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French phrase “pourvu que” explained in the Language Nook

Understanding and using the French phrase “pourvu que”

by | 16 Dec 2017 | French Language

 

Pourvu que is a phrase that is commonly used in French.

 

Warning: there is the adjective “pourvu” in French that comes from the verb “pourvoir”. This article is not about it. Here, we will only focus on the set phrase pourvu que.

What does pourvu que mean?

 

Well, pourvu que has two different meanings:

 

Pourvu que can be used to express a condition, specifically when there is only one condition and when that one condition is sufficient. In this case, it conveys the same meaning as “provided that, as long as”. Let’s look at these examples:

  • Elle s’endort facilement pourvu que la lumière reste allumée. (She goes to sleep quite easily as long as the light is on.)
  • Le chien ne vous fera rien pourvu que vous le laissiez tranquille. (The dog won’t do anything to you provided that you leave him alone.)

 

Pourvu que can also be used in an exclamation to express a wish, especially when you fear the opposite might happen. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Pourvu que j’arrive à l’heure ! (Let’s hope I get there on time)
  • Pourvu qu’il neige et que nous puissions aller skier cet hiver ! (Let’s hope it snows so we can go skiing this winter!)

 

Careful! Pourvu que is always followed by a verb in the subjunctive! This is always the case, whether you use it as a condition or for something you hope will happen–and fear it may not.

  • Pourvu qu’il ne soit pas trop tard ! (Let’s hope it’s not too late)
  • Pourvu que vous suiviez ces conseils, vous guérirez rapidement. (Provided you do as advised, you will quickly recover.)

 

If you are not sure how to pronounce pourvu que, listen here:

 

There you are! You now know when and how to use the French phrase pourvu que. Congratulations! 🙂

 

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