Il faut dire que Kevin Parker, pieds nus sur scène, en a bien le look avec sa barbe d’un mois et ses longs cheveux. Rajoutez à ça une voix plutôt haute perchée et vous croiriez entendre John Lennon dans certains enregistrements des Beatles.

vs: Ajoutez à ça une voix plutôt haute perchée et ...

I seem to see and hear "Ajoutez à ça ..." somewhat more frequently, but I have always wondered how these two similar expressions compare?

Also... After "et", which tense is used more commonly: "croiriez" or "croirez"?

  • 2
    Off-topic but I always heard/read/wrote une voix haut perchée and never haute perchée.
    – jlliagre
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 17:46
  • 1
    @jlliagre The same logic as "une personne haut placée", I take it? Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 17:58
  • Spot on !
    – jlliagre
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 20:03
  • @jlliagre In another instance, I would say the following: « Tu ne peux pas t'empêcher de débarquer pour rajouter/ajouter ton grain de sel, non ? » Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 3:21
  • In this case, I doubt "rajouter" carries the connotation of "repetition", as the idea here is that he butts into the conversation out of the blue for the first time. But I do wonder, on the other hand, if "rajouter" can be interpreted as: "Other people have already voiced their respective opinions before you, and now it's your turn to add your own opinion to theirs"? --- Whereas with "ajouter", is it more like: "Regardless of whether other people may or may not have given their opinions, you put in yours anyway."? Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 4:00

1 Answer 1


Rajouter has two main meanings.

  • Add again another instance of something already present: Il faudrait rajouter une assiette à table.

  • Add later something to some other thing(s): Si tu oublie de rajouter la levure à ta pâte, elle ne lèvera pas.

Both meanings clearly overlap and they overlap too with the simple ajouter so ajouter and rajouter are almost always if not always interchangeable.

In your example, rajouter has both meanings: add again an item to the list of characteristics, and add later a different characteristic to the list. Using ajouter is also possible but would slightly reduce the idea of repetition and accumulation.

About "croiriez" vs "croirez", if rajoutez à ça is considered a conditional clause, as it is using the present the future is the expected tense in the main clause:

Si vous rajoutez à ça une voix haut-perchée, vous croirez entendre...

Should the sentence had started with the imperfect, the conditional would have been required:

Si vous rajoutiez à ça une voix haut-perchée, vous croiriez entendre... *

However, the sentence is not exactly built that way, the first part is more a statement than a condition so I believe both tenses are correct.

Using the future gives certainty to the conclusion while using the conditional makes the second part more hypothetical.

  • « Tu ne peux pas t'empêcher de débarquer pour rajouter ton grain de sel, non ? » In this instance, do yo think "rajouter" carry the connotation of "accumulation", his adding his opinion to those of others (which have already been given)? Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 8:55
  • Yes, that's what I mean when writing about repetition and accumulation.
    – jlliagre
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 8:57
  • There is still a repetition, i.e. an opinion is added again to those already expressed.
    – jlliagre
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 9:27
  • Oh, I see. Which would you use personally: "rajouter (or ajouter) ton grain de sel"? Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 9:29
  • de rajouter ton grain de sel
    – jlliagre
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 9:30

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