“De tout façon”

French Phrase: “De toute façon”

The phrase "de toute façon" is extremely common in French conversation. It translates to "anyway," "in any case," "regardless", or "either way".

Literally, it means "in any manner" or "in any way."

"De toute façon" is one of those ubiquitous phrases with subtle nuances that can help you sound like a near-native speaker - or reveal that you’re not!

Let's explore the different ways it's used in everyday spoken French.

Use it to mean "no matter what"

You typically use "de toute façon" to indicate that something will happen no matter what, and to show determination:

"Nous allons partir de toute façon, qu'il pleuve ou non."

We're going to leave anyway, whether it rains or not.

"On doit être prêts à 8 heures, de toute façon."

We need to be ready by 8 o'clock, anyway.

Use it for indifference

You can also use "de toute façon" to express indifference, like saying "it doesn't matter":

"Elle ne veut pas venir."
"De toute façon, ça ne change rien pour moi."

She doesn't want to come?
It doesn't matter for me anyway.

Use it to minimize the consequences of something

"De toute façon" can also be used to minimize the consequences of a situation. It suggests that whatever happens, it won't change much.

In English, "Anyway" is often used in the same way, like saying "not need to worry":

"De toute façon, on a le temps,"

Anyway, we have plenty of time

"Tu as oublié d'acheter du pain."
"Bah, de toute façon, on en a encore à la maison."

You forgot to buy bread.
Oh well, we still have some at home anyway.

Use it to express resignation

"De toute façon" is also used to express resignation or acceptance of a situation. When you use it this way, it means that you've come to terms with the circumstances and recognize that nothing can be done to change the outcome.

"De toute façon, on ne peut rien y faire."

In any case, there's nothing we can do about it.

(note in the audio how "de toute façon" is often pronounced "toute façon" in every speak)

"De toute façon, c'est trop tard."

It's too late, anyway.

"Le projet est annulé."
"De toute façon, on n'avait pas le temps."

The project is canceled.
Well we didn't have the time anyway.

An incorrect use of "de toute façon"

In English, we sometimes use "anyway" to dismiss what was just said and move on in the conversation:

"Anyway... what are up to these days?"

It's not the case for "de toute façon", it's not generally used for transitioning to a new topic. This is a mistake non-native speakers often make:

(incorrect): "De tout façon... Tu fais quoi de beau ces jours-ci?"

Here, you can use "bref" or "sinon" instead:

"Bref... Tu fais quoi de beau ces jours-ci?"

"Sinon, tu fais quoi de beau ces jours-ci?"

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