How Do You Say “At Times” In French?

Learning a new language is an exciting journey that opens up a world of possibilities. Whether you’re a student, a traveler, or simply someone who wants to expand their horizons, the French language is a great choice. With its rich history and cultural significance, French is a language that has stood the test of time.

One of the challenges of learning French is understanding its nuances and subtleties. For example, the phrase “at times” is a common expression in English that can be tricky to translate into French. In French, the equivalent phrase is “parfois”. This word is used to describe something that happens occasionally or intermittently.

How Do You Pronounce The French Word For “At Times”?

Learning how to properly pronounce French words can be challenging, especially if you are not familiar with the language’s unique phonetics. If you’re wondering how to say “at times” in French, it’s essential to understand the correct pronunciation to communicate effectively.

The French word for “at times” is “parfois.” To pronounce it correctly, follow these phonetic breakdowns:

– “Par” sounds like “pahr”
– “fois” sounds like “fwah”

When pronounced together, “parfois” should sound like “pahr-fwah.”

Here are some tips to help with pronunciation:

1. Practice saying the word slowly, breaking it down into its individual sounds.
2. Focus on pronouncing the “r” sound properly. In French, the “r” is typically pronounced with a slight guttural sound in the back of the throat.
3. Pay attention to the stress on each syllable. In “parfois,” the stress is on the first syllable, “par.”

It’s also helpful to listen to native French speakers and mimic their pronunciation. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to confidently say “parfois” in no time.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The French Word For “At Times”

Proper grammar is essential when using the French word for “at times” to communicate accurately and effectively. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced learner of French, understanding the correct usage of this word is vital to convey your intended meaning.

Placement Of The French Word For At Times In Sentences

The French word for “at times” is “parfois.” It is an adverb that modifies the verb in the sentence. It usually appears in the middle of the sentence, after the subject and before the verb.

Example: Je parle français parfois. (I speak French at times.)

However, it can also be placed at the beginning or end of a sentence for emphasis.

Example: Parfois, je parle français. (At times, I speak French.)

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses If Applicable

When using “parfois” with a verb, it does not change the verb conjugation or tense. It remains the same as if the word was not present in the sentence.

Example: Je mange des croissants parfois. (I eat croissants at times.)

Agreement With Gender And Number If Applicable

The word “parfois” does not change for gender or number. It remains the same in all contexts.

Example: Les élèves écoutent parfois de la musique en classe. (The students listen to music at times in class.)

Common Exceptions

There are no common exceptions to the use of “parfois.” However, it is important to note that there are other words in French that can also be used to express the idea of “at times,” such as “quelquefois” and “de temps en temps.” These words have slightly different nuances and usage, so it’s important to understand their differences as well.

Examples Of Phrases Using The French Word For “At Times”

French is a beautiful language that is known for its eloquent expressions and phrases. One such phrase is “à certains moments,” which translates to “at times” in English. In this section, we will explore some common phrases that use this French expression and how they are used in sentences.

Examples And Explanation

Here are some examples of common phrases that use the French word for “at times” and their explanation:

  • À certains moments, je me sens seul. (At times, I feel lonely.)
  • Il est difficile de comprendre à certains moments. (It is difficult to understand at times.)
  • Je me sens fatigué à certains moments de la journée. (I feel tired at certain times of the day.)
  • À certains moments, il est important de prendre du temps pour soi. (At times, it is important to take time for oneself.)

These phrases are commonly used in both written and spoken French and can help to add variety to your conversations and writing.

Example French Dialogue (With Translations)

To further illustrate the use of the French word for “at times,” here is an example dialogue:

French English Translation
Julie: Comment ça va? Julie: How are you?
Luc: Ça va bien, mais à certains moments, je me sens stressé. Luc: I am doing well, but at times, I feel stressed.
Julie: Je comprends. Tu devrais peut-être prendre du temps pour toi. Julie: I understand. Maybe you should take time for yourself.
Luc: Oui, c’est une bonne idée. À certains moments, j’ai besoin de me détendre. Luc: Yes, that’s a good idea. At times, I need to relax.

