Why does 'toute façon' mean 'anyway'?

The literal translation is 'all' (toute) and 'fashion/way/method' (façon)

I understand that in this context toute means any. But are there any other examples where tout / toute / tous can mean any? I always translate it as all.

2 Answers 2


This is indeed common, where tout has the meaning of chaque, n'importe quel(le), albeit maybe more in written French. Some examples:

Tout condamné à mort aura la tête tranchée.

Toute exception devra être approuvée par le directeur.

Je me prépare à toute éventualité.

Il sera traité comme tout autre citoyen.

A tout seigneur, tout honneur (French proverb, it means that any important person is entitled to any honors that are due to them, especially when giving them some sort of priority).

  • Thank you for this list. However, I'm still reading the tout usage as all, in these sentences. 'Tout condamné à mort aura la tête tranchée' - I see as 'All condemned to death...' 'Je me prépare à toute éventualité' - 'I am prepared for all eventualities'. etc.
    – Cloud
    Nov 22, 2017 at 11:48
  • Yes, but "all" would then be used with a plural noun, not the singular as in French. This rather matches an equivalent wording in French, which is more frequent in spoken language. "Tous les condamnés à mort auront la tête tranchée", "Je me prépare à toutes les éventualités", "il sera traité comme tous les autres citoyens", "toutes les exceptions devront être approuvée par le directeur".
    – Greg
    Nov 22, 2017 at 12:33
  • 1
    Or take it the other way round: il sera traité comme tout autre citoyen can be translated as he will be treated like any other citizen. Toute exception devra être approuvée can be Any expection will require the approval of the director. So in this sense, you could use "any" to translate "tout(e)".
    – Greg
    Nov 22, 2017 at 12:41
  • aha! Now I get it. Thank you so much!
    – Cloud
    Nov 23, 2017 at 8:58

De toute façon translates to anyway but that doesn't mean tout means any. It still does mean a generic, singular all here (all outcomes = whatever the outcome = any outcome = every outcome)

English simply can't word by word translate to all ways because this compound word is already taken for something different while French has toujours (tous jours / all days)

Other examples are:

de toute espèce (whatever kind)

de toute nature (ditto)

Tout corps plongé dans un liquide... -> Any object, wholly or partially immersed in a stationary fluid, ... (Archimedes)

The singular form of "all" is "every" but English sometimes uses a generic all like for example in:

Compare "All men are created equal" with (tous) les hommes naissent et demeurent libres et égaux...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.