"Why so many words?"

Translation:Pourquoi autant de mots ?

January 24, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Why is it not 'des mots' ?


It's usually always like this with adverbs for quantity.

"Beaucoup de temps"

"autant de mots"

"moins d'argent"

"plus de stylos"


Just to provide the lesson in which this was learned for reference:

This was learned in the lesson "Adverbs 1":

Adverbs of quantity express imprecise quantities. These adverbs are usually followed by “de”.

  • Il a (beaucoup) de chiens. (“He has a lot of dogs”)
  • Il boit (trop) de bière. (“He drinks too much of beer / He is drinking too much beer”)


according to an answer somewhere else, the sentence is structures 'autant de - mots', not 'autant - de mots'. So autant de = so many. So then the rule of no naked nouns still holds here.


Why is "beaucoup de" not acceptable?


"Pourquoi beaucoup de mots ?" = "Why a lot of words ?" or "Why many words ?"


Why so many words, according to Duo has two translations, Pourquoi autant de mots, