To express quantities such as a few, several and many in French, you will use quelques, plusieurs and de nombreux/nombreuses.
Here's how to use them:
Quelques vs plusieurs = a few vs several
In English, there is a nuance between a few and several :
I have a few books. versus I have several books.
-> a few implies a slightly smaller amount than several.
The same nuance exists in French between quelques and plusieurs :
J'habite à quelques rues d'ici.I live a few streets away.
I live a couple of streets away.
J'habite à plusieurs rues d'ici.I live several streets away.
-> Here quelques implies a slightly shorter distance than plusieurs. It remains quite subjective, but it is definitely worth noticing!
Attention : You never say un quelques (a few)
If we had to establish an order of quantity, it would go like this:
|a couple / some /a few
||many / numerous
||de nombreux (m)
de nombreuses (f)
Paul a bu quelques verres de vin hier.Paul drank a few glasses of wine yesterday.
Ma soeur aime plusieurs types de film.My sister likes several types of films
De nombreux fans l'attendaient à la sortie.Many fans were waiting for him by the exit.
De nombreux / de nombreuses = many
Il m'a donné de nombreuses fleurs.He gave me many flowers.
J'ai lu de nombreux livres.I read many books.
To say many, you use the expression de nombreux / de nombreuses, depending on the gender of the thing it refers to.
Also see the more advanced Quelque(s) vs (un) peu de = A couple/a few vs a bit of/few (indefinite adjectives)
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