French Grammar: Adverbs of Quantity
French Grammar: Adverbs of Quantity
la grammaire française: les adverbes de quantité
Just as an adjective modifies (describes) a noun, an ADVERB modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb. Adverbs generally answer the question How? How well? How much? How often? or When? They help us provide more details when we’re describing actions.
Not surprisingly, adverbs of quantity indicate how much (or how little). They help us provide more details when describing amounts of things.
- LEAF French Grammar: Expressions of Food-Related Quantities (Coming soon!)
Many adverbs of quantity are followed by [de + noun]. Used this way, the noun immediately follows the word de (or d’, in the event of a noun that begins with a vowel or vowel sound); that is, the noun is not preceded by a definite article.
Elle a pas mal de soeurs.
She has quite a few sisters.
However, when an adverb of quantity is used with a noun that refers to specific things or people, that adverb of quantity must be followed by [de + definite article + the noun].
Beaucoup d’étudiants étudient le français.
Many students study French. (This statement refers to students in general.)
Beaucoup des étudiants étudient le français.
Many of the students study French. (This statement refers to a specific group of students.)
The pattern that follows the adverbs of quantity “bien” (a lot), “la majorité de” (the majority of), “la minorité de” (the minority of), and “la plupart de” (most of) is always [de + definite article + noun].
La plupart du public s’est mis debout et a applaudi.
Most of the audience stood up and applauded.
Here is a list of commonly used adverbs of quantity. (For those adverbs in the list followed by (de), that (de) is dropped altogether if the adverb itself is used at the end of a statement or question.)
assez (de) : quite; rather; fairly; enough
autant (de) : as much; as many
beaucoup (de) : a lot; many; much
bien du / de la /de l’/ des : quite a few; a lot (of)
combien (de) : how many; how much
davantage : more
encore de : more (of)
environ : around; approximately
la majorité du / de la / de l’ / des : the majority of
la minorité du / de la / de l’ / des : the minority of
moins (de) : fewer; less
un nombre de : a number of
pas de : not any
pas mal de : quite a few; a lot (of)
peu (de) : little (of)
(un) peu (de) : a few (of); a little (of); not much (of); not very
la plupart de : most (of)
plus (de) : more (of)
ne plus (de) : no more (of)
plusieurs : several
presque : almost
une quantité de : a lot of
seulement : only
tant (de) : so much (of); so many (of)
tellement (de) : so; so much (of); so many (of)
très : very
trop (de) : too much (of); too many (of)
un(e) tasse (boîte, kilo, etc.) de : a cup (can, kilo, etc.) of
Il y a plus de garçons dans la classe que de filles.
There are more boys than girls in the class.
Nous avons tant de devoirs ce soir!
Wehave so much homework tonight!
Elle connaît pas mal de gens à la fête.
She knows quite a few people at the party.
Ce semestre il suit moins de cours que le semestre passé.
This semester he is taking fewer courses than last semester.
Tu as combien d’argent dans ta poche?
How much money do you (informal) have in your pocket?
J’ai environ dix dollars dans ma poche.
I have about ten dollars in my pocket.
Tu veux plus de pizza?
Do you (informal) want more pizza?
Non, merci. J’ai mangé assez de pizza.
No, thank you. I have eaten enough pizza.
Joseph a autant de responsabilités que Maurice?
Does Joseph have as many responsibilities as Maurice?
Non, Joseph a moins de responsabilités que Maurice.
No, Joseph has fewer responsibilities than Maurice.