Plus

Plus - French adverb
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French Adverb and More

The French word plus has a number of different meanings, uses, and even pronunciations.

Plus pronunciation

Plus can be pronounced in three different ways, depending on how it’s used and where it’s found in the sentence. This lesson shows the pronunciation for each usage with IPA:

  • [plys]
  • [plyz]  (liaison)
  • [ply]  (s is silent)
  • [ply(s)]  (s may be pronounced or silent, speaker’s choice)

Comparative adverb

Plus is the superior comparative adverb, equivalent to more ___ or ___-er. It’s usually pronounced [ply] or, when a liaison is necessary, [plyz].

Par exemple…

Tu es plus sympa que ton frère.   You’re nicer than your brother.
C’était plus intéressant que je ne pensais.*   That was more interesting than I expected.

* Ne explétif

Exceptions

1) When it’s the last word in a phrase, plus is pronounced [plys].

Tu devrais étudier plus.   You should study more.
J’aime ça plus.   I like that more.

2) In plus que, the pronunciation is [ply(s)]

J’aime le vin plus que la bière.   I like wine better than beer.
Elle étudie plus que moi.   She studies more than I do.

Superlative adverb

Le plus is the superior superlative adverb, equivalent to most ___ or ___-est. Like the comparative, the superlative plus is usually pronounced [ply], except for [plyz] in a liaison and [plys] at the end of a sentence.

Tu es le plus sympa de tes frères.   You are the nicest of your brothers.
C’était le plus intéressant.   That was the most interesting.
J’ai bu le plus.   I drank the most.

Negative adverb

In negative constructions, plus is always pronounced [ply].

1) The negative adverb ne … plus means "not any more."

Il n’est plus en France.   He’s not in France any more.
Je ne veux plus de vin.   I don’t want any more wine.

2) Non plus means "not either" or "neither."

Elle ne veut pas de vin non plus.   She doesn’t want any wine either.
Je n’y vais pas, et lui non plus.   I’m not going, and neither is he.

3) Ne … plus que means "only":

Je n’ai plus qu’une minute avant le cours.   I have only one minute before the class.
Il ne reste plus qu’un sandwich.   There’s only one sandwich left.

4) Ne … pas plus de means "no more than."

Je n’ai pas plus d’une minute avant le cours.   I have not more than one minute before the class.
Il ne reste pas plus d’un sandwich.   There’s not more than one sandwich left.

 In informal French, it’s very common to drop ne, which makes it vital that you pronounce plus correctly. Je veux [plys] de pain means "I want more bread," whereas Je veux [ply] de pain means "I don’t want any more bread."

Plus with a capital P

At the beginning of a sentence, plus can be especially tricky.

Plus de followed by a noun can be affirmative ("more") or negative ("no more"); your pronunciation makes all the difference. When plus means "more," it’s pronounce [plys],* and when it means "no more," it’s [ply].

Plus de pain, s’il vous plaît. [plys]   More bread, please.
Plus de pain, merci. [ply]   No more bread, thank you.

* You might say there’s "more" to it – get it?

The following expressions are all negative, so plus is pronounced [ply]. I’ve also include an example of what each phrase might be shortened from.

Plus besoin (de)
   < Il n’y a plus besoin (de)
  No more need (to, off)
There’s no more need (to, of)
Plus maintenant.
  < Il n’y habite plus maintenant.
  Not any more.
He doesn’t live there any more.
Plus que ___
   < Il ne reste plus que ___
  Only ___ more / left.
There are only ___ left.

Coordinating conjunction

As a simple coordinating conjunction, plus means "plus, and, added to" and is always pronounced [plys].

Un plus deux égalent trois.   One plus two equals three.
La chemise coûte 10 euros, plus les frais de livraison.   The shirt costs 10 euros, plus shipping fees.

When used in pairs, meaning "the more … the more," the pronunciation is [ply]

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.   The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Plus on est des fous, plus on rit !   The more the merrier!
(literally, the more crazies there are, the more we laugh)

Noun

Rarely, un plus [plys] is a noun, meaning "a plus, asset, advantage":

Être bilingue est un plus.   Being bilingual is a plus.
Quels sont les plus ?   What are the advantages?

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Plus - French pronunciation
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