au même temps / en même temps

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by PhilBr, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. PhilBr Member

    English - British
    1. Do both these forms exist?
    2. Is there a difference in usage? (if only subtle)
    3. Am I confusing these with "en ce moment" and "à ce moment"?
    Thank you
  2. florence a Senior Member

    Au même temps, to me, can mean:
    - in the same tense (for a verb)
    - in the same rhythm (music)
    As a phrase, it's not in the wiktionnaire.
  3. Sylvchezplum Senior Member

    France, french
    stumbling on this one. Totally agree that "au même temps" is grammatically incorrect. I've NEVER heard it, ... except by little ones. ;-)
    It may be a local accepted variant though (kind of "patois") in some areas.

    And from your quotes and old french books, it looks like it used to be correct a couple centuries ago. A lot of phrases and words were used differently then though.

    I agree also with previous answer, that it would work in a couple very precise cases, if "temps" is a noun as in "present tense/ past tense" ( = au même temps") or in music (as in pulse/beat I guess... although it would have to be really specific cases to make it work)

    A la même période can be a correct use for cases like "we were in London at the same time" = on était à Londres en même temps / à la même période.

  4. missusmadness New Member

    I have a native French teacher who always corrects me when I use "au même temps" in papers, but for some reason, I always want to say it! I avoid it, just in case, but this is an interesting discussion.
  5. Hyperpolyglot Senior Member

    British Official English
    For those of you who argue about "au même temps", whether it is correct or not, I would simply say "au même moment" and avoid all the confusion from now on, so basically we have "au même moment", "en même temps", and "à la fois", though the latter is rarely used.
  6. Kust New Member

    French, France
    As a french native. "au même temps" means "au même moment" or "au même instant"
    Here "temps" is the idea of a unique period of time. It is understandable when you want to describe what is happenibg during this same period of time, you might find it in poetry and in technical text but I confirm it is never used in everydaylife. In a physics class book yes but not everyday french.

    "en même temps" means simultaneously, in the same rythmes.
    radom example : "et si on chantait en même temps?" gives "what about singing together?"
    hope it'd help
  7. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    Here are the entries for "au même temps" and "en même temps" quoted form the Trésor de la langue française:

    Au même temps. Au même moment. C'était au 54 que je t'écrivais moi-même à peu près au même temps (Gide, Corresp.[avec Valéry], 1900, p. 378).

    En même temps. Au même moment. En même temps elle jeta son châle (Krüdener, Valérie, 1803, p. 157).

    Judging from the answers given above by French native speakers, this seems about right.
  8. Chimel Senior Member

    I'm afraid some people might misunderstand this...
    a) It's a quote by Gide, more than a century ago, and Gide is known for his very old-fashioned style
    b) Above all, temps is used here in the meaning époque, as I understand it means à peu près à la même époque

    Anyway, Gide or not Gide, I would definitely put you off saying au même temps today in 2015 !​
  9. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    I guess it's quite clear from my post that the phrase doesn't see much use in modern everyday French. Besides that I also looked to rectify what had been said earlier, namely, that the phrase "au même temps" was ungrammatical.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015

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