Pas forcément !

Pas forcément !

pah for-say-MAH ! Click below to hear this!

Not necessarily!

Yes, you could say, Pas nécessairement (pah nay-say-sair-uh-MAH). But that doesn’t have half the punch of the more usual expression!

Fewer syllables, for one thing. Fewer /s/ sounds, which just make everything sound like a hissy fit. Literally. And what else has the force of…well…la force?

La force is strength, of all sorts: muscular, military, metaphorical, metaphysical. It’s not identical to la puissance (lah pwee-SAHSS: power or might, especially in physics) or le pouvoir (luh poo-VWAAR: political power, for example), though they are all related.

I’m no physicist, but I believe la force has to do with resistance, whereas la puissance has to do with capacity or possibility. Le pouvoir has more to do with a faculty, or with authority.

As for today’s phrase, you can use it to contradict someone’s comment. Its opposite would be something like Mais oui, c’est forcé! Here you are saying that the outcome is inevitable, as when the score of the (American) football game is 56-0 and there are two minutes left in the game. Ils vont gagner, c’est forcé (eel vaw gaan-YAY, say fore-SAY)! It’s a foregone conclusion.

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