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You’ll never see ENCORE in French the same way…encore

In this lesson we’re answering a very specific question:

What the hell does encore actually mean in French?

I mean, take this sentence for example:

Il pleut encore.

It can mean It’s raining again but also It’s still raining.

Read on to learn about all the meanings of Encore in everyday French or watch the video.

Not Yet

Alors, the first meaning of encore in French is when it’s used as part of pas encore. This means not yet in English and it’s very straightforward to understand thanks to its direct translation to English.

Ils n’ont pas encore ouvert les portes. or in everyday French where they drop the ne : Ils ont pas encore ouvert les portes. Ils ont pas encore ouvert les portes.

They have not yet opened the doors. Or They haven’t opened the doors yet.

I’ve noticed that some people make the liaison and say pazencore and some people don’t. My brain does it one day, and not the other. No problems thus far.

Again

Encore in French can also mean again like in our sentence from the beginning Il pleut encore. Il pleut encore. It’s raining again.

Or even Tu regardes encore le même film ?

When used in the passé composé or another compound tense where there are 2 parts to the verb, encore goes between the auxiliary verb and the past participle:

Il a encore plu hier. Il a encore plu hier. It rained again yesterday.

A very common placement for adverbs in French which can be tricky for English speakers.

Oh and for further emphasis or to add some variety you can also say encore une fois. = once more/again.

Je répète encore une fois : encore can mean again.

Still

Ensuite, encore can also mean still in English and can be confusing in some cases when used in the present tense:

Il pleut encore can mean, as we’ve seen, It’s raining again.

But it can also mean It’s still raining.

You, as an English speaker probably care more about how to say what you’re thinking in English. In that case, c’est facile, right? If you want to say again use encore and if you want to say still use encore.

Encore, encore et encore, et encore… [head spinning].

Did you know that you can also use toujours to mean still? It surprised me when I first got to France. There’s a subtle but important difference between the two, so if you’d like me to do a video on that leave a like down below.

Another or X more

For countable nouns, whether singular or plural, such as une pinte de bière or un verre de vin we can place encore before them to mean another or X more par exemple, au bar :

Encore une pinte de blanche s’il vous plaît. Encore une pinte de blanche s’il vous plaît. Another pint of wheatbeer please.

Ou dans le bus :

Il nous reste encore deux arrêts. Il nous reste encore deux arrêts. We have two more stops to go.

And then you could hear encore?! meaning still?! from the impatient child you’re travelling with :).

You can also use synonyms like un/une autre as in une autre pinte. Deux autres verres, or deux pintes de plus.

So that’s countable nouns. For uncountable nouns or simply a plural without a specific quantity – think some – you do the same thing but you use du, de la, and des.

1: Tu veux encore du pain ?

2: Allez, un petit bout.

Tu veux encore du pain?

Even

You know in English when you say something like That is even more interesting or He is even taller than I imagined. For these cases, you use encore to mean even!

Ça c’est encore plus intéressant. Ça c’est encore plus intéressant.

Il est encore plus grand que je l’imaginais.

Or in a real interaction you might just hear or say encore plus.

Il est aussi grand que tu l’imaginais ?

Encore plus !

This works just like in English. Where we could say even + an adjective or an adverb in French we’d just use encore.

With nouns you just need to add de between the plus or the moins and the noun. Par exemple:

Il y a encore moins de monde qu’hier. Il y a encore moins de monde qu’hier. There are even fewer people than yesterday.

But this is a rule for plus/moins de than encore.

How do you know: Il pleut encore – Again or still?

So, what if we hear Il pleut encore? How can we know the intended meaning? The answer is context.

It’s incredibly rare or impossible that this sentence would come up with absolutely zero context.

For example, you see a film, and in one scene one guy walks up to another guy who’s frustrated and says:

Il pleut encore hein ? and the other guy says Oui, ça fait 2 heures, putain !”.

We can infer from that that encore here means still because he’s stated that for the last 2 hours (ça fait deux heures), it’s been raining. It’s still raining.

Whereas, imagine the same two guys, the same scene, but the second guy says

Ouais, hier toute la matinée puis il s’est arrêté, et il pleut encore aujourd’hui.

We can infer that he’s said Yea, yesterday all morning then it stopped, and it’s raining again today.

Recap

The six things you learned about Encore are:

  1. Pas encore – Not yet.
  2. Again to repeat something.
  3. It can mean Still.
  4. Another or X More of something.
  5. Even more or less something.
  6. Use Context to understand the intended meaning when you hear or read encore.

If you enjoyed this little grammar lesson and you’re encore hungry for more, check out my monthly grammar and speaking workshops as part of Parlons Grammaire on a variety of challenging topics for intermediate learners, explained in plain English.

Don’t forget tout le monde: it’s #progrespasperfection that counts. Say it in the comments if you got this far! It’s empowering.

2 Comments

  1. Don

    Merci encore pour la leçon. Merci encore pour votre temps. J’essaie d’apprendre encore. Merci à vous.

    Reply
    • Alex

      De rien, de rien, et encore une fois de rien Don!

      Reply

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