This dialogue showcases the use of the French word for “at times” in a conversation between two friends. It demonstrates how this phrase can be used to express feelings and emotions in everyday situations.

More Contextual Uses Of The French Word For “At Times”

Understanding the various contexts in which the French word for “at times” can be used is crucial to achieving fluency in the language. Here, we will delve into the different contexts in which the word “parfois” can be used.

Formal Usage

In formal settings, “parfois” is often used to express occasional or sporadic events. For instance, one could use it in a sentence like, “Parfois, il pleut le matin.” (Sometimes it rains in the morning.) Additionally, “parfois” can be used to indicate a degree of uncertainty or vagueness, such as when saying, “Je pars parfois à l’étranger.” (I sometimes go abroad.)

Informal Usage

Informally, “parfois” can be used in much the same way as it is in formal settings. However, it is more common to see it used as a filler word or as a way of softening a statement. For example, one might say, “Parfois, je me demande si j’ai fait le bon choix.” (Sometimes, I wonder if I made the right choice.) In this context, “parfois” serves to soften the statement and make it less declarative.

Other Contexts

Aside from its more straightforward uses, “parfois” can also be used in slang, idiomatic expressions, and cultural or historical contexts. For instance, in Quebec French, “parfois” is sometimes used to mean “rarely” or “hardly ever.” Additionally, there are a number of idiomatic expressions that use “parfois” to convey a variety of meanings. For example, “parfois les murs ont des oreilles” (sometimes walls have ears) is an expression used to indicate that one should be careful what they say, as they never know who might be listening.

Popular Cultural Usage

While “parfois” may not be used in popular culture as frequently as other French words and phrases, it does occasionally make an appearance. For example, in the French film “Amelie,” the main character uses the phrase “parfois je m’imagine que je suis un avion” (sometimes I imagine that I am an airplane) as a way of expressing her imaginative and fanciful nature.

Regional Variations Of The French Word For “At Times”

French is spoken in many countries around the world, and as with any language, there are regional variations in the vocabulary and pronunciation. The French phrase for “at times” is no exception. In this section, we will explore how this phrase is used in different French-speaking countries and the regional pronunciations that exist.

Usage In Different French-speaking Countries

The French phrase for “at times” is “parfois”. While this word is used in France and other French-speaking countries, there are also regional variations. In Quebec, for example, the phrase “à l’occasion” is often used instead of “parfois”. In Switzerland, the phrase “quelquefois” is more commonly used.

It is important to note that while these variations exist, they are still understood throughout the French-speaking world. However, it is always a good idea to be aware of regional differences in vocabulary when traveling or communicating with people from different countries.

Regional Pronunciations

In addition to variations in vocabulary, there are also regional differences in the pronunciation of the French phrase for “at times”. In France, the word “parfois” is typically pronounced with a silent “s” at the end. In Quebec, however, the “s” is often pronounced. In Switzerland, the pronunciation of “quelquefois” can vary depending on the region.

Here is a table summarizing the regional pronunciations:

Country Phrase for “At Times” Pronunciation
France Parfois Par-fwa
Quebec À l’occasion Ah-lo-cah-zee-on
Switzerland Quelquefois Kel-kuh-fwah

It is important to note that these are general pronunciations and that there may be variations depending on the specific region or even the individual speaker.

Other Uses Of The French Word For “At Times” In Speaking & Writing

While the French word for “at times,” “parfois,” is commonly used as an adverb to indicate occasional or intermittent occurrences, it can also have different meanings depending on context. It is important to be able to distinguish between these uses in order to effectively communicate in French.

Additional Meanings Of “Parfois”

Here are some other ways “parfois” can be used in French:

  • As a conjunction: “Parfois j’aime la musique classique, mais aujourd’hui j’ai envie d’écouter du rock.” (Sometimes I like classical music, but today I feel like listening to rock.)
  • As an interjection: “Parfois, je me demande si j’ai fait le bon choix.” (At times, I wonder if I made the right choice.)
  • As a noun: “Il y a des parfois où je me sens seule.” (There are times when I feel lonely.)

