Adverbe. (“Adverbial conjunction” dit le Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.)

De toutes les façons, quoi qu’il en soit.

« Bon, pas la peine de discuter plus longtemps, c’est moi qui amène le briyani anyway. »
« De l’avis d’une enseignante d’une SSS située aux Plaines-Wilhems, ses représentants syndicaux ont eu tort de s’engager dans une surenchère avec le ministère, cela pour aboutir à des conditions encore moins avantageuses par rapport à celles de la semaine dernière. “Anyway, on a signé pour le PRB, avec les salaires et les conditions de travail proposés. Toute cette histoire a eu pour conséquence que notre image de marque a pris un sacré coup.” » (Le Mauricien, 3 septembre 2008.)
« Si oui pourquoi pour JBD et pas pour les autres morts de PL ? Anyway ce n’est pas de la faute de JBD mais de travaillistes mal inspires a la municipalite de PL. » (L’Express du 1er octobre 2010, commentaire d’article.)
Locution fréquente, emprunté directement à l’anglais sans changement sémantique. Par contre son synonyme anyhow n’est jamais utilisé. Selon Robillard, l’expression est « utilisée plus souvent en début de phrase, renvoyant à ce qui a précédé ». Certes, on l’entend probablement plus fréquemment en début de phrase qu’au milieu ou à la fin, mais ceci est loin d’être systématique, comme le montre le premier exemple (fabriqué) de ce billet.


65 réponses à “Anyway

  1. « Anyway » s’emploie comme « de toute façon », ce qui n’est pas exactement la même chose que « de toutes les façons ». « De toute façon » s’emploie pour en finir avec une discussion ou une description. « De toutes les façons », c’est plus concret.

  2. Ah oui ? Pour ma part je ne fais aucune différence entre “de toute façon” et “de toutes les façons”, employant indifféremment l’un ou l’autre quelles que soient les circonstances.

    And I would like to know if for English native speakers there is any difference between anyway and anyhow.

  3. For the most part the word « anyway » no longer means « in any way ». It often means something like « what’s more », or « be that as it may ».

    To me, « anyhow » is interchangeable with « anyway » in almost all contexts, but sounds more « folksy » — is associated with rural US dialects.

  4. To me “anyhow” is primarily associated with a Chinese contractor from Zhejiang (I think) who used to use it regularly. Since “How” is also a Chinese name, his recurring “any How”s just added to the fun.

  5. I think « anyhow » used as a synonym for « anyway » may be more American than British. However, there is a song by The Who called « Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere ».

  6. Anyway, anyhow, anywhere, anything, anyone — and Whoever.

    But Mr Collins says that in the US and in Canada there is a nonstandard word for anyway: anyways. We might be back, then, to the difference Marie-Lucie saw between de toute façon and de toutes les façons.

  7. Anyway can substitute for anyhow, but not the other way around.

    Anyhow, as I was saying, a funny thing happened to me…. [anyhow=anyway=to continue]

    In Katmandu, I was advised not to eat the wild boar, but I ate it anyway. [anyway=in spite of]

  8. Anyway, anyhow, anywhere, anything, anyone —

    and anybody, but not anywhen. Also the jocular anyhoo for anyhow.

    and Whoever.

    and whenever, wherever, whatever.

    And somehow, somewhere, something, someone, somebody. And somewhat (but it’s rarely used in a nounish fashion — more sort of adverbish). But neither somewhen nor someway.

  9. English is full of pairs of words with and without -s, which historically is identical with the possessive ending, though no longer felt to be so. In some cases, as always, the -s is now mandatory; in others, as somewheres, the -s is now strongly stigmatized. Where both forms survive in standard usage, there is sometimes a slight distinction, as in forward and forwards, where only the former can be used in metaphorical senses, but the latter both literally and metaphorically &mdash but this distinction cannot be applied before about 1850. Per contra, toward and towards (pronounced « tord », « tords ») are almost or altogether indistinguishable in sense.

  10. Anyway can substitute for anyhow, but not the other way around.

    Nijma, that’s your opinion. Some people are going to substitute anyhow for anyway anyhow.

  11. A. J. P. Crown

    pronounced « tord »

    Not by me.

  12. Some peevers complain about the to-WARD pronunciation, of which tord is a shortened form, I think. The peevers say it’s supposed to be TOO-ward (sme pattern as FOR-ward, BACK-ward, etc), I believe.

  13. John: pronounced « tord »

    Arthur: Not by me.

    Siganus: Not by me either.
    (But who am I, in the end, mere Martian, to talk about English pronunciation?)

