I've heard that a priori normally is equivalent to at first sight, in principle but I don't see how it means that in this sentence:

Il peut s'adresser j'espère que plus personne n'a d'a priori

  • 2
    There's probably a punctuation issue in your sentence. "J'espère que plus personne n'a d'a priori" is OK as it is, what comes before has no relation to it and it is not clear what "il peut s'adresser" means. We don't usually use the verb "s'adresser" like that.
    – None
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 6:50
  • Shouldn't this usage of espérer require usage of the subjunctive?
    – aeismail
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


We can tell from its position in the sentence:

j'espère que plus personne n'a d'a priori.

that a priori is a noun phrase. It means a preconceived idea. It is synonym of un préjugé.

The phrase a (à) priori can also be:

  • An adverbial phrase:

    Il ne faut écarter à priori aucune hypothèse.

  • An adjective phrase:

    La modération à priori est une sécurité.

As an adverb or an adjective, it can be spelled a priori (old spelling, and then it is usually in italics as it is the Latin spelling) or « à priori » (1990 orthography reform). See Lequel d' « à priori » ou « a priori » est le plus correct ?)

When it is a noun phrase:

J'ai un a priori favorable pour la solution présentée.

It can be spelled a priori (no accent on the a) or as a single word: apriori (1990 orthography reform), and it is invariable.

  • So basically it means a preconception about something? Yes that makes sense in the context I found it. The meaning of the phrase seems to change quite a lot depending on how it is used in the sentence, unlike most other words and phrases.
    – Hasen
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 12:07

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