I guess this means “two precautions are better than one” or “better safe than sorry”.

What does “valent” mean? It doesn't derive from être, but seems to be acting like “sont” in this case?


1 Answer 1


From the infinitive “valoir” (TLFi), meaning “to be equivalent to” or “to be worth”.

“Valoir mieux que” means “to be better than” or “to be worth more than”.

The form “valent” is the third person plural of the present tense.

  • I feel stupid now, I know that verb! But haven't used in in 3rd person plural too much. Thanks for the help.
    – Cloud
    Dec 5, 2017 at 14:10
  • 1
    No need to feel bad about this. If you more commonly encountered the singular conjugations, for which the L has been dropped and replaced by a U, it can be tricky to recognize it in this form the first time. Dec 5, 2017 at 14:22
  • One more question about this, what other verbs ending in 'oir' are conjugated in a similar way to vouloir and valoir?
    – Cloud
    Dec 5, 2017 at 15:17
  • I could think of “falloir”, which is common, but only ever used in the singular third person. More research revealed also “équivaloir”, “prévaloir”, and the very rare and very aged “challoir”. Not very many, it looks like. Dec 5, 2017 at 15:35

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