    Regarding additional esses and other useless letters, I am still wondering what the difference might be between while and whilst or between among and amongst. Would it just be a matter of pedantry by any misfortune?

  14. I’d say no real difference. Whilst and amongst feel a bit archaic. Not pedantry but possibly for some speakers affectation, or self-indulgence. Betwixt and between is a pleasure to say, if redundant. One would not want to say erstwhilst, and I don’t suppose one ever did.

  15. I say « tword ». I think empty has a New England accent.

    « Whilst » and « amongst » are old. You might find them in a religious writing, for those who value authority and think such usage conveys more of it.

  16. I think empty has a New England accent.

    But I didn’t even say how I pronounce the word!

  17. Whilst has been revived in BrE in recent years, and is perhaps now more favored than while; in AmE it remains archaic.

    The original pairs of among, amid, while were the obsolete forms amongs, amids, whiles; however, they have been altered by confusion with the superlative ending (e)st to amongst, amidst, whilst.

    Another pair I thought of is beside ‘on the side of’ and besides ‘in addition to’.

  18. But I didn’t even say how I pronounce the word!

    Oh, the « tord » was John Cowan, then. He’s from New Yawk, right?

  19. A. J. P. Crown

    Does that mean tord is an Irish pronunciation?

  20. Et comment différencier « though » de « although », ou pire encore, choisir entre « which » and « that » (pronom relatif) ?

  21. « Which » versus « that » is a historic battleground for those who profess opinions about English usage.

    1. In « the peanut, which is a legume » one may not substitute « that ».

    2. In « this peanut which you see before you » one may substitute « that ».

    The difference is that in the second example, but not the first, the words beginning with the relative pronoun are telling you what peanut is meant.

    Some grammar-and-usage prescriptivists have insisted that in the second class of examples « which » is wrong and « that » is required. Right-thinking people disagree.

  22. I live in New York, but I was not born there, and so my pronunciation is rhotic: Noo York, not Noo Yawk or N’yew Yawk.

    There has been no semantic difference between though and although for six hundred years. There are certain constructions that require though and reject although, though [and this is one of them!] Similarly, as though ‘as if’ and even though ‘despite’ do not work with although.

    As for which and that, ignorance abounds. When a relative clause is parenthetical in nature, as in The Grand Tetons, which is a mountain range in Wyoming, the clause marker must be which. In all other cases, however, there are no rules other than those of euphony to determine whether to use which or that, and all such supposed rules are the merest superstition and a fraud on the usage-book-buying public.

  23. Cowan’s last paragraph says (better) what I tried to say.

  24. there are no rules other than those of euphony to determine whether to use which or that,

    Some spellcheck will mark « which » with red underlining and suggest « that » as a replacement. I think it’s Microsoft Word.

  25. Many thanks to Nijma, empty and John.

    The more I speak, write and read in English, the more I get convinced that the comparison between French (being – oh ! – soooo difficult to learn) and English (that nicely wordwilde understandable lingua franca) is a false perception of the tricky nature of English. Obviously, when the best explanation you get on why that instead of which (or the other way round ) is « it’s a question of euphony », you are supposed to know what’s « euphonic » and what’s not before deciding to use that and not which – but how do yo know ?

    It reminds me my sons learning German and trying to determine whether they should use Akkusativ or Dativ after certain prepositions : they came home completely puzzled after their (German) teacher had told them : « Simply ask you whether you’re answering the question « Wo » or « Wohin ». Unfortunately enough, they did not have the slightest idea of what « Wo » or « Wohin » were supposed to mean…

  26. Sig: de toute façon – de toutes les façons

    Prenons l’exemple de Nijma:

    In Katmandu, I was advised not to eat the wild boar, but I ate it anyway.

    A Katmandu, on m’a conseillé de ne pas manger de sanglier, mais …

    … de toute façon, après avoir entendu des opinions contradictoires, j’en ai mangé. (= en dépit de cela)

    … non seulement j’en ai mangé, mais j’en ai mangé de toutes les façons (= accommodé de plusieurs façons différentes).

    De toute façon, chacun n’en fera qu’à sa tête quant à l’emploi de ces locutions.

  27. they came home completely puzzled after their (German) teacher had told them : « Simply ask you whether you’re answering the question « Wo » or « Wohin ». Unfortunately enough, they did not have the slightest idea of what « Wo » or « Wohin » were supposed to mean…

    This is something that often happens when a language teacher (especially an inexperienced one) is teaching their own language – they don’t realize that what seems obvious to them can be a total mystery to the students.

  28. j’en ai mangé de toutes les façons (= accommodé de plusieurs façons différentes)

    Là, Marie-Lucie, nous parlons d’autre chose. Il ne s’agit plus de la locution qui signifierait anyway, en un seul mot. Si vous dites “in any (possible) way” — de toutes les façons (possibles) —, alors oui, bien sûr, il existe une différence avec “de toute façon”. Mais il existe aussi, pour moi tout au moins, la locution “de toutes les façons” qui a rigoureusement le même sens que “de toute façon”.

    Mais vous avez raison : chacun a déjà son idée sur la question de toutes les façons.

  29. The statement that euphony is (in many cases) the only basis for choosing between that and which is rather different from the German teacher’s advice about prepositions and cases.

    Neither one is wrong. One of them may sound better to you — no guarantee that it will sound better to someone else. But that is true generally of language use.

  30. Euphony prescriptions are much weaker than grammatical ones. The 1960s satirical U.K. comedy That Was The Week That Was would have been hard to say as … Week Which Was, but not incorrect.

  31. Après plus ou moins mûre réflexion, je crois que de toute façon se traduirait souvent par in any case ou at any rate, plutôt que par anyway. Mais ça dépend sans doute des cas individuels.

  32. I didn’t know TW3 was British. It aired in the U.S., with completely American political themes, from 1963-65.

    Wiki: At the end of each episode, Frost would usually sign off with: « That was the week, that was. » At the end of the final programme he announced: « That was That Was The Week That Was…that was. »

  33. A problem that bothered me for some time: whose applied to animals or inanimate objects. “John, whose son studied fine arts…”: this is alright, since we are talking of the son who studied fine arts. [Or rather, as Empty highlighted in his comment below, of John who is a person.] But what about “the roof whose thatch is rotten”? This time it is the thatch which is rotten. [And the roof which is made of thatch.] But is does seem that whose can be used in this case as well (Penguin English Dictionary).

  34. The relevant point is that John is a person. It doesn’t matter whether his son is.

    « John, whose house needed a new roof » is as unobjectionable as « John, whose son studied … »

    But, as you say, things which* would never take who can take whose.

    * or, pace some peevers, « that », but not « who »

  35. Yes, of course, just like “empty, whose blog is mostly in black and white…” (empty being a person, tout comme Personne était quelqu’un).

    But I always need to convince myself that whose can be used for a thing which “owns” something else too. It doesn’t come naturally.

  36. “John, whose son studied fine arts…”: this is alright, since we are talking of the son who studied fine arts.

    In this case, « whose » refers to John.

    « The house, whose roof was leaking… »
    ..not so much. It’s an artificial sentence though, a native speaker would find a different way to say it, to avoid turning the house into a person.

  37. the house, which roof was leaking ?

  38. Siganus: Dans un anglais plutôt littéraire on dirait the house, the roof of which is leaking, mais actuellement on voit couramment écrit the house (,) whose roof is leaking, même si le mot housene désigne pas une personne et ne peut pas servir d’antécédent au pronom relatif who.

    Dans the roof of which, which a pour antécédent the house, pas the roof. C’est la même chose pour whose, qui signifie « dont », comme en français (mais en anglais le mot n’est pas suivi d’un article).

    Aquinze, votre suggestion ne se dit pas en anglais. Mais on pourrait dire … the roof…, which roof was leaking …, ce qui signifie « … le toit…, lequel toit gouttait … ».

  39. From American Heritage Dictionary:

    It has sometimes been claimed that whose is properly used only as the possessive form of who and thus should be restricted to animate antecedents, as in a man whose power has greatly eroded. But there is extensive literary precedent for the use of whose with inanimate antecedents, as in The play, whose style is rigidly formal, is typical of the period. In an earlier survey this example was acceptable to a large majority of the Usage Panel. Those who avoid this usage employ of which: The play, the style of which is rigidly formal, is typical of the period. But as this example demonstrates, substituting of which may produce a stilted sentence.

  40. Nijma: « The house, whose roof was leaking… »… not so much. It’s an artificial sentence though, a native speaker would find a different way to say it, to avoid turning the house into a person.

    What the Collins English Dictionary (Unabridged, 6th edition, 2003) has to say about whose:

    whose (hu:z) Determiner
    1) a. of whom? belonging to whom? used in direct and indirect questions. […] b. (as pronoun): whose is that?
    2) of whom; belonging to whom; of which; belonging to which: used as a relative pronoun: a house whose windows are broken.

    But somehow I agree with you. There is something that doesn’t sound quite right about the way this last italicised sentence works, whose being linked (at least in my mind) to a person, not to an animal or a thing. Deep inside I have the vague feeling, like A15 says above, that in these cases whose should be which, but I can’t remember where this feeling comes from, if this is what I was taught at a young age or what.

    Incidentally, this whose question made me come across an English word I never heard of before: determiner. For me words were divided into nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, articles, etc., but not “determiners”. What the Collins, again, has to say about it:
    determiner – A word, such as a number, article, personal pronoun, that determines (limits) the meaning of a noun phrase, e.g. their in ‘their black cat’.

  41. I think of it like this:

    1. In questions, « who » is for people and « what » is for things.
    Who is that woman?
    What is that plant?

    « Who » has what might be called a possessive form. « What » has no possessive form for questions.
    Whose little girl are you?
    [NOT What’s leaves have air in them.]
    What plant’s leaves have air in them?

    2. In certain other constructions « who » is for people and « which » is for things.
    Sarah Palin, who ran for vice president …
    The poc-poc, which grows on the coast of Mars …

    Here again « whose » is the possessive form of « who », and it also doubles (maybe a little awkwardly) as possessive form for « which »:
    Sarah Palin, whose election campaign was so entertaining …
    The poc-poc, whose leaves are filled with air …

    3. In still others, « who » is for people and « that » (or « which » if you think it sounds better) is for things.
    Any woman who runs for national office …
    Any plant that has air in its leaves …

    Again « whose can do double duty:
    A woman whose claim to fame is …
    A plant whose leaves are full of air …

  42. Aquinze, votre suggestion ne se dit pas en anglais.

    Oui, je le vois maintenant. C’est comme si l’on disait, incorrectement, en français : « la maison que je t’ai parlée » à la place de « la maison dont (ou de laquelle) je t’ai parlée ».

    empty, in case we knew several Sig, would we then ask « whose Sig’s little girl are you » ? But she might answer that she is the oldest one, no ? (To compare with French : « de quel Sig es-tu la fille ? » v/ « quelle fille de Sig es-tu ? » )

  43. L’âge du capitaine et des filles March n’a aucune espèce d’importance. Anyway, tous les Sig sont jeunes et toutes leurs filles le sont aussi.

  44. Captain Sig, an English word I never heard of before: determiner

    Mais vous avez sûrement déjà rencontré le déterminant en français. (Il se cache avec le futur du passé dans les coins des livres de grammaire)

  45. « whose Sig’s little girl are you » ?

    In English that would not sound right, trying to guess the meaning one would be imagining that there is more than one Sig: « You are the little girl of which Sig? » To express your idea we might say « Which of Sig’s little girls are you? »

  46. > empty

    « You are the little girl of which Sig? », «Which of Sig’s little girls are you?,

    that’s my point : in these examples, « which » would be used for Sig or his little girl, while I thought that only « who » would be right for persons…

  47. Next try :

    «Whom of Sig’s little girls are you? »

  48. Zerbinette : Mais vous avez sûrement déjà rencontré le déterminant

    Vaguement, très vaguement. Je ne suis pas sûr que nous ayons été proprement présentés l’un à l’autre.

  49. Which as a relative pronoun simply refers to inanimates, but which as an interrogative pronoun has an entirely different sense: it asks for a choice, and is applied to animates or inanimates indifferently. Which dog is yours? asks you to point to your dog as distinct from the others, or to speak words that identify that dog, such as The one on the left, The brown one, or simply This one (= the nearest one). And likewise with Which table is yours? The original historical connection between the two whiches has been severed completely.

  50. the two whiches has been severed completely

    I thought that witches were burnt, not beheaded.

  51. I don’t care what the dictionary says, I still don’t like « whose » with inanimate objects. The examples don’t really sound incorrect, but I doubt that I would spontaneously write a sentence like that.

    the house, which roof was leaking
    Definitely not correct.

    « Determiners »? What is this Collins dictionary of which you speak? I use Merriam-Webster; you can even add it to your Firefox search engine window.

  52. An idea whose time has come.

  53. >John Cowan
    My student’s book says:
    “We often use “what” as a relative pronoun. It means: the thing (or things) which.
    “Which”, as an interrogative pronoun, is for finite possibilities and “what” for finite possibilities.”

  54. Do you have an example Jesús?

  55. determiner, « déterminant »

    These are relatively new terms, used in generative grammar (based on Chomsky’s theories) as a cover term for articles, possessives and other short words which may start a noun phrase; eg the/a/my/some/any book: these words are all used in the same pre-nominal position and only one of them can be used in a given noun phrase (en français « groupe nominal » ou « syntagme nominal »).

  56. Aquinze:

    « de quel Sig es-tu la fille ? » v/

    Je traduirais par: « Which Sig is your father? » ou « Which one of the Sigs is your father » (= il y a plus d’un père nommé Sig)

    « quelle fille de Sig es-tu ? » ) (ou plutôt : Laquelle des filles de Sig es-tu?)

    « Which one of Sig’s daughters are you? »

    «Whom of Sig’s little girls are you? »
    Cette phrase est impossible en anglais.

  57. >Siganus K

    We often use “what” as a relative pronoun. It means: the thing (or things) which.
    Ex.: I can’t hear what you’re saying.

    “Which”,as an interrogative pronoun, is for finite possibilities and “what” for finite possibilities.
    Which book is yours?
    What time is it?

  58. “Which”,as an interrogative pronoun, is for finite possibilities and “what” for finite possibilities.

    The second « finite » is probably « infinite ».

    Which book is yours? = Which one of the books is yours?
    Ici il s’agit de faire un choix entre des possibilités connues (« Quel livre est le vôtre? = « Lequel de ces livres est le vôtre? »)

    What time is it?
    « Quelle heure est-il? »

    (il pourrait être n’importe quelle heure, il ne s’agit pas de reconnaitre ou choisir une heure donnée)

    On pourrait dire « Which time is it? » seulement dans un contexte tel que le choix d’une heure de départ dans un horaire de train, d’avion, etc.

  59. >Marie-lucie
    Sorry, my mistake.
    « What » for infinite possibilities.
    Also in English, I…

  60. Jesús, I’m somewhat confused about what can be considered “infinite”.

    Which ocean is the one you prefer?
    What ocean is the one your prefer?

    Is an ocean considered infinite, always, sometimes or never?

  61. >Siganus K.

    Un Espagnol (ou moi au moins) n’est pas le plus indiqué pour vous répondre. Que dire aussi à propos de votre article partitif ? Nous disons, par exemple, «dame agua» (donne-moi eau).
    Votre question me semble un joke. Je ne cause pas l’anglais et non plus le français. Ayo ! moi un calipa ?

  62. Siganus, je ne sais pas si vous voulez plaisanter ou non, mais « infinite » ici se réfère au nombre limité ou non de possibilités, non aux objets ou aux personnes parmi lesquels il faut choisir.

    En général, what sert à identifier le type de chose ou de personne, what sert à démarquer un exemplaire ou individu parmi d’autres du même type.

    Dans votre exemple avec « ocean », on peut utiliser what ou which presque indifféremment parce qu’il n’en existe qu’un nombre très limité. Dans ce cas, le mot which est plus précis mais what, bien que plus vague, ne crée pas d’ambigüité. Mais si vos questions venaient d’une oeuvre de science-fiction où une vaste planète imaginaire était couverte de nombreux océans, il pourrait y avoir une différence selon le contexte.

    Exemple: dans une librarie, vous ne trouvez pas le livre que vous cherchez et vous décidez de le commander. On vous demandera: What book would you like to order?, parce que le choix est très vaste. Mais si vous avez spécifié que vous cherchez un livre de tel écrivain, on pourra vous demander Which book would you like to order?, parce que le choix est maintenant limité à l’un des ouvrages de cet auteur. De même, s’il y a deux auteurs du même nom, on pourra vous demander Which John Smith?. Mais si John Smith est un illustre inconnu dont vous vantez cependant les mérites, on peut vous rétorquer What John Smith? (sous-entendu: Ce nom ne me dit rien, ne veut rien dire pour moi).

  63. Ayo ! moi un calipa ? > En tout cas, Jesús, vous êtes impressionnant en mauricien ! Mari sérieux !

    Marie-Lucie, si l’on en croit le film qui lui a été consacré, le roi George III ponctuait nombre de ses phrases de “what, what”. Mais vos exemples relatifs aux différents choix que l’on peut avoir lorsqu’on commande des livres était très explicite.

  64. le roi George III ponctuait nombre de ses phrases de “what, what”

    C’est sûrement vrai. Dans beaucoup de romans anglais mettant en scène des messieurs de la haute société (souvent assez âgés), ces personnages finissent souvent leurs phrases par « what », qui n’est pas une question dans ce contexte, plutôt comme « hein » en français.

  65. Ohm : « Which electrician ? »
    Edison : « Watt. »
    Ohm : « Which Watt ? »
    Edison : « The witch one .»
    Ohm : « What ? »

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