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Quelques, plusieurs, de nombreux = A few, several, many (quantities)

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 several many / numerous
quelques  plusieurs  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

J'ai lu de nombreux livres.I read many books.

Pour de nombreuses personnes, Paris est la ville de l'Amour.For many people, Paris is the city of Love.

To say many, you use the expression de nombreux / de nombreusesdepending 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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Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

J'ai lu de nombreux livres.I read many books.
J'ai plusieurs livres d'aventure.I have several adventure books.
J'ai invité quelques amis à dîner.I invited a few friends over to dinner.
J'habite à quelques rues d'ici.I live a few streets away.
I live a couple of streets away.
Ma soeur aime plusieurs types de film.My sister likes several types of films
J'habite à plusieurs rues d'ici.I live several streets away.
Pour de nombreuses personnes, Paris est la ville de l'Amour.For many people, Paris is the city of Love.
Paul a bu quelques verres de vin hier.Paul drank a few glasses of wine yesterday.
De nombreux fans l'attendaient à la sortie.Many fans were waiting for him by the exit.
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