I often see the word ou where I would expect and in English - for example, I have just read le phénomène #Mbappé, aussi bien physique que mental, décrypté par Wenger, Platini ou Deschamps.

In this sentence, would ... Wenger, Platini et Deschamps suggest that there was one analysis / décryptage done by the three of them as a joint effort? In other words, is ou preferred because it makes it clear that they are each giving their own analysis?

1 Answer 1


Not necessarily a single analysis but using et would restrict the number of persons doing the analysis to these three individuals.

On the other hand, saying Wenger, Platini ou Deschamps indeed means the analysis are distinct to each other, but doesn't prevent other, non named people, to provide their own analysis, especially as the tweet talks about a series that will last a week.

  • Thank you. So if the editor were to say ce serait peut-être intéressant de faire décrypter le phénomène Mbappé par Wenger, Platini ou Deschamps, would you be thinking of a single article by one of those three, or a series? If I want to refer to one article, my instinct is to say ce serait peut-être intéressant de faire décrypter le phénomène Mbappé par un Wenger, un Platini ou bien un Deschamps, but my instincts are not always right...
    – JD2000
    Jan 2, 2020 at 6:26
  • 1. A single article by one of these. 2. Using ou bien keeps that meaning but using the indefinite un before the names suggests a single article by someone like them, likely but not necessarily one of them.
    – jlliagre
    Jan 2, 2020 at 9:09

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