Femme : Restez ici, je vais chercher le dessert.

Homme : Parce qu'il y a un dessert, en plus ? Quel festin !

Obvioiusly, "parce que" here does not mean "because". I wonder, is this a colloquial expression or something?


Homme : Mais tu n’aimes pas les fantômes non plus, tu nous l’as dit !

Femme : Parce que tu connais quelqu'un qui les aime, toi ?

I wonder if the « parce que » in this new example, too, serves to denote a sense of surprise?

= Femme: "What?! You say you know someone who actually likes them?!" {with a hint of disbelief}

= Femme: {it basically boils down to saying} "Who does?!"

  • I had no idea this was possibly colloquial, I use it in English too ! And to me, it does mean "because". I'd translate this as "Do you mean there's dessert ? What a feast !" Nov 7, 2016 at 9:03
  • I would use it in English too, I must admit. Oh, because you know someone who like them, huh?
    – Destal
    Nov 7, 2016 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


The formal use of "parce que" is to illustrate a causality or a reason.

  • On me refuse l'accès parce que j'ai oublié mes identifiants.

In this context, it's an informal phrasing to emphasize an unexpected outcome to an already surprising sequence of events.

  • Non seulement le dîner était parfait, mais il y avait un dessert en plus.

In this context it indicates pleasantness, but it could be used to indicate the opposite.

  • Parce qu'en plus je n'ai pas le droit de sortir ?

I wouldn't be able to confidently categorize it but it looks like an idiomatic phrasing.

  • 1
    So essentially, does it denote a sense of surprise, whether it be a pleasant or unpleasant one? Merci. Nov 6, 2016 at 14:53
  • 1
    Je vous en prie [ : And yes, absolutely. A dramatic emphasis on a sense of surprise.
    – user11032
    Nov 6, 2016 at 15:06
  • 2
    @LUNA Indeed, you only say this if you didn't expect it. Here, you are saying the diner didn't need a desert to be perfect, but you just learnt there is actually one, what a good surprise ! :)
    – Random
    Nov 6, 2016 at 20:46
  • randomhopeful @Random I just added another example. Do you think I'm on the right track here? Merci. :) Nov 7, 2016 at 12:59
  • @LUNA The example is pretty usable [ : In this instance, it's a bit of sarcasm disguised as surprise. Still, it is in the same spectrum.
    – user11032
    Nov 7, 2016 at 13:09

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