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Cependant meaning: However, yet, nevertheless in French

Cependant meaning: However, yet, nevertheless in French

Today we’ll have a look a more advanced connecting word which is very useful in conversation: Cependant. Meanings include “however”, “yet”, “nevertheless” and “nonetheless”. J’aime préparer les leçons ; cependant le travail est très exigeant (I like preparing the lessons, yet the work is very demanding).


however, yet, nevertheless

Cependant = "however", "yet", "nevertheless" and "nonetheless"

Word origin

The word cependant dates back to the 18th century and is comprised of two words: ce (this) and pendant (during). Ce comes from eccĕ (behold, here) in Latin. Pendant is the present participle of the verb pendre (to dangle, to hang). Pendre comes form the Latin pendere (to hang, be suspended).

Example sentences

For the following example sentences, the translations of cependant can include everything we listed in our introductory paragraph: yet, however, nonetheless, etc. The main theme for all the sentences is that the two clauses contain an element of contradiction.

For this first example, gagner means “to win” or “to earn (money)”. The reflexive verb s’inquiéter means “to worry”. Argent literally translates to “silver” but means money.

Il gagne bien sa vie et cependant il s’inquiète pour l’argent.

He makes a good living and yet he is worried about money.

The adverb beaucoup means “a lot” or “a lot of”. Dernier means “last” but in the sentence below we translated it loosely to “recent”. The ses is a possessive adjective and could mean both “his” or “her”, depending on the context of the sentence.

J’aime beaucoup cet auteur ; cependant ses derniers romans ont baissés en qualité.

I like this author a lot. However, the quality of his latest novels has fallen.

For this next example, we took the liberty to translate cependant to “but nevertheless”.

Il n’a pas de temps libre, cependant il va au café pour voir ses amis.

He doesn’t have any freetime but nevertheless goes to café to see his friends.

For this final sentence, il faut mauvais means “the weather is bad”. This lesson on our site covers French weather terms in detail.

Il fait mauvais, cependant je sors me promener.

The weather is bad yet I’m going out for a walk.


Congratulations! Now you know how to use cependant in French. Now check out another lesson covering a similar word pourtant (yet, however).

Example how how to use cependant in French: 
Elle travaille beaucoup et cependant il s'inquiète pour l'argent. = She works a lot but nevertheless worries about money.

Elle travaille beaucoup et cependant elle s’inquiète pour l’argent. = She works a lot but nevertheless worries about money.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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