Distinguishing Between Uses

One way to distinguish between the different uses of “parfois” is to look at the context in which it is used. For example, if it is used to connect two clauses in a sentence, it is likely being used as a conjunction. If it is used on its own as a sentence, it may be an interjection or a noun.

Another way to distinguish between uses is to look at the function of “parfois” in the sentence. As an adverb, it modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb. As a conjunction, it connects two clauses. As an interjection or noun, it stands alone as its own sentence.

By understanding the different uses of “parfois” in French, you can enhance your ability to communicate effectively and accurately in the language.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The French Word For “At Times”

When trying to find the perfect translation for the French word “parfois,” it can be helpful to explore synonyms or related terms that are commonly used in the language. These words and phrases may have slightly different meanings or connotations, but they can still convey the same idea of occasional or sporadic actions or events.

Synonyms And Related Terms

Some common words and phrases that are similar to “parfois” include:

  • De temps en temps: This phrase literally translates to “from time to time” and is often used to describe actions or events that occur sporadically or infrequently.
  • Occasionnellement: This word means “occasionally” or “from time to time” and can be used to describe actions or events that happen infrequently or irregularly.
  • De temps à autre: This phrase is similar to “de temps en temps” and means “from time to time” or “occasionally.”

While these words and phrases are similar to “parfois,” it’s important to note that they may have slightly different connotations or nuances. For example, “de temps en temps” may imply a more regular occurrence than “parfois,” while “occasionnellement” may suggest a more sporadic or unpredictable event.


On the other hand, antonyms of “parfois” include words and phrases that describe actions or events that occur more frequently or regularly. Some common antonyms include:

  • Toujours: This word means “always” and is the opposite of “parfois,” which implies a less frequent occurrence.
  • Souvent: This word means “often” and suggests a more regular occurrence than “parfois.”
  • Régulièrement: This word means “regularly” and implies a consistent or scheduled occurrence.

By exploring these synonyms and antonyms, you can gain a better understanding of the nuances of the French language and how different words and phrases can be used to convey similar or contrasting meanings.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The French Word For “At Times”

When learning a new language, mistakes are bound to happen. However, some mistakes can be more detrimental than others. One common mistake made by non-native speakers of French is misusing the word for “at times.” In this section, we will introduce common errors made by non-native speakers and provide tips to avoid them.

Common Errors

One of the most common errors made by non-native speakers when using the French word for “at times” is confusing it with the word “fois.” While both words can be translated to “times” in English, they are used differently in French.

Another mistake is using “parfois” interchangeably with “quelquefois.” While both words can be translated to “sometimes,” “parfois” is used more frequently and is considered more standard.

Tips To Avoid Mistakes

To avoid these common mistakes, it is important to understand the proper usage of each word. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Use “parfois” when you want to say “sometimes.”
  • Use “quelquefois” sparingly and only when you want to emphasize the rarity of the occurrence.
  • Use “fois” when you want to say “times” in the sense of “two times,” “three times,” etc.
  • Remember that “fois” is also used in expressions such as “une fois” (once), “deux fois” (twice), and “trois fois” (three times).

There is no doubt that learning a new language can be challenging, but avoiding common mistakes can make the process easier. By understanding the proper usage of the French word for “at times,” non-native speakers can communicate more effectively and avoid confusion.


In this blog post, we explored the various ways to say “at times” in French. We started by discussing the most common phrase “parfois” and its synonyms “quelquefois” and “des fois”. We also looked at other phrases like “de temps en temps”, “à l’occasion” and “de temps à autre” that convey a similar meaning. Additionally, we saw how the context of the sentence can help determine the most appropriate phrase to use.

Encouragement To Practice

Learning a new language can be challenging, but with practice, it becomes easier. Using the French word for “at times” in real-life conversations will help you become more confident in your language skills. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as they are a natural part of the learning process. You can also try using different phrases to convey the same meaning, which will expand your vocabulary and make your conversations more interesting.

Remember, language learning is a journey, not a destination. Keep practicing and exploring new ways to express yourself in French. Before you know it, you’ll be speaking like a native!

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.