ne pas être trop de [nombre] pour

Unbridled-Lunatic

New Member
Swedish
Qu'est-ce que ca veut dire?

Context: Par exemple: trois homme aller au chasser un gros ours et dit "[...]trop de trois pour[...]"

Does it mean that 3 are enough, and anything lesser would be insufficient? Is this a common expression? Can you say "trop de quatre" for instance.
 
  • olivier68

    Senior Member
    French Paris France
    "Nous ne serons pas trop de 3" means, in a nutshell: "3 are welcomed, at least", "It would be better if we could be 3 persons to do that thing, at least". In French, I think this is qualified as a "litote" (understatement […]), namely to express that "It would be better if were more than 3". It can of course be used with other numbers.
     
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    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Hi,

    On top of what has been said, you can find translations in the dictionary:
    ne pas être de trop - traduction - Dictionnaire Français-Anglais WordReference.com
    ne pas être trop de deux loc v (être bien occupés même à deux) (informal)have your work cut out for you, even with two v expr
    (impersonal construction)be a lot of work, even for two; be a lot of work, even for two people v expr
    Nous ne serons pas trop de deux pour ranger tout ce bois.

    It is quite the same except that the task is even more difficult and therefore requires not only 2 people, but 3 people.
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    The task is difficult enough to require 3 men.
    Ne seront pas de trop : you'd need no less than...
    I don't fully agree. There is no absolute requirement here. It may still be possible to achieve the intended action with fewer people. The French only suggests the task at hand is quite difficult or cumbersome and it would have been even more difficult with fewer people.

    As suggested by Yendred, it is indeed a common expression. You may use it with any number as long as the number is not huge. You may even use it without a number: Nous ne serons pas de trop pour…
     
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