The most "bang for buck" language course
4.7 star rating from 4800+ reviews
One payment for 24/7 lifetime access
60-day money back guarantee
Or until 1000 12 courses sold.
Save 60% Now

de or des with combien

Allen-D10

Allen-D10

How do I know when to use de or des when asking a question using "combien"? For example, in the second counting lesson in the Language and Culture section, when asking how many apples (plural) are in the refrigerator, I would think "des" would be used because it is plural, rather than "de", yet the lesson indicates the use of "de".
toru e

toru e

In Lesson 11.7 on exclamations, the explanation says: "Last but not least is « combien » which means "how much" or "how many." It must be followed by an adverb, or de + noun." The examples were "Combien de fois te l’ai-je dit !" or "Combien de robes as-tu !" So even though it doesn't explicitly say that when using combien as a question, I believe it follows the same "de + noun" rule.
john-o66

john-o66

I have exactly the same question as Allen D10, March 27, 2013 regarding the use of de and des with combien but did not understand the answer provided by toru25. Can someone elaborate please?
Marie-Claire-Riviere

Marie-Claire-Riviere

Bonjour à tous! Yes, as Toru25 said the formula for questions using 'combien' is: Combien + de + noun For example: Combien de langues parles-tu? The noun that follows 'de' is always plural because remember you are asking how many but despite this 'de' doesn't change. No matter whether the noun following 'de' is plural or singular, 'de' always remains 'de'. This is the same as the structure, beaucoup + de + noun ( a lot of ... ) For example: J'ai beaucoup de chiens (I have a lot of dogs) Despite the fact that noun is plural, 'de' doesn't change. I hope this helps! - Marie-Claire
lancish

lancish

Would this hold also for other expressions of quantity, like ... au moins de ... ... un peu plus de ... ?
Marie-Claire-Riviere

Marie-Claire-Riviere

Bonjour Lancish! I am very sorry for the late reply. Yes, you are right. Most fixed expressions such as these do not change. However, French is a language of exceptions so I would not be surprised to come across one from time to time. Keep up the good work! - Marie-Claire

Ask a question or post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here.
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket French trial here.