How to say some in French

This page explains a common way of saying some in French. After you've read through this page, you'll be able to do some on-line exercises to practise what you've learnt.

To say some in French, you need to know the gender of the word (noun) in question.

Masculine

If the word is masculine, such as (le) chocolat, (le) café, then the French for some is du:

du café some coffee
du chocolat some chocolate
du thé some tea
du pain some bread
du jus d'orange some orange juice
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Feminine

If the word is feminine, such as (la) limonade, (la) confiture, then the French for some is de la :

de la limonade some lemonade
de la confiture some jam
de la glace some ice cream
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Plural

If the word is plural (whether masculine or feminine), then the French for some is des:

des garçons some boys
des filles some girls
des chocolats some chocolates
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Words beginning with a vowel

Before a word beginning with a vowel, use de l' instead of du or de la:

de l'oignon some onion
de l'eau some water

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Exception: avoir besoin de

With the phrase avoir besoin de meaning to need, the word for some is always de (or d' before a vowel), unless the meaning some of the... is specifically meant:

j'ai besoin de sucre I need some sugar
il a besoin de pain he needs some bread
elle a besoin d'argent she needs some money
ils ont besoin de chaises they need some chairs
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Next: exercise on du, de la, des

On the next page, there is an exercise on saying some in French which lets you practise using du, de la and des.

Further reading

On this site, see the article on the translation of de.

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This page written by Neil Coffey. Copyright © Javamex UK 2014. All rights reserved.