I'm thinking of phrases like, "Proceed, but with some caution." In this case, however, I want the standalone, "But, with some caution", as if the preceding sentence makes clear what the action should be. So far I have thought of two possibilities.

Mais, avec une certaine prudence.

Mais, avec quelque prudence.

Which would you prefer? Which sounds more natural?

Or would you choose an alternative?

  • Why do you want to add this comma after "but"? You don't have it in ""Proceed, but with some caution." Nov 7 '17 at 16:40

Though mais is not commonly followed by a comma, it is possible to do it to mark a separation of some sort (hesitation, short reflexion, a brief pause to catch the full attention of the person to whom the message is intended). This article from la banque de dépannage linguistique expands a bit more on the matter.

As far as your propositions go, both...

Mais, avec une certaine prudence.
Mais, avec quelque prudence.

...work and sound native.

In a daily context, my natural tendency would probably be:

Mais... prudemment!

Mais, les gens ont différentes approches du vocabulaire !¹

Dropping the adjectives altogether also work (perhaps even more efficiently, since the only concept then invoked is the caution):

Mais, avec prudence.

¹ ...and many, even very different from each other, are equally valid.


We would simply say "mais avec prudence". I would rather translate by "avec précaution" or "en faisant attention".

  • Or "mais sois prudent" Nov 6 '17 at 5:17
  • Ah, those are good, but I think they lose a nuance from the English phrase. The phrase "some caution" has a slight twist... Much like, "Have fun, but be a little careful."
    – ktm5124
    Nov 6 '17 at 5:20
  • Ah ok, then maybe "amuse toi, mais reste (quand même ) prudent" ? Nov 6 '17 at 5:24

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