De trop

Essential French Expression

Une valise de trop
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Meaning too much, too many; unwanted
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Pronunciation [deu troh]
IPA   [də tʀo]

Usage notes: The French expression de trop means "too much" or "too many" when it follows a noun or verb.

Tu as une valise de trop.   You have one too many suitcases / one suitcase too many
J’ai acheté deux billets de trop.   I bought two tickets too many.
Il mange de trop quand il est nerveux.   He eats too much when he’s nervous.
Vous vous plaignez de trop.   You complain too much.

  De trop vs trop (de)

These two phrases mean more or less the same thing, but they are different grammatically.

1) With nouns – de trop vs trop de

    De trop   Trop de
Placement   Follows the noun   Precedes the noun
    dix litres de trop
ten liters too many
  trop de litres
too many liters
Amount   Required   Optional
    une rame de papier de trop
one ream of paper too many
  trop de papier, trop de rames de papier
too much paper, too many reams of paper

2) With verbs – de trop vs trop

    De trop   Trop
Simple conjugation   Follows the verb   Follows the verb
    Tu bois de trop.
You drink too much.
  Tu bois trop.
 
Compound conjugation   Follows the past participle   Follows the helping verb
    J’ai bu de trop.
I drank too much.
  J’ai trop bu.
 
Dual-verb conjugation   Follows the infinitive   Follows the semi-auxiliary verb
    Je ne veux pas boire de trop.
I don’t want to drink too much.
  Je ne veux pas trop boire.
 

Metaphorically speaking

De trop can also have a negative meaning: unwanted, unnecessary, uncalled-for, over the top:

Par exemple…

Elle se sentait de trop.   She felt unwanted.
Cette observation est de trop !   That comment is uncalled-for!

  En anglais

The figurative meaning is also found in English:

Her last party was a bit de trop.

Don’t you think five cars are rather de trop?

Your comment was de trop.

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