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pour que / afin que - pour / afin de

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Cuckoo, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Cuckoo

    Cuckoo Junior Member

    India, Speak:English, Hindi and some Indian languages
    Hi,

    What is the difference between pour que and afin que, if any? Could anyone please explain me with examples? Similarly for using afin de and pour. It's not very clear to me. I think in first case it is "so that" or "in order to".

    Thanks in advance.

    Moderator note: multiple threads merged to create this one
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  2. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    Hi Cuckoo

    Pour que and afin que are more or less interchangeable as far as meaning is concerned. However, afin que is more formal and would rarely be used in ordinary conversation.

    Je t'ai apporté un oreiller supplémentaire pour que tu sois mieux installé.

    You could hardly have afin que here because it wouldn't be the right register, but it would mean exactly the same.

    In both cases, so that would be an appropriate translation.

    Pour and afin de are also equivalent generally. They have the same difference in relative formality as the above two.
    Yet, there are some occasions when pour couldn't be replaced by afin de

    1a. Je me suis changé pour aller dîner :tick:
    1b. Je me suis changé afin d'aller dîner :confused:

    1a would mean something like I changed clothes for dining out
    1b would mean I changed clothes so as to dine out which wouldn't make much sense.

    The reason is that, in this example, pour doesn't really introduce the purpose, which afin de always does.
     
  3. mangleduk Junior Member

    London Paris
    English UK
    afin que / pour que

    dear all

    what's the difference between these? I can't work it out.

    thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  4. Punky Zoé

    Punky Zoé Senior Member

    Pau
    France - français
    Hi
    Not really differences.
     
  5. flobel

    flobel Senior Member

    France, Mulhouse
    France - français
    "afin que" est plus soutenu je pense. as tu un exemple de phrase?

    Florian
     
  6. falcoZ

    falcoZ Senior Member

    "pour que" is more common. You can use both anyway.
     
  7. ancienphilosophe Junior Member

    New York, NY
    US, English
    Bonjour à tous:

    Pourrait-il quelqu'un me dire les différences sémantiques entre les phrases «pour que», «de sorte que», et «afin que» ? Le dicctionaire en traduit tous comme "so as to," "in order that," etc., mais il faut y avoir des différences en usage.

    Merçi d'avance,
    ancienphilosophe
     
  8. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Wollongong, Australia
    English - Australia
    Je n'entends que rarement la phrase « de sorte que », mais les deux autres sont très courantes. Je les traduirais ainsi:

    Afin que = in order that/for (par ex. Ces cases doivent être remplies afin que nous puissions vous recontacter - These boxes must be filled in in order for us to contact you)

    Pour que = so that (par ex. Ces cases doivent être remplies pour que nous puissions vous recontacter - These boxes must be filled in so that we can contact you)

    Bien entendu, ça veut dire à peu près la même chose ;)

    Quelqu'un pourra-t-il nous en dire plus?
     
  9. s3ct0r3 Junior Member

    Bruxelles, Belgique
    American English
    Aujourd'hui en classe, ma prof nous enseignait le subjonctif et elle m'a dit d'écrire une phrase au tableau. J'ai écrit:

    « Il faut que je parle à mon père aujourd'hui afin que je puisse le souhaiter un bon anniversaire ».

    Elle m'a dit que je n'avait pas raison et que je n'aurais pas dû employer « afin que » mais j'aurais dû employer « pour que ».

    Je ne savais pas qu'il y a une difference entre les deux, mais je suppose que j'avais tort.

    Adez-moi!

    Sean
     
  10. Julz Senior Member

    Well I would be more inclined to use "pour que". But "afin que" certainly is not wrong.
     
  11. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Wollongong, Australia
    English - Australia
    Your choice sounds more formal than your teacher. To me, that is the only difference ;)
     
  12. broglet

    broglet Senior Member

    England - English
    It seems to me that the difference is a bit like

    "I must talk to my father today so I can wish him a happy birthday" (pour)

    "I must talk to my father today in order to wish him a happy birthday" (afin)

    As cropje says, the second seems rather more formal, and in English would be a little heavy and unnatural.

    I should be grateful for the view of a French native on whether or not the difference between the French forms is similar. And would it be better to avoid the subjunctive altogether (although I realise that was not what teacher wanted!) and say ' ... pour le souhaiter ...' ( = ' ... to wish him ...') ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  13. Vianney Senior Member

    France
    En fait il faut mieux écrire :
    "Il faut que je parle à mon père aujourd'hui pour pouvoir lui souhaiter un bon anniversaire "

    Ca aussi c'est bon :
    "Il faut que je parle à mon père aujourd'hui afin de pouvoir lui souhaiter un bon anniversaire "
    mais c'est légèrement plus lourd et un peu moins naturel, comme avec "in order that"

    Mais il ne faut pas reprendre deux fois le sujet.:)
     
  14. Murellus Senior Member

    English
    Are both 'afin de' and 'pour', used in the sense of in order to, followed by an infinitive verb like in english separate from the tense of the context of the sentence?

    Merci beaucoup!
     
  15. Franglais1969

    Franglais1969 Senior Member

    Angleterre.
    English English, français rouillé
    In a word yes.
     
  16. M2k Junior Member

    England (English)
    Is there any times when you would use one but not the other?
     
  17. alargeau Senior Member

    France
    Yes, we don't use both. It depends on who you're speaking to or what kind of language you want to write/speak.
    Afin de + infinitif sounds formal so people would use it in a letter to someone they don't really know or in a book. Pour + infinitif sounds more like the everyday language we speak with friends and family.
    Apart from that, both are correct.
     
  18. pgcharbo Junior Member

    USA, English
    Serait-il mieux de dire, par exemple, <ce qui est exigé pour réussir> ou <ce qui est exigé afin de réussir>? Étant donné que l'anglais est ma langue maternelle, je suis porté à dire <pour> ("for" en anglais) quand il sera préférable de dire <afin>... Ai-je raison de m'inquiéter?
    Merci.
     
  19. doinel

    doinel Modlife crisis

    Southern France
    France French
    Pour expresses cause and intention as well
    Afin de is more in order to
    Without context I like both phrases.
    Please tell us more. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  20. pgcharbo Junior Member

    USA, English
    Je travaille jour et nuit pour réussir à faire une bonne besogne
    ou
    Je travaille jour et nuit afin de réussir à faire une bonne besogne
    Est-ce siffisant comme contexte?
    Merci.
     
  21. doinel

    doinel Modlife crisis

    Southern France
    France French
    Hello
    That's perfect!
    Same difference Afin de is more formal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  22. JOBETUD Senior Member

    france
    I am french native:
    there is not in any case a difference between both "pour" and "afin". But the thing is that, sometimes, "afin" ca not be used instead of "pour" because it is more precised, and so in this kind of sentences with a general dimension, "pour" is better.
    this means that "pour" can be used everywhere "afin" is used, but "afin" can not be used everywhere "pour" is used. :)
     
  23. Jasper30 Senior Member

    Aix en Provence
    English
    Can anyone help me understand the difference between afin que and pour que
     
  24. zolaaa Senior Member

    French - France
    Hi,
    I do not know if there are any differences...
    "afin que" is more cute than "pour que" ...
     

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