FR: plus de / plus que

french4beth

Senior Member
US-English
I always get these two expressions confused!

From what I understand, plus de would be used for something that you can count; plus que is for something more general (?).

Could someone please clarify? I don't have a specific example, this is just a general question...
(I have no context :eek: - I hope no moderators read this post :eek:)

Thanks!

Moderator note: Multiple threads merged to create this one.
 
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  • timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    It's "plus de" plus a number, otherwise "plus que".

    Cheers

    Tim
     
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    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Thanks, Timpeac... hmmm - that's what I thought, but when I checked my Harper Collins Robert for plus que, they gave examples such as 'il ne restait plus que des miettes' and 'il n'a (guère) plus que huit jours de vacances' and 'plus que 5 kilomètres à faire', all of which are countable (is that a word in English :confused: ).
     
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    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Both are "ne....plus que". The second is short for "il ne nous reste plus que 5 km à faire" eg "only 5 k to go!" (the sense of the "que" is "only")

    I think if you compare "il nous reste plus de 5km" and "il ne nous reste plus que 5 km à faire" you can see that "plus de 5 km" is a unit in the first and and the "plus" goes with the verb in the second. Consequently it would be "il ne nous reste pas plus de 5 km" (and so the "plus de 5 km" is a unit again).

    Interesting question that I've never thought about before, so let's see what others say too!!:)
     
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    1234dom

    Senior Member
    Je pense que l'on dit "il n'a plus que huit jours de vacances" mais "il n'a guère plus de huit jours de vacances' :)
    Are you sure "il n'a guère plus que huit jours de vacances" ?
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    My bad :eek: - in HRP (ibid), it's: "il n'y a (guère) plus que huit jours de vacances" but the phrase 'plus que' is used in the sense of 'seulement'.

    Any additional explanations are welcome (in addition to the above, of course!).
     

    Radar

    Member
    English, England
    Is there a rule about using 'plus de' instead of 'plus que'? Today in Le Monde: "Plus d'un cancer sur deux est guéri en France." My instinct would be to put 'que' instead of 'de' here as I would associate 'plus que' with 'more than' and 'plus de' with 'more of'.
     

    amande2

    Senior Member
    France and French
    well "plus que" is either used when you compare it to something else
    "Bill en a plus que Mary"
    or when there isn't much left
    "il n'y a plus que 2 pommes"

    While "plus de" is just used to say more than a certain figure.
     

    frostie

    Member
    How about - There were more than a 100 people at that party?

    Il y avait plus de cent personnes à la fête.
    Il y avait plus que cent personnes à la fête.

    A Google search says both are correct (with "plus de" giving more results), but I know intuitively there's a difference between the two, it's just that I can't put my hand on it.

    the Google searches:
    plus que
    plus de

    So, what do you French native speakers have to say?
     

    Full Stop

    Member
    French (France)
    We'd say "Il y avait plus de cent personnes à cette fête" ou "plus d'une centaine de personnes".
    "Plus que" creates a risk of confusion with the expression "(ne)... plus que". "Il ne restait plus que cent personnes sur six cents à la fin."
    We would understand it, but it's not what we would say.
     

    elxe

    Senior Member
    Dutch
    Could someone tell me what is correct:

    Plus de la moitié des bananes
    Plus que la moitié des bananes

    So when do I use plus que and when plus de?

    Thanks :)
     

    Nico Las

    Member
    French
    Depends on the context but :
    the first one (plus de) means 'more than half of the bananas ...'
    the second one is a comparison : 'j'ai 10 bananes de plus que lui'

    [...]
     
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    All in One

    Banned
    franco-français
    If it can help at all, here's what the CNRTL says:

    1. Devant un nom de nombre, on emploie plus que, moins que quand on veut donner au second terme de la comparaison un relief plus accusé ou lui faire prendre une signification mathématique : Ce cep portait plus de vingt grappes, c'est-à-dire plus que vingt grappes (Littré).
    2. Avec à demi, à moitié, aux trois quarts, etc., on dit le plus souvent plus de, moins de ; mais plus que, moins que sont corrects aussi [...].
     

    blurb111

    New Member
    français-France
    Et qu'en est-il de:

    Il est plus que temps!
    Plus que tout, j'aime le chocolat!
    Plus que jamais!

    Je ne sais comment expliquer l'usage de plus que plutôt que plus de à mes collègues anglophones...
     

    HecateTs

    Member
    Français
    True French here XD !

    Ok, there is a really different meaning and I feel like you're all confused. So here's some examples. Hope it will help.

