Bien means well or good. But in "la condition de l'énoncé est bien nécessaire", bien appears to mean also. So I wonder what is the exact meaning of bien here.

  • 3
    English "well" can also be used in a similar way for emphasis, but the usage is generally more restricted than in French and may appear old-fashioned.
    – xngtng
    May 17, 2021 at 12:55
  • 1
    @svangordon: That is true but it is a colloquial usage; you'd be unlikely to see it in formal writing.
    – psmears
    May 17, 2021 at 22:06
  • 1
    @psmears More formal expression also exist - "The flight dynamics of bees are well understood", etc.
    – J...
    May 17, 2021 at 22:13
  • 1
    @J... Right, but that is grammatically different: there the adverb well is qualifying a verb (in participle form), which is standard English on both sides of the Atlantic; qualifying an adjective it is much more restricted.
    – psmears
    May 17, 2021 at 22:19
  • 1
    @psmears Yes, grammatically different, but nevertheless carrying a very similar meaning. Agreed with adjectives it's chiefly informal BrE, but also very much so in some French also (ie: Quebecois - "Mes bottes y'sont ben (bien) maganées", etc).
    – J...
    May 17, 2021 at 23:16

3 Answers 3


In this sentence, « bien » means “indeed”.

  • 4
    It does indeed :-)
    – jlliagre
    May 16, 2021 at 19:01
  • Bien sûr, mon ami!
    – Flydog57
    May 17, 2021 at 18:00

'Indeed' or 'certainly'

It is the reinforcement of the word it precedes. In the case of a steak 'bien cuit' is well done or well cooked.

  • Sounds almost completely analogous to how English people use the word 'well'. 'That's well tasty!' (Americans don't use this often I don't think, apart from a couple examples like "well done")
    – TKoL
    May 17, 2021 at 15:21
  • Using 'well tasty', 'well hard' etc. is grammatically incorrect and only slang usage (which is fine, but hopefully you wouldn't be using it in a job interview for example - unless you wanted to demonstrate street cred.) 'Bien' - is however proper usage when applied as said. The meaning is different though.
    – Kiowa
    May 17, 2021 at 15:53
  • Well is the adjectival equivalent of good in English. 'Well done' as a commendation or as a description of how your meat has been cooked is also correct usage. It appears to be that you can apply the adjective to a verb ut not to another adjective. Hopefully that is well explained.
    – Kiowa
    May 17, 2021 at 15:58

I'm pretty sur "bien" in your sentence is a shortened usage of "bel et bien" which means indeed also

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.