j'en ai plus / je n'en ai plus

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Working in a restaurant in Paris, I sometimes have to say things like "I'm sorry, but I don't have any more carrots". Which I would translate to "Je suis désolé, mais je n'ai plus de carrots". But the problem however, is that "ne" isn't really pronounced, right, so this gives ".. j'ai plus de carrots", which means "I have more carrots"; the opposite of what I actually want to say!

So my question is, would you in this special case pronounce the "ne"? The problem is the same to other ways of saying this, as "il (n')y a plus de carrots", or "j(e n)'en ai plus". The exception being "on n'a plus de..", where "on n'a" and "on a" is proncounced the same way, right?

  • DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    French (lower Normandy)
    Hi jackuppskararen :)

    First, if you're working in a restaurant, I think you should not omit the "ne", as this is used in colloquial French but should be avoided in a professional context.
    → Désolé, mais nous n'en avons plus.

    Anyway. For the difference between:
    "Nous en avons plus." (no more) (for "nous n'en avons plus.") & "Nous en avons plus." (more)
    it lies in the pronounciation of the "plus".

    "Nous en avons plus." (no more) (for "nous n'en avons plus.") → the "s" is not pronounced.
    "Nous en avons plus." (more) → the "s" is pronounced.

    Same goes with:
    "Nous (n')avons plus de carottes / ..."

    (instead of "nous en avons plus", I would rather use "on (n') en a plus", but that's still too colloquial)

    Hope it helps :)


    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    The reason why French people don't get confused is that the pronunciation of "plus" changes (the "s" is pronounced when meaning "more", and not when meaning "none left")


    Senior Member

    There's actually no ambiguity at all, because the word plus doesn't sound the same according to what you mean :)

    I have more carrots
    : J'ai plus de carottes (the s in plus must be pronounced : [plusse]).
    I don't have any more carrots : J'ai plus de carottes (the s isn't pronounced : [plu]).

    According to how formal you need to sound, I suggest you pronounce the word ne.


    Senior Member
    français - English (Can)
    But in cases where one would give a written account of a conversation, or in any written French fo that matter, the 'ne' should always be present to avoid such confusion. We don't want to have to write 'j'en ai plu' and 'j'en ai plusse' to differenciate
    DearPrudence, Glasguensis, Oddmania and CarlosRapido, thank you so much for your help! I would never have figured out this myself (it isn't even mentioned in my French textbook).

    I was actually laughing for myself when I read your replies; the intricacy of the French language never ceases to surprise :)

    The restaurant is far from formal, more like a healthier version of Quick/MacDo. Would you expect the people working in Quick to pronounce "ne"?

    Bon dimanche!


    Senior Member

    If you're an employee (working at the cash register, for instance), then you're more likely to use the third person and say Désolé, on n'a plus de + noun. Here, you could leave out the n' but as the "liaison" with on is compulsory (on-a), it will always sound like On n'a anyway.


    Senior Member
    English - American
    Am I not more accustomed to hearing simply, "il n'en reste plus"/"il n'y en a plus" in the contexte of a waiter informing me that the restaurant is out of something that I've asked for? Really more of a cultural question, this.
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