French Expression of the Day: En fait

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Why do I need to know en fait?

This is one of those expressions that will help your French to sound more natural and fluid, as well as adding a little bit of rhetorical flair to your arguments.

What does it mean?

En fait (ɑ̃ fɛt – the t in fait is always pronounced) can be translated literally as in fact, though it can also mean actually or in reality.

For example, Il devient tard. En fait, je crains quil soit trop tard pour rien changer, means Its getting late. In fact, Im afraid that its too late to change anything.

The expression en fait is most frequently used to contradict a previously made statement or assumption and set the record straight, as in the following example:

Javais pensé quil serait là ce soir, mais en fait il travaille demain. – I thought he was going to be there this evening, but hes actually working tomorrow.

Or Est-ce que ça veut dire que tu ne viens pas ? – En fait, si, je viens.

Does that mean that youre not coming? – Actually, yes, I am coming.

And, in the case of a common misperception,

Tout le monde pense quelle est antipathique. En fait, elle est simplement timide.

Everybody thinks shes unfriendly. In reality, shes just shy.

Not to be confused with…

…en effet or au fait. These expressions sound similar to en fait, but have different meanings.

En effet is used solely to confirm a previous supposition (whereas en fait implies a contradiction), a function often carried out by the English word indeed. As in, Il nest pas trop tard, alors Read More – Source

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