The French adverb plus has different pronunciations, depending on how it's used. Generally speaking, when plus has a positive meaning (e.g., more, extra, additional) it is pronounced [ploos]. When it is used as a negative adverb (meaning "no more"), it is usually pronounced [ploo]. The way I remember this is by thinking that the positive sense of the word has an extra sound, while the negative sense does not. In other words, the [s] sound is subtracted when the word has a negative meaning, added when it has a positive meaning. Isn't that clever? ;-)
This general pronunciation rule applies to plus when it's used as an affirmative or negative adverb. When used as a comparative or superlative, the rules are somewhat different.
|Affirmative adverb - [ploos]|
|Plus de means "more (than)" or "additional"|
|Je veux plus de beurre.||I want more butter.|
|Il y aura plus de choix demain.||There will be additional choices tomorrow.|
|J'ai plus de 1 000 livres.||I have more than 1,000 books.|
|Negative adverb - [ploo]|
|Ne ... plus is a negative adverb, meaning "no more" or "not any more"|
|Je ne le veux plus.||I don't want it any more.|
|Je ne veux plus de beurre.||I don't want any more butter.|
|Plus de beurre, merci.**||No more butter, thank you.|
|Non plus means "neither" or "not ... either"|
|Je n'aime pas les pommes non plus.||I don't like apples either.|
|- Je n'ai pas de montre.
- Moi non plus !
|- I don't have a watch.
- Me neither!
|Ne ... plus que means "only" or "nothing more than"|
|Il n'y a plus que miettes.||There are only crumbs (left).|
- Y a-t-il des pommes ?
- Plus qu'une.**
|- Are there any apples?
- Only one.
|Ne ... pas plus means "no more than" (pretty much the same thing as ne ... plus que)|
|Il n'y a pas plus de 3 médecins.||There are no more than 3 doctors.|
|- Puis-je emprunter un stylo ?
- Je n'en ai pas plus d'un.
|- Can I borrow a pen?
- I only have one.
**Note: There are a few expressions in which plus is negative without ne, because there is no verb for ne to negate. Note that these are normally at the beginning of a clause:
- Plus besoin (de) - (there's) no more need (to/of)
- Plus de + noun - (there's) no more + noun
- Plus maintenant - not any more, not any longer
- Plus que + noun - (there are) only ___ more
In addition, the ne is often omitted in spoken, informal French (learn
more). This is when pronouncing
or not pronouncing the [s] is most important. If I say Je veux
plus [ploo] de beurre, someone may very well think I mean I don't
want any more butter. This is actually how I learned the difference
between the two pronunciations. I was eating breakfast and asked,
Y a-t-il plus [ploo] de beurre ? and the woman replied,
Mais si, si ! (yes in response to a negative
question). I should have asked Y a-t-il plus [ploos] de beurre ?
Plus as a comparative or superlative adverb is the exception to the above rules. When the comparative or superlative plus is in the middle of a sentence, it is pronounced [ploo], unless it precedes a vowel, in which case the liaison causes it to be pronounced [plooz]. When plus is at the end of a sentence, as in the final example, it is pronounced [ploos].
|Plus ... que or plus ... de indicates superiority in comparatives and can compare|
|adjectives||Je suis plus grand qu'elle.||I'm taller than she is.|
|adverbs||Je cours plus vite qu'elle.||I run faster than she does.|
|nouns||J'ai plus d'amis qu'elle.||I have more friends than she does.|
|verbs||Je cours plus qu'elle.||I run more than she does.|
|Le plus or le plus de indicates superiority in superlatives and can compare|
|adjectives||Je suis le plus grand étudiant.||I'm the tallest student.|
|adverbs||Je cours le plus vite.||I run the fastest.|
|nouns||J'ai le plus d'amis.||I have the most friends.|
|verbs||Je cours le plus.||I run the most.|
Page 2 - Expressions with Plus
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