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Déjà Meaning & Translation – Already in French

Déjà Meaning & Translation – Already in French

Today we’ll have a look at the commonly used French adverb déjà, which has several meanings including “already”, “ever” and “before”.

déjà = already

Pronunciation [deʒa]

Déjà = already, ever and before in French

Déjà meaning and translation

Word origin

According to, the modern French word déjà is composed of two words: dès (from a starting point in time) and Old French , which comes from iam (now, already, by or even now) in Latin.

Example sentences

The most basic meaning of déjà is “alread”. The first two example sentences use the passé composé, a commonly used French past tense used for describing actions which occurred at a specific moment in time.

Elle a déjà fini tous ses devoirs.

She already finished all her homework.

J’ai déjà vu ce film deux fois.

I’ve already seen this movie twice.

In the following example, tu étais déjà parti (you had already left) is in the pluperfect (plus-que-parfait) tense. This is used for describing an action which occured previous to another action.

Quand je suis arrivé, tu étais déjà parti.

When I arrived you had already left.

The expression c’est déjà ça translates to “that’s not bad for a start”.

J’ai fini la vaiselle ; c’est déjà ça.

I finished the dishes. That’s not bad for a start.

In the passé composé, “Est-ce que tu as déjà” or “Est-ce que vous avez déjà” translates to “have you ever”. Another translation for this example sentence is “Have you skied in the Alps before?”.

Est-ce que tu as déjà fait du ski dans les Alpes?

Have you ever skied in the Alps?

The English expression déjà-vu is directly borrowed from French and translates literally to “already seen”.

En parlant à cette femme, j’ai eu une impression de déjà-vu.

I had déjà-vu while speaking this lady.


Et voilà ! You now know how to use déjà in French! Now check our our lessons covering other commonly used French adverbs including beaucoup (a lot), assez (quite, rather) and toujours (always).

J'ai déjà rangé ma chambre = I already tidied my room
J’ai déjà rangé ma chambre = I already tidied up my room

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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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