De plus en plus de and de moins en moins de = more and more and less and less (comparisons of nouns)

Look at these sentences:

J'ai de moins en moins de patience pour ces choses-là.
I've got less and less patience for those things.

Ma fille a de plus en plus de peluches dans sa chambre.
My daughter has more and more plush toys in her bedroom.

De moins en moins de gens s'envoient des lettres.
Fewer and fewer people send letters to each other.

J'ai de plus en plus de mal à me concentrer.
I'm struggling more and more to focus.

To express more and more [thing(s)] and less/fewer [thing(s)], you will use de plus en plus de [chose(s)] and de moins en moins de [chose(s)].

Remember that the last de becomes d' in front of a vowel or a mute h.

Tu fais de plus en plus d'efforts pour m'aider.
You make more and more effort to help me.

  

See also Better and better, worse and worse = de mieux en mieux, de pire en pire (comparisons)De plus en plus and de moins en moins = more and more and less and less (comparisons with adjectives, adverbs, verbs) and Plus... plus..., moins... moins... = the more...the more..., the less...the less... (comparisons with phrases)

 

Here are other Comparative structures:

Making comparisons with adjectives: plus... que, aussi... que, moins... que
Making comparisons with adverbs: plus... que, aussi... que, moins... que
Making comparisons with verbs: plus que, autant que, moins que
Making comparisons with nouns: plus de... que, moins de... que, autant de... que

And Superlative structures:

Le, la, les plus and le, la, les moins = the most and the least (superlatives of adjectives)
Le plus and le moins = the most and the least (superlative of adverbs)
Forming the superlative of adjectives in complex cases
Meilleur, mieux, pire / plus mauvais, plus mal = better, best, worse and worst (irregular comparatives and superlatives)

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

J'ai de plus en plus de mal à me concentrer.
I'm struggling more and more to focus.


De moins en moins de gens s'envoient des lettres.
Fewer and fewer people send letters to each other.


J'ai de moins en moins de patience pour ces choses-là.
I've got less and less patience for those things.


Ma fille a de plus en plus de peluches dans sa chambre.
My daughter has more and more plush toys in her bedroom.


Tu fais de plus en plus d'efforts pour m'aider.
You make more and more effort to help me.


Q&A Forum 7 questions, 17 answers

RobinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

request more clarification on idiomatic example phrase

This is a sample sentence from this lesson: 

J'ai de plus en plus de mal à me concentrer.

I understand the more and more part.  As a student, without the translation, I would not have come up with I'm struggling more and more to focus.   I was seeing this as ... I have (more and more) pain myself to concentrate.  Is there a lesson on avoir mal a that talks about struggling?  If so J'ai de plus en plus de mal avec cette example! :)

Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Robin, 

I understand your frustation, as 'avoir mal à' and 'avoir du mal à' sound very similar but have very different meanings -

The expression is:

Avoir du mal à faire quelque chose To have difficulty in doing something

e.g.

Docteur! j'ai du mal à respirer = Doctor! I have difficulty breathing

BUT :

Docteur! J'ai mal au genou Doctor! My knee hurts

Bonne continuation!

 

 

 

 

RobinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thank you very much for this excellent explanation!

BeckiA1Kwiziq community member

Yes du mal = struggling to

J’ai du mal à comprendre 

Robin asked:View original

request more clarification on idiomatic example phrase

This is a sample sentence from this lesson: 

J'ai de plus en plus de mal à me concentrer.

I understand the more and more part.  As a student, without the translation, I would not have come up with I'm struggling more and more to focus.   I was seeing this as ... I have (more and more) pain myself to concentrate.  Is there a lesson on avoir mal a that talks about struggling?  If so J'ai de plus en plus de mal avec cette example! :)

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Julianne B2Kwiziq community member

'De moins en moins de' at beginning of a sentence

the example here is 'De moins en moins de gens s'envoient des lettres' 

But in the A2 lesson on de moins en moins /de plus en plus with adverbes and adjectives it says that you can't start a sentence in French with 'De plus en plus'

Why is one sentence right in one context but not in the other? Is there a difference between using de plus en plus and de moins en moins at the beginning of the sentence? Or is it because the rule of not using de plus en plus at the beginning of a sentence is only when using an adjective or adverb? And if the later is the case does it apply to de moins en moins also? 

Asked 10 months ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Julianne !

As you guessed, these are different cases :)

So to recap: 
- "de plus en plus" or "de moins en moins" (on their own) cannot be placed at the beginning of the sentence, unlike in English. Here's an example that I added to the lesson:
"More and more, I knew what I wanted." -> "Je savais de plus en plus ce que je voulais."

- With adjectives, you cannot start a sentence (similarly to English really) because the adjective needs to be close to the noun it refers to.

- With adverbs, it depends on the emphasis you want to put on the "circumstance", but I'd advise to avoid the first place too, as it's usually less elegant.

- But with nouns, the group can be subject of the sentence for example, and therefore be at the beginning of it.

I hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Julianne,

Could you pin the lesson you mention as it might contain an error?

Julianne B2Kwiziq community member

sorry that's a bit technologically challenging for me. I'm asking about this lesson 

De plus en plus de and de moins en moins de = more and more and less and less (comparisons of nouns)

with this example - De moins en moins de gens s'envoient des lettres

and from the other lesson called

'De plus en plus and de moins en moins = more and more and less and less (comparisons with adjectives, adverbs, verbs' 

which states - 'Note: de plus en plus (on its own) cannot be placed at the beginning of the sentence, unlike in English'.

'De moins en moins de' at beginning of a sentence

the example here is 'De moins en moins de gens s'envoient des lettres' 

But in the A2 lesson on de moins en moins /de plus en plus with adverbes and adjectives it says that you can't start a sentence in French with 'De plus en plus'

Why is one sentence right in one context but not in the other? Is there a difference between using de plus en plus and de moins en moins at the beginning of the sentence? Or is it because the rule of not using de plus en plus at the beginning of a sentence is only when using an adjective or adverb? And if the later is the case does it apply to de moins en moins also? 

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MohitB1Kwiziq community member

The pronunciation of "plus" in de plus en plus in the last example (J'ai de plus en plus de mal à me concentrer.) has 's' in both the plus

Is this correct? Because in all other examples only the plus has 's' prononuced as it is followed by vowel 'e'.
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Mohit, 

Not always but in the expression 'de plus en plus' you can say:

De pluz en plu or de pluz en plusse...

The first 's'  is pronounced as a 'z' because of the compulsory liaison and the second 's' can be pronounced or not.

Hope this helps!

 

MohitB1Kwiziq community member
correction -  Because in all other examples only the FIRST plus has 's' prononuced as it is followed by vowel 'e'.
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Mohit,

Thanks for pointing this out, you can actually say both ...

MohitB1Kwiziq community member
Thanks Cecile. Just to confirm - this means that "Plus" can always be pronounced with a 's'?
YokoB1Kwiziq community member

I wondered exactly the same thing as Mohit did. I think I was taught that this type of "s" SHOULD NOT be pronounced unless there occurs liaison. Is this an exception only for this phrase? Or is it more flexible in general...?

The pronunciation of "plus" in de plus en plus in the last example (J'ai de plus en plus de mal à me concentrer.) has 's' in both the plus

Is this correct? Because in all other examples only the plus has 's' prononuced as it is followed by vowel 'e'.

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SueC1Kwiziq community member

The lesson is fine - it is the answers to kwizzes where there is a discrepancy,I think. An omitted ‘de’ is marked correct.

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Sue !

I went through our lesson's questions, and none of them marks correct the absence of "de".

Could you please report the specific question you're mentionning, so I can look into it?

Merci beaucoup! 

The lesson is fine - it is the answers to kwizzes where there is a discrepancy,I think. An omitted ‘de’ is marked correct.

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JenniferC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

J'ai de plus en plus mal à me concentrer

I am just if the me is essential or could it be left out.
Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Jennifer, «à me concentrer» is the correct syntaxe for talking about one's own ability to concentrate. Here is the page from the Collins-Robert: se concentrer ⇒ I couldn't concentrate. ---> Je n'arrivais pas à me concentrer. J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisée par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet Ron (un locuteur non natif )
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Jennifer, Concentrer is a transitive verb (needs a direct object), as in concentrer son attention. If you don't use a direct object like that, then yes - me is required, as it serves as the direct object.
JenniferC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thank you both, the point about the direct object is particularly useful to me as I sometimes struggle in such areas

J'ai de plus en plus mal à me concentrer

I am just if the me is essential or could it be left out.

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William C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Just a thought!

The words in these two phrases "de moins en moins de" and "de plus en plus de" are similar to the letters in words like radar, noon, and civic. They read the same backwards and forwards.
Asked 2 years ago
GruffKwiziq team member
Thanks William - nice mnemonic!

Just a thought!

The words in these two phrases "de moins en moins de" and "de plus en plus de" are similar to the letters in words like radar, noon, and civic. They read the same backwards and forwards.

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DzoanB1Kwiziq community member

DVDs

The dvds are the plural of DVD, right? And the way you say DVDs is D.V.D.S?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Dzoan ! Yes, and yes :) The pronunciation would be: "dé-vé-dé" as in French you never pronounce a plural "-s" ! I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

DVDs

The dvds are the plural of DVD, right? And the way you say DVDs is D.V.D.S?

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Getting that for you now.