Understanding the Difference: French Adverbs ‘Encore’ vs. ‘Toujours

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In this article, I am going to explain, Understanding the Difference: French Adverbs ‘Encore’ vs. ‘Toujours.

Are you puzzled by the French adverbs “encore” and “toujours”? You’re not alone! These words have multiple meanings, including “still,” “yet,” “again,” and “always,” which can create confusion. In this lesson, we’ll unravel their nuances and help you use these adverbs confidently.

Check also: French Verb Envoyer Conjugation, Meaning, Translation, Examples

Encore vs. Toujours: A Brief Comparison

As we delve deeper into this lesson, let’s start with a quick overview of encore and toujours. This table summarizes their primary uses and areas of overlap, complete with synonyms for better understanding.

Here’s a quick summary of the basic meanings of encore and toujours, along with any overlapping uses and synonyms:

  • Again: Encore (also, “de nouveau”)
  • Always: Toujours
  • Another: Encore
  • Anyhow: Toujours
  • Even: Encore
  • Still: Encore (and “néanmoins”)
  • Yet: Encore (and “déjà”)
AgainEncore (de nouveau)N/AN/A (N/A)


The French adverb “encore” is a versatile word with various meanings. It can denote concepts of repetition, additional quantity, further occurrences, increased degree, or continued existence.

  • Again: “Again” can be translated as “encore (une fois)” or “de nouveau.”
    • Je l’ai vu encore une fois.
    • Je l’ai vu de nouveau.
    • (I saw him again.)
  • Another or More: “Encore” + a noun means “more” or “another.” When the noun is plural or uncountable, use “encore de.”
    • Il veut encore une tasse de thé.
    • Il veut encore de thé.
    • (He wants another cup of tea.)
    • (He wants more tea.)
    • Encore des problèmes !
    • (More problems!)
  • Even or Still: “Encore” + a comparative can convey the meaning of “even” or “still” to emphasize the comparison.
    • Encore plus beau
    • Encore moins cher
    • (Even more beautiful)
    • (Even less expensive)

This adds to the multifaceted nature of the adverb “encore” in French.


The French adverb “toujours” has multiple meanings, encompassing concepts such as constant continuity, regardless, in any case, minimal requirements, or ongoing persistence.

Always: The adverb “always” is commonly translated into French using “toujours.”

Il est toujours en retard. He’s always late.

Pas toujours. Not always.

Anyway, Anyhow, or At least: If you are trying to confirm or support an idea, use “toujours” as you would use “anyway” or “anyhow.”

Fais-le toujours, pour toi-même. Do it anyway, for yourself.

Do it for yourself, at least.

Où est-il ? Toujours pas chez moi. Where is he? Not at my house, anyway.

Still: While “encore” can be used for the word “still,” in this sense, “toujours” is a bit more accurate as a translation.

Je viens de manger, mais j’ai toujours faim. I just ate, but I’m still hungry.

Il me doit toujours 10 euros. He still owes me 10 euros.

Encore vs. Toujours

Still: Either “toujours” or “encore” can be used in a translation of “still.” As mentioned earlier, “toujours” is slightly more accurate.

Je suis toujours ici. (I’m still here.) Je suis encore ici. (This also means “here again.”)

Il n’est toujours pas prêt. (He’s still not ready.) Il n’est pas encore prêt. (He’s still not ready.)

“Still” is translated by “encore” when it modifies an adjective.

encore mieux (better still/yet) Il est encore plus grand. (He’s taller still.)

Note that “still” is translated by “néanmoins” when it means “nonetheless.”

Néanmoins, je pense que c’est dommage. (Still, I think it’s too bad.)

Yet: When “yet” is negative and interchangeable with “still,” use “pas encore” or “toujours pas.” However, keep in mind that “pas encore” is more accurate as it is a negative adverb that means “not yet.”

Il n’est pas encore prêt. (He’s not ready yet.) Il n’est toujours pas prêt. (He’s not ready yet.)

Je n’ai pas encore mangé. (I haven’t eaten yet.) Je n’ai toujours pas mangé. (I haven’t eaten yet.)

(Note: “pas toujours” = “not always”)

When “yet” is affirmative in the sense of “already,” its French equivalent is “déjà.”

As-tu déjà mangé ? (Have you eaten yet?) Oui, j’ai déjà mangé. (Yes, I have already eaten.) (Non, je n’ai pas encore mangé.) (No, I have not eaten yet.)

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