Il est de notre devoir de veiller à ce que mon chef soit de bonne humeur ! En tant que tel, nous serions ravis de te faire part des mets qui devraient lui faire le plus plaisir.

Not a few English speakers fall into the trap of using the phrase "as such" at the beginning of a sentence left and right as a supposedly omnipotent synonym of "so / therefore", whereas in reality the use of "as such" is only justified when the antecedent of the pronoun "such" is a noun.

I wonder if the same principle applies to the French expression "en tant que tel". On one hand, it seems reasonable to think that the noun "devoir" is the antecedent of "tel", but I'm not sure if it sounds idiomatic to say "En tant que devoir, nous serions ravis de ..." in the first place.

On the other hand, though, the speaker might just as well have used "en tant que tel" inadvertently as little more than a synonym of "alors", mindless of a legitimate antecedent.

1 Answer 1


To me, using “en tant que tel” here sounds wrong, and I had a hard time understanding the sentences without your explanation. “En tant que tel” is rarer than the English “as such”, and isn't commonly used at the beginning of a sentence. It's usually used immediately after the noun it qualifies, and the meaning is maybe better understood as “in itself”.

Je comprends la phrase en tant que telle, mais j'ai du mal à la situer dans son contexte.   (I understand the sentence in itself, but I have trouble relating it to the context.)

Linguee has a number of examples, mostly translated by “as such”. Most of the examples follow the pattern “… X en tant que tel”. A few have “En tant que tel” at the beginning of a sentence, but qualifying the following noun. (e.g. “En tant que tel, le coût de la main d'œuvre …” — “As such, the labour cost …”).

“As such” in the broader (and arguably incorrect) meaning of “given what has been said previously” could be translated by “en conséquence”, “en cela”, …

  • Hi. Do you think the "en tant que devoir" theory hold water? Does this phrase sound natural in and of itself? Aug 2, 2017 at 20:24
  • @Alone-zee I don't understand what you mean by “en tant que devoir”. So I think the answer is no. Aug 2, 2017 at 20:32
  • I think he means “Étant donné que c'est notre devoir”, but “en tant que devoir” can't have this meaning. Aug 2, 2017 at 21:59

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