In the exercise quelques livres is translated as a couple of books as well as some books.

In the exercise quelques livres is translated as a couple of books as well as some books.

In English I was always taught that strictly "couple" means two and it's a misuse to use it otherwise.  Can you explain why quelques therefore translates as some and two?  Thank you.
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi K,

In my experience, a couple of, in English is used for 2 or thereabouts.

We don't have such an expression for very small approximate quantities in French as they start with the number 10:

Une dizaine, une vingtaine, une trentaine etc.. which mean about 10, 20, 30 ...

so Quelques, meaning a few, ( an indeterminate small quantity) can be somea few or a couple of depending on the context.

Some will often be 'des'.

Hope this helps!

In the exercise quelques livres is translated as a couple of books as well as some books.

In English I was always taught that strictly "couple" means two and it's a misuse to use it otherwise.  Can you explain why quelques therefore translates as some and two?  Thank you.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level >>
Ask a question
Let me take a look at that...