How would you say “or something” in the context of “Is it close by or something?” or “Do you need a lift or something?”

It’s a way to suggest something that you’re kind of already expecting.


2 Answers 2


I can think of " ... ou quoi?" ( " ou quoi que ce soit d'autre dans le même genre"). I can also think of " ... ou genre" ( colloquial). " Is it close by , or something" : " c'est juste tout près, ou dans le genre" , " c'est tout près, ou genre pas trop loin". " Do you need a lift, or sth" : " Vous avez besoin qu'on vous emmène/dépose ( en voiture), ou quoi que ce soit", " Vous avez besoin qu'on vous dépose ou quoi".

Note : all these expressions ( "ou quoi", "genre", "ou genre" ) are colloquial. "genre + adjective " and " ou genre + adjective" are teen slang expressions.


Note : this use of " ou quoi" is not to be confused with another one that serves to express irritation. " tu te dépêches ou quoi? on va être hyper en retard! " ( colloquial)

  • 1
    Aussi: ou quèque chose comme ça...
    – jlliagre
    May 30, 2019 at 23:58
  • Worth noticing that genre is somewhat depending on the region you're in : for instance, my cousins up in north had never heard that word used like that (but then again, people from the north of france are somewhat different)
    – Maryannah
    May 31, 2019 at 11:37
  • @Maryannah. It depends mostly on the age of the person I think. You may have a look at this link and at the reactions. <lefigaro.fr/langue-francaise/expressions-francaises/2018/06/13/…> "Genre" is part of what we call informally ( and ironically) " le langage djeun's" ( understand : " the would-be fashionable langage des jeunes"
    – user20839
    May 31, 2019 at 11:48
  • @RayLittleRock well also that, but my cousins are the same age as me (if not younger). Since you mentioned it being a youth slang, I thought I wouldn't, but I definitely agree !
    – Maryannah
    May 31, 2019 at 11:52
  • 1
    Totally agree on that, a bit less on the process however (I don't really know how it spreads), so I'll take your word for it :) And without any political statement, I think that mass migration is also shaping the language : my Algerian friend explained to me how the Algerian language is made of both arabic and french, and from my relatives and their children, I can already see how much the opposite is getting more & more true : the Arabic language is definitely making its way into the everyday french language !
    – Maryannah
    May 31, 2019 at 12:12

The final part of the question must be in the form of an alternative because the specific thing asked first is something; it might be argued that English is not perfectly logical in that respect. It seems also that there is nothing near as short as what can be said in English and that in French more precisions will almost always be added. To make that translation more difficult, there is no single locution that works everywhere.

I The first sentence is rather difficult to render. Giving it a context makes things easier.

— We'll find that rapidly.
— Is it close by or something ?
— Not really, but there is a tube station right by and we only need to cross the street when we get out of here to take the underground.

— Nous trouverons ça rapidement.
— C'est tout près, ou il y aurait un moyen rapide ?
— Non, ce n'est pas vraiment près, mais il y a une station de métro juste à côté et on n'a qu'à traverser la rue en sortant d'ici pour prendre le métro.

II The second sentence is one of a type that could apparently be treated with locutions of one kind (bar adjustments), those being similar to the English locution.

Do you need a lift or something?
Vous avez besoin d'être transporté(e) ou de quelque chose d'autre ?

A couple of examples

  • On peut peut être vous conduire à la gare ou faire autre chose pour vous ?
  • Aimeriez-vous prendre un café ou quelque chose d'autre ?

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