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N'importe qui = Anyone (indefinite pronouns)

Look at these sentences:

N'importe qui peut entrer chez toi
Anyone can come in your place

Elle fait confiance à n'importe qui
She trusts anyone

Juliette et Marie parlent à n'importe qui
Juliette and Marie talk to anyone



Note that "n'importe qui" literally means "no matter who", and is used in French to say "anyone".

You use it ONLY in affirmative sentences to emphasise that the identity of the person referred to doesn't matter (ANY one).

ATTENTION:

You would use quelqu'un to express 'anyone' in a question.

Il y a quelqu'un ici ?
Is there anyone here?

(See also Quelqu'un, Quelqu'un d'autre = Someone, Someone else (indefinite pronouns))

You would use personne in a negative sentence.

Non, il n'y a personne.
No, there isn't anyone.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Elle fait confiance à n'importe qui
She trusts anyone


N'importe qui peut entrer chez toi
Anyone can come in your place


Juliette et Marie parlent à n'importe qui
Juliette and Marie talk to anyone


anyone in a negative sentence


Non, il n'y a personne.
No, there isn't anyone.


anyone in a question


Il y a quelqu'un ici ?
Is there anyone here?


Q&A

Eva

Kwiziq community member

27 November 2017

5 replies

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

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!


 

Ron

Kwiziq community member

16 October 2017

3 replies

More context needed, SVP

N'importe qui peut entrer chez toi ---> Anyone can come in your place I would have thought the translation to be «Anyone can enter your home.» With the translation provided, it says that «if I am unable to attend, anyone can attend in my place» like for a meeting, etc. Is this an idiomatic phrase, perhaps a UK translation? Merci en avance.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 October 2017

17/10/17

The translation "anyone can come in your place" a bit stilted, not quite proper English, connotes a different meaning altogether (and has a sexual connotation, if you're inclined to think that way). "Anyone can enter your home" is certainly a better rendition.
-- Chris.

Ron

Kwiziq community member

17 October 2017

17/10/17

Merci Chris.
I had not considered the «different, sexual connotation»; however, now that it is mentioned, I can certainly understand the sense. So how does one know which sense is meant by the phrase?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 October 2017

17/10/17

Ron, my comment was with respect to the English sentence. The French one is quite clear (to a French native speaker). -- Chris.

Anita

Kwiziq community member

16 October 2017

1 reply

N’importe qui peut entrer chez toi. I find the of ‘anyone can come in your place’

Ron

Kwiziq community member

16 October 2017

16/10/17

Bonjour Anita,
Est-ce qu'il y a une question qui relie à cette phrase?
Clever stuff underway!