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Même can mean "same", "itself", "very", "exact" and "precise" as an adjective, and "even" as an adverb

The word même is extremely common and versatile in French, with many meanings depending on its position and/or context. The best way to understand it is to see it in action.

Même as an adjective = same / itself / very - exact / precise

c'est la même personne
it's the same person

ce sont les mêmes plantes
they're the same plants

c'est la perfection même 
it's perfection itself

au moment même où je m'endormais...
at the very moment I was falling asleep...

Note that when même is used as an adjective, it agrees in numbermême(s). Its meaning can vary from same / itself / very to exact / precise.

 

Même as an adverb = even

même ma mère est allée ... 
even my mother went ...

Il avait même cuisiné! 
He had even cooked!

Mes amis avaient même invité mes parents !
My friends had even invited my parents!

 

Note that when même is used as an adverb, it never changes : mêmeIts meaning in this context is even.

 

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Mes amis avaient même invité mes parents !
My friends had even invited my parents!


even


Il avait même cuisiné! 
He had even cooked!


même ma mère est allée ... 
even my mother went ...


itself


c'est la perfection même 
it's perfection itself


same


c'est la même personne
it's the same person


en même temps 
at the same time


ce sont les mêmes plantes
they're the same plants


c'est la même chose
it's the same thing


very / exact / precise


le jour même
that very day


au moment même où je m'endormais...
at the very moment I was falling asleep...


Micro kwiz: Même can mean "same", "itself", "very", "exact" and "precise" as an adjective, and "even" as an adverb
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Q&A

Lia

Kwiziq community member

21 April 2016

2 replies

I hear 'quand même' so often. What does it mean exactly? Thank you.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

21 April 2016

21/04/16

Bonjour Lia !


Oh là là ! How long have you got?
The expression "quand même" has many different uses and meanings, depending on context, but its main meaning I would say is close to "still / anyway", as in:
"Still, you gave it back. / You gave it back anyway." (Tu l'as rendu quand même) or
"He bothered me. - Yes but still..." (Il m'a embêté. -Oui, mais quand même...).


You can also hear "quand bien même..." meaning "even if":
"Quand bien même il serait riche, je ne l'aimerais pas plus!"


I hope that answers your question :)

Habiba

Kwiziq community member

28 October 2017

28/10/17

Did you conditionnel because of the guards at the beginning?

Will

Kwiziq community member

27 December 2015

1 reply

Hi, thanks for your site. I would love some more examples of how 'meme' is used.

Perhaps some youtube videos or something??

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

28 December 2015

28/12/15

Bonjour Will,

We don't currently have plans to make videos, but I'll let you know if that changes.

In the meantime, just keep an ear out whenever you're listening to French - you'll hear même all the time.

Bonne continuation !

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