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Can "quiconque" and "n'importe qui" be used interchangeably.

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Eva

Kwiziq community member

27 November 2017

5 replies

Can "quiconque" and "n'importe qui" be used interchangeably.

This relates to:
N'importe qui = Anyone (indefinite pronouns) -

Chris

Kwiziq community member

27 November 2017

27/11/17

Quiconque and n'import qui are pretty much synonyms but belong to a different register. The register of a language distinguishes at whom the sentence is addressed, the level of formality employed and under which circumstances it was made. It determines choice of syntax and vocabulary.

There are six registers:

1) Literary language (le registre soutenu) : in poetry and high literature
2) Formal language (le registre formel) : at formal occasions
3) Normal language (le registre normal) : normal everyday language
4) Familiar language (le registre familier) : among friends and family
5) Lower grade popular language (le registre populaire): among buddies
6) Slang (le registre vulgaire): vulgar language

"N'importe qui" I would place in "le registre normal". "Quiconque" belongs to a higher register, either formal or literary French. A native speaker would be able to shed more light on this.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Chris

Kwiziq community member

27 November 2017

27/11/17

There is something akin to this in every language, by the way. In English you could say,

Sir, Mister, buddy or bloke to refer to a specific male. In this sense they are all synonyms but each belongs to its own register.

-- Chris.

Eva

Kwiziq community member

28 November 2017

28/11/17

Thank you Chris, that was really useful.
I asked this question because while I was taking the tests on kwiziq, I tried using "Quiconque" in place of "n'importe qui" and was marked wrong.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

28 November 2017

28/11/17

Since the question is about practicing the use of "n'importe qui" you are supposed to use that phrase.

-- Chris.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

23 March 2018

23/03/18

Hi Eva,


As Chris correctly says the words 'quiconque' and 'n'importe qui',  have the same meaning but are used in different registers.


Just to add to this , 'quiconque' ( meaning literally, 'toute personne qui')  is always used in legal French and often in proverbs and cannot be used in a pejorative sense.


Hope this helps!


 

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