Lock in our old prices!
Your last chance to upgrade at these rates »

An alternate meaning for "bien" in "bien que"

Yulyvrdcapbilvsyy Z.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

An alternate meaning for "bien" in "bien que"

Apologies if this topic has been already been covered, I searched a ways down the thread but didn't see anything relevant.

If a discussion exists, I will gladly accept a posted link.

So, in short, outside of familiarizing myself with "bien que" through rote memorization, I struggle to hear "good that". Is there a separate definition or etymology of the word "bien" that would explain how it came to be used in the sense of "even though"?

Thank you in advance!

Asked 2 years ago
Jim J.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Y,

Try here:-

https://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/bien

Please take the time to scroll through all the pages and other features like synonyms.

There is also the "concordance" link within this reference which will show you usage examples.

Bonne continuation,

Jim

Chris W.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I don't know of any. Maybe you can make up your own to establish a link between "good that" and "even so"? It's not that it has to be factually correct, just get your brain to accept "good that" as a way to mean "even so".

Alan G.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I'm not sure anyone knows, but the explanation given here seems plausible:

https://french.stackexchange.com/questions/20049/comment-bien-que-a-t-il-pris-le-sens-de-quoique?noredirect=1&lq=1

Bien a un sens positif, on admet comme réalité ce qui le suivra. Deux ellipses nous mènent directement à ces idées de reconnaissance de la réalité X et de son contraste avec la « plus importante » réalité Y :

[J’admets] bien que X, [mais néanmoins] Y.

i.e. "bien" is an adverb meaning, roughly, "well", and the effect is to add intensity to "I admit". Of course, "I admit well" sounds a bit odd in English, we'd perhaps say "I fully admit".

An alternate meaning for "bien" in "bien que"

Apologies if this topic has been already been covered, I searched a ways down the thread but didn't see anything relevant.

If a discussion exists, I will gladly accept a posted link.

So, in short, outside of familiarizing myself with "bien que" through rote memorization, I struggle to hear "good that". Is there a separate definition or etymology of the word "bien" that would explain how it came to be used in the sense of "even though"?

Thank you in advance!

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level
Clever stuff happening!