    Structure 1 :There is only
    Il n'y a plus que 10 jours de vacances => He only has 10 days left.
    Il n'y a plus que 5 km à faire => There're only 5km left to do.
    [Ne (n') + verbe + plus] + que + proposition => Only + verb + proposition + left

    That's what happened in :
    ll n'a (guère) plus que huit jours de vacances' and 'plus que 5 kilomètres à faire',

    Structure 2 : There is more ... than ... - Comparison
    Not to mix up with:
    Il fait plus chaud ici que là
    Plus + proposition A + que + proposition B => More ... than ... (Basic comparison)

    Which can become :
    Il y a plus [d'enfants qui naissent en France] que [d'enfant qui naissent en Allemagne] chaque année
    Plus (de quelque chose) + que + (de quelque chose d'autre) => More (of something) than (of something)

    And so "Il y a plus [de nourriture] que [ce que je pensais]" is also ok (More (of something) than (proposition: what I thought))

    Structure 3 : More than /
    No more than - Evaluating values
    Il y a plus de 3 chats ici (There is more than 3 cats here)
    Il n'y a pas plus de 3 chats ici (There's no more than 3 cats)

    So the confusion comes that "plus" means "more" and "only/no more/not anymore" in French. That IS disturbing, I know. When talking, French do pronounce the final "s" for "plus" meaning "more", and do not pronounce it when meaning "only" or "no more/not anymore" (il n'y a plus de lait, there' no milk anymore). This is why I guess you mixed up structure 1 with structure 2 and 3.

    Structure 2 and 3 might be confusing as I realize in English it sounds like the same structure: it just depend on if your making a guess on some numbers/headcount, or if your really comparing stuff.

    Good luck in studying Franch, you are really courageous !
    Hope I was clear.
     

    Lovism

    New Member
    Vietnamese
    HecateTs
    I think the general confusion here is not due to structure 1. Structure 1 is not really the 'plus que' that make ppl confused w 'plus de'. Structure 1 is a combination of 'ne...plus' and 'ne...que' to express the equivalent 'anymore' + 'only' in english. It d be more helpful to see this structure as 'ne...plus' + 'que'. So english speakers use this to express 'only...left.' Structure 2 is not what makes ppl confused either; that is the standard comparative structure.

    What english speaking people want to know is how to translate 'more than...' when accounting for a quantity, as in 'more than half a loaf of bread' or 'more than 10km' (not 'more...than', not 'only...left', just purely 'more than ...'). So naturally we nonfrench speakers go with 'plus' + 'que'. But most often we see the usage of 'plus de', so it will be like 'il a parcouru plus d'une moitié de la distance'. But if 'plus de' is used for this kind of expression, then what about 'more (of)', as in 'can i have more bread/water pls?' Is 'plus de' still used here? Does it mean the same 'plus de' can used for different kinds of expression? And, going bck to 'more than...', can 'plus que' be used in some instances in place of 'plus de' (again im NOT talking abt 'ne...plus que')?
     
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    GuillaumeD'Arçoit

    New Member
    Russian, Ukranian - Ukraine
    Hello, I think I have an example that wasn't mentioned yet - sentences like "Did you bring me my 1000 dollars? -No, but we brought something more than 1000 dollars. (shows diamonds)"
    So, I think in French it would be "Nous avons apporté quelque chose de plus que 1000$". And it's when a quantity marker is preceded by "que"
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    I'm afraid your translation attempt doesn't convey the right meaning and is therefore inappropriate in your context. I'd simply say: Nous avons apporté plus que ça.

    Nous avons apporté quelque chose de plus que 1000 dollars = We brought something in addition to $1000.
    Nous avons apporté quelque chose de plus de 1000 dollars = We brought something worth more than $1000.
     

    GuillaumeD'Arçoit

    New Member
    Russian, Ukranian - Ukraine
    I am confused.

    The rule is (if regarding only quantity markers) :

    "Plus que" - a cut negating+limitating expression, (il n'y a)plus que dix pommes - there are nothing but ten apples:arrow:there are only 10 apples:arrow:there are not more than 10 apples
    "Plus de" - the general "more than" expression

    And you write than "plus que" can mean "in addition to"/"more than" what diverges with the rule:confused:
     
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    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    You are confusing plus que (= more than) with ne … plus que (= only … left / nothing more than).

    As a positive comparative, you may use either plus que or plus de depending on context.
     

    drhex

    Member
    Swedish - Sweden
    A recent headline from France24 reads " Aigle Azur : Air France et easyJet jettent l'éponge, plus que quatre candidats à la reprise"
    concerning how many other airlines remain willing to take over the business of Aigle Azur which is in financial trouble.
    I see two possible interpretations of the boldfaced text:
    A) more than four candidates ...
    B) only four candidates ... (the sentence being an abbreviation of "il ne reste plus que quatre candidats ...")

    From the rest of the article, it is clear that B) is the correct interpretation, but how is the reader supposed to know that? Is there something in the grammar, is B) simply more common in headlines or are you supposed to consider both alternatives and choose whichever seems most likely?
     

    Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    B) only four candidates ... (the sentence being an abbreviation of "il ne reste plus que quatre candidats ...") :tick:
    If it was "more than four candidates", it would have been "plus de quatre candidats..."

    Saying "plus que" for "more than" is colloquial spoken language (and in this case, the 's' is pronounced), and you wouldn't find it in a news headline.
     
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    jekoh

    Senior Member
    Fr - Fr
    From the rest of the article, it is clear that B) is the correct interpretation, but how is the reader supposed to know that?
    Because A would make little sense (if there were merely more than four, they would say how many : Sept candidats à la reprise), and would be Plus de quatre candidats anyway.
     
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