French Doubts: What is The Difference Between Quand And Lorsque?

French Doubts: What is The Difference Between Quand And Lorsque?

If you are a French student, you surely know what the word 'quand' means.

It means 'when.'

But do you know what the word 'lorsque' means?

For those who aren't familiar, the word 'lorsque' also means 'when.'

It's easy to remember, isn't it?

So, is there any catch, and what is it?

There is no catch, only in the usage of these two words.

If you want to move forward and to know the difference between quand and lorsque as well as how and when to use them, keep reading and you will learn in no time.

So, let's get started.

Quand Vs. Lorsque

Even though the two words mean the same thing and also, can be mainly used in almost the same situations, the word ‘lorsque’ is more formally used than ‘quand.’

The first thing that is the same for both words is that their meaning is ‘when’ and it isn’t possible to change nor within different contexts.

Moreover, when the action follows these words, no matter if it is ‘quand’ or ‘lorsque,’ in French, the French verb has to be in the future tense, while in English it is in the present tense.

The situations when you can use the two words are various, and yet the same,so now, let’s take a look at them.

Using The Word 'Quand'

The word 'quand' is the most commonly used word for 'when' in French.

There are different situations, however, when to use it.

  • It is used in statements, as its English equivalent, to talk about the correlation of different things in time.

Example: Je dormais quand il est arrivé.-I was sleeping when he arrived.

  • it can be used as an interrogative form for questions.

By the way, this is the most common way the word 'quand' is used.

Exemple: Quand est-ce que vous avez rendez-vous ?-When do you have an appointment?

  • it can be used for showing contrasts and clear differences.

Also, in these situations, you can also hear the phrase 'alors que' instead of 'quand.'

Exemple: Pourquoi dormir quand la télévision est plus amusante?- Why sleep when watching tv is more fun?

When to Use 'Lorsque'

The word 'lorsque' also means 'when.'

The word, however, does seem a bit more formal than the previous one.

Even though it is more formal, there are occasions when you can hear it among people on the street.

It also can't be used to ask questions as the word ‘quand,' you can use it in the following situations instead of 'quand.'

Je dormais lorsque le monsieur est arrivé- I was sleeping when the man arrived.

  • ‘lorsque’ can be used to show differences or contrasts like in the example we’ve mentioned in the ‘quand’ part.

Exemple: Pourquoi dormir lorsque la télévision est plus amusante?- Why sleep when watching tv is more fun?

Even though the two words are similar and in English, they mean one word, in the previous situations people prefer using 'quand’ instead of ' lorsque.' Especially in the spoken form.

The reason for that might be that native speakers usually use the word 'lorsque' to connect with the phrase 'at the moment when.’

But there is no need to worry.

Both words can be used in the situations as mentioned.

What About the ‘Lors De?’

Even though the word ‘lors de’ is similar not only in writing but in pronunciation as well, it, however, doesn’t mean that it can be used instead of ‘lorsque.’

The word ‘lors de’ is a preposition and it means ‘during’ or ‘at the time.’ The word ‘lorsque,’ on the other hand, is a conjunction.

Example: Je suis arrivé lors du mariage.- I arrived during the wedding.

What Are Other Similar Words to Use Instead of ‘Quand?’

Expanding your vocabulary in French and using synonyms is one of the signs of fluency.

That’s why everyone tries so hard to boost their vocabularies and use as many various words and phrases as possible.

N’importe Quand

Literally, this phrase can be translated as ‘not important when’ but it actually means ‘anytime.’

Example: Ça peut arriver n’importe quand.- This can happen anytime

One more tip about this phrase: you can combine the ‘n’importe’  with other question words, such as ‘n’importe qui’ (anyone) or ‘n’importe quoi’ (anything.)

Quand Même

Unlike the previous one, this phrase can be challenging because it has several similar meanings, but one has to be careful which one to use. Some of the main meanings are ‘even if,’ ‘even thought,’ ‘even so’, and ‘all the same.’

Example: C’était quand même bien.- It was good even so.

This phrase can also be an intensifier like in the following example: 

Mais quand même!- Oh God, enough already!

What ‘à Quelle Heure’ Has to Do With All This?

We started with ‘quand’ and we came to the ‘à quelle heure.’

Now you must be wondering what the phrase ‘à quelle heure’ has to do with all this?

In English, we have ‘at what time’, and the French have the perfect equivalent which is ‘à quelle heure.’

This phrase is usually used for asking questions such as in the following example:

À quelle heure est le rendez-vous?- At what time is the meeting?

In French, this phrase is commonly used in situations to refer to the period of time, where the English would simply use ‘when.’

Final Thoughts

 

Thanks to these nuances and clear explanation about the difference between ‘quand’ and ‘lorsque,’ not only you can avoid some common French mistakes, but will become one of the favorite persons among the French, especially when you master French pronouns.

What's the difference between Quand and Lorsque?

Even though the two words mean the same thing and also, can be mainly used in almost the same situations, the word ‘lorsque’ is more formally used than ‘quand.’ The first thing that is the same for both words is that their meaning is ‘when’ and it isn’t possible to change nor within different contexts. Moreover, when the action follows these words, no matter if it is ‘quand’ or ‘lorsque,’ in French, the French verb has to be in the future tense, while in English it is in the present tense. The situations when you can use the two words are various, and yet the same,so now, let’s take a look at them.

How to use Quand?

The word 'quand' is the most commonly used word for 'when' in French. There are different situations, however, when to use it. It is used in statements, as its English equivalent, to talk about the correlation of different things in time. Example: Je dormais quand il est arrivé.-I was sleeping when he arrived. it can be used as an interrogative form for questions. By the way, this is the most common way the word 'quand' is used. Exemple: Quand est-ce que vous avez rendez-vous ?-When do you have an appointment? it can be used for showing contrasts and clear differences. Also, in these situations, you can also hear the phrase 'alors que' instead of 'quand.' Exemple: Pourquoi dormir quand la télévision est plus amusante?- Why sleep when watching tv is more fun?

How to use Lorsque?

The word 'lorsque' also means 'when.' The word, however, does seem a bit more formal than the previous one. Even though it is more formal, there are occasions when you can hear it among people on the street. It also can't be used to ask questions as the word ‘quand,' you can use it in the following situations instead of 'quand.' it can be used to show different actions and their correlation in time. Je dormais lorsque le monsieur est arrivé- I was sleeping when the man arrived. ‘lorsque’ can be used to show differences or contrasts like in the example we’ve mentioned in the ‘quand’ part. Exemple: Pourquoi dormir lorsque la télévision est plus amusante?- Why sleep when watching tv is more fun? Even though the two words are similar and in English, they mean one word, in the previous situations people prefer using 'quand’ instead of ' lorsque.' Especially in the spoken form. The reason for that might be that native speakers usually use the word 'lorsque' to connect with the phrase 'at the moment when.’ But there is no need to worry. Both words can be used in the situations as mentioned.

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