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Pourtant Meaning & Translation – Yet, However in French

Pourtant Meaning & Translation – Yet, However in French

Today’s lesson will focus on the useful French word pourtant, which translate to both “yet” and “however”. For example, c’est pourtant vrai (yet it’s true). Our example sentences will cover both et pourtant (and yet) as well as mais pourtant (but, yet, though).


yet, however

Pourtant = yet, however in French

Pourtant Meaning & Translation

Word origin

Pourtant (yet, however) is comprised of two words: pour (for) and tant (much). Pour in French comes from the Latin prō (for) and tant comes from the Latin tantum (such an amount).

Example sentences

In this first example, et pourant can translate to both “yet” as well as “and yet”.

Il a échoué l’examen. Et pourtant, c’est un bon étudiant.

He failed the exam, and yet he’s a good student.

For this next example, plein de is synonomous with beaucoup de (a lot of), which we cover in this lesson.

C’est quelqu’un qui a fait plein d’études. Mais pourtant, il ne fait rien dans la vie.

He’s someone who studied a lot. Yet, he’s doing nothing in life.

In this sentence, je vais acheter is an example of the near future tense (going to), which we cover in this lesson.

Je vais acheter une nouvelle voiture, c’est cher mais pourtant necessaire.

I’m going to by the new car. It’s expensive but necessary.

Elle a consulté des médecins, mais pourtant rien n’a changé.

She consulted doctors yet nothing has changed.

This last example sentence is actually the main line from the chorus of the song Et pourtant by Charles Aznavour. Here, we’re translating pourtant to both yet and however. Je n’aime que toi (I only love you) uses the ne…que “only” negation, which we cover in this lesson.

Et pourtant, pourtant, je n’aime que toi.

And yet, however, I only love you.


Félicitations ! You now know how to use pourtant in French. Now check out our lesson covering ainsi (like this) and puisque (since).

Pourtant example: C'est pourtant vrai (Yet it's true).
C’est pourtant vrai. = Yet it’s true

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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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