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French expressions analyzed and explained


Ton château de sable, magnifique d'ailleurs, ne peut pas durer
Colin Anderson / Getty Images
Expression: D'ailleurs

Pronunciation: [da yeur]

Meaning: besides, moreover; for that matter; might I add, by the way

Literal translation: from elsewhere

Register: normal

Notes: The adverbial French expression d'ailleurs literally means "besides" or "moreover," but it also has two other uses:
  1. It can be used to add a bit of interesting but non-essential information, the way you might say "might I add" or "by the way."
  2. It's often tacked on to sentences with no real meaning - it's kind of a filler, like the English word "so."

   Je n'ai pas réussi à l'examen, et d'ailleurs je dois admettre que je n'ai même pas révisé.
   I didn't pass the test, and I have to admit that, moreover, I didn't even study.

   Moi non plus, d'ailleurs.
   Me neither, for that matter.

   Ton château de sable, magnifique d'ailleurs, ne peut pas durer avec ces fondations.
   Your sand castle, which by the way is magnificent, can't last on that foundation.

   J'ai parlé à Jean, d'ailleurs il a maigri, et il va venir vers midi.
   I talked to Jean, who has lost weight, by the way, and he'll be here around noon.

   D'ailleurs, on y va ?
   So anyway, are we going?

D'ailleurs is the required contraction of the preposition de (of, from, about) plus the adverb ailleurs (elsewhere, somewhere else).

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