant est une locution adverbiale, qui signifie:

  • malgré cela;
  • malgré tout;
  • néanmoins;
  • cependant;
  • toutefois;
  • pourtant;
  • quand même;
  • tout de même.

On peut reformuler le sens de la phrase en:

... personne ne se bat mais malgré cela (néanmoins/cependant/toutefois/pourtant), les gens ne se sentent pas (plus) en sécurité.

  • In this sentence, is it possible to use "quand même" or "tout de même" instead of the "pour autant"? May 1, 2016 at 19:38
  • @PourraitPeut-être : oui, je les ai ajoutés. May 1, 2016 at 19:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.