Au cas où + Le Conditionnel = In case

To express (just) in case in French, you use the expression (juste) au cas où.

Look at the following examples:

J'en ai racheté, juste au cas où.
I bought some more, just in case.

Nous avons acheté de la crème solaire, au cas où.
We bought some suntan lotion, just in case.

Au cas où vous vous demanderiez où elle est, elle est allée au marché.
In case you're wondering where she is, she went to the market.

Je te le dis au cas où tu ne serais pas au courant.
I'm telling you in case you weren't aware of it.

 

The delicate point here is the question of the mood following au cas. Indeed, as it expresses an uncertain state or an hypothesis, you could be tempted to use Le Subjonctif. That would be a mistake!

With the expression (juste) au cas où, you can only use Le Conditionnel.

Je te le dis au cas où tu ne le saurais pas.
I'm telling you in case you don't know.

  

Au cas où vous auriez faim, je vous ai fait un sandwich.
In case you get hungry, I made you a sandwich.

  

 

 

Examples and resources

Je te le dis au cas où tu ne le saurais pas.
I'm telling you in case you don't know.


Nous avons acheté de la crème solaire, au cas où.
We bought some suntan lotion, just in case.


Au cas où vous auriez faim, je vous ai fait un sandwich.
In case you get hungry, I made you a sandwich.


J'en ai racheté, juste au cas où.
I bought some more, just in case.


Je te le dis au cas où tu ne serais pas au courant.
I'm telling you in case you weren't aware of it.


Au cas où vous vous demanderiez où elle est, elle est allée au marché.
In case you're wondering where she is, she went to the market.


Q&A Forum 13 questions, 25 answers

Je me change au cas où je devrais ressortir.

Bonjour à tous:  Je me demande que j'arrive à utiliser une autre phrase: . Je sais que je dois utiliser la première phrase.  C'est possible d'utiliser la deuxième phrase?

Asked 1 week ago

What's your second sentence?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Au cas où + conditionnel

Then you put 2 examples that do NOT use the conditionnelle.  I am now totally confused.

Then you use juste sometimes and not others with no explanation.

Please explain full.

Asked 4 weeks ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

There are two ways to use "au cas où", very much like in English:

(1) I told you, just in case. -- Je te l'ai dit, juste au cas où. There is no conditional here.

(2) In case you are late, come see me. -- Au cas où vous seriez en retard, venez me voir. In this case there is a conditional, since au cas où isn't by itself any more.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Why 'J'en ai racheté' not 'J'en ai acheté' in the first example?

Asked 5 months ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

Racheter means "to buy again" or "to buy some more".

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

No liaison between S and O in the expression 'au cas où

As I understand, a normally silent consonant at the end of a word should be pronounced if the following word starts with a vowel.

 Could you please explain why this does not happen with the S and O in the expression 'au caS Où

Thank you

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Stewart,

This is a case when both are possible.     

As 'au cazou' sounds a bit funny people will say with a smile stressing the liaison between the 's' and the 'o'.

Well spotted!

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

.....in case it's sunny

The answer given is '....au cas où il fesait beau'. Couldn't you say as an alternative '....au cas où il y aurait du soleil'?
Asked 10 months ago

Hi John, 

...au cas où il ferait beau or ...au cas où il y aurait du soleil both are ok. 

-- Chris. 

In my book "il fait beau" means the weather is nice. The sun does not necessarily have to shine for the weather to be nice. Therefore "il fait beau" is not an appropriate translation for "it's sunny".

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

SusanB2

I am confused: the first two sentences use the past tense, one with juste au cas oû, the other au cas oû but your explanation only talks about the

conditional tense and not why these first two sentences are different.
Asked 10 months ago

The past tense occurs in the main clause, the conditional is always used in the subordinate clause started by au cas où. 

I'm not sure if that answers your question. 

-- Chris. 

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

In the explanation you have '(juste) au cas où' but you have marked me wrong for putting the word 'juste' in brackets.

Asked 0 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star

Bonjour Tina !

The brackets in the lesson mean that you can use either "juste au cas où" or "au cas où" interchangeably, however when giving an answer, you simply have to pick one of these two options :)

I hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !

Thank you. I knew it meant it was optional but thought I could put that in my answer.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

juste au cas où and au cas où

Hello, In the examples given juste au cas où and  au cas où both translate as just in case when at the end of a sentence. Is there a way to know when to add juste, or is it entirely optional? Thanks.
Asked 0 years ago

I believe it is entirely optional, just like in English

-- Chris (not a native speaker). 

Thanks Chris. 
Being pedantic, "juste" in this sense is an Anclicism.  Ce n'est pas juste!

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

When is "jusqu'au cas où used instead of "au cas où"?

Asked 5 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super starCorrect answer
Bonjour Barbara !

"Jusqu'au cas où" doesn't exist at all, you're probably thinking of "juste au cas où", which is indeed an alternate option :)

Bonne journée !

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

JanC1

The phrase "Anthony is bringing his sunglasses in case it's sunny" can be translated

The phrase "Anthony is bringing his sunglasses in case it's sunny" can be translated "Anthony apporte ses lunettes de soleil au cas où il ferait beau" but is there a way of using il y a du soleil instead or is it impossible because of the au cas où + le conditionnel-rule?
Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq language super starCorrect answer
Bonjour Jan !

No, you could also use "il y a du soleil", simply with "avoir" in Le Conditionnel as such:
Anthony apporte ses lunettes de soleil au cas où il y aurait du soleil.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !
AurélieKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Bonjour Tom and Karl !

"Faire du soleil" is not the correct expression in French :)

Please have a look at our explanation in the related lesson:

 
Bonne journée !
TomC1
Would "il ferait du soleil" also be acceptable? I was marked "nearly correct for this.

Would "Anthony apporte ses lunettes de soleil au cas où il ferait du soleil." also be acceptable?

Merci!

In the link you provide there is no mention of how to say it is sunny. Would "le soleil brille" work for you?
TomC1
I am confused. I have seen 'faire du soleil' in numerous text books. It is also condoned by CNTRL and the Académie française.

Merci.  J'ai eu la même question.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

MelC1

What is wrong with "just au cas où" at the end of a sentence? Mine was marked partially incorrect.

Asked 4 years ago
MelC1
I meant "juste au cas où".

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

AurélieKwiziq language super star

David asked: "Why does "au cas où" take the conditional rather than the subjunctive?"

Asked 9 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star

Bonjour David !

Unfortunately, I have to admit I have no explanation for you :(

I must even admit that as a native speaker, I actually used to make that mistake regularly before looking into it for the site... 
All I can say is that Le Conditionnel is also a mode that expresses hypotheses and theoretical cases, hence it's logical that it'd be used in such a context.

I hope that's helpful! 

au cas que takes the subjuctive.  Au cas qu'il fasse beau.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Were or Are?

"Au cas où vous vous demanderiez où elle est, elle est allée au marché." Sorry if this sounds a silly question, but does the above translate... in case you are wondering or were wondering?
Asked 9 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Pauline, Literally, it's "you would be wondering," which we'd never say in English. Both "you were wondering" and "you are wondering" are acceptable.
Thanks Laura!

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Clever stuff underway!