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"After all" may be used in these two types of situation.

(a) For an outcome that was contrary to a previous expectation: Someone opposed the idea of a picnic and said he was not coming. But he came after all.

(b) For a reason or argument that is additional, decisive or obvious: People are discussing who should take care of a certain child. He's your son, after all.

QUESTION

  1. Is "après tout" used like (a)? If yes, please give an example of the usage (a sentence). If no, what would be the French equivalent for "after all" in that sense, i.e. a phrase to suggest that an outcome was contrary to a previous expression?

  2. Is "après tout" used like (b)? If yes, please give an example. If no, what would be the French equivalent, i.e. a phrase to suggest that a reason or argument was additional, decisive, or obvious?

  3. If there are some standard usages of "après tout" not related to (a) or (b), what are they? Thanks.

  • I'd say (b) is definite. Interestingly, WR En→Fr lists three, splitting your (b) into two, but Fr→En only lists (b) (as enfin). Some Google Books refs turn up instances of (b) as well: 1, 2, 3, so it's not in doubt. It's only (a) or other senses that need verification. – Luke Sawczak Dec 13 '18 at 3:57
  • I agree on (b), but I'd rather use "malgré tout" than "après tout" on (a). "Malgré tout" implies something happenned even if it has reasons not too happen, "après tout" emphasis a situation. – Carnelune Dec 13 '18 at 9:48
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In the sense exposed by A, finalement, en fin de compte or malgré tout would be better options:

For an outcome that was contrary to a previous expectation: Someone opposed the idea of a picnic and said he was not coming. But he came after all.

Quelqu’un s’est opposé à l’idée d’un picnic et a déclaré qu’il ne viendrait pas.

  • Mais en fin de compte, il est venu.
  • Mais finalement, il s’est présenté.
  • Mais il est venu malgré tout.

Après tout in French can be used to introduce an unexpected conclusion, but it will most likely be used by someone recognizing some value to a point of view they did not iniatially embrace. Perhaps through open opposition, or skepticism about it, or simply from being unaware of its existence altogether :

  • The character didn’t immediately realize the value of the proposal, but then began to think it was actually pretty good:

    Diable ! mais ce que tu dis là n’est pas dénué de raison, après tout.
    —Lambert-Thiboust, 1856

  • This one concedes some value to a choice he’s not really fond of:

    « Diable! dit-il, c'est incommode.
    Mais après tout, c'est à la mode ;
    Car vert et blanc, c'est bien porté. »
    Les infortunes de Touche-à-tout, Bertall, 1865


In the sense of B, après tout is exactly what the translation is. It fits just like a glove:

For a reason or argument that is additional, decisive or obvious: People are discussing who should take care of a certain child. He's your son, after all.

  • Des gens discutent de la garde d’un enfant : « C’est ton fils, après tout ! »

An example from the litterature, where a father is finding any good reason he can to appease his mind about the fact he’s leaving his child behind to follow a new lover:

[...] il quitta son fils le plus naturellement du monde avec le parfait égoïsme de l’amoureux, songeant qu’après tout l’enfant vivrait mieux au soleil que dans les murs de la grand’ville, et que l’air des plaines Normandes conviendrait en tous points à la croissance de l'enfant.
Les idées de M. Vincent, 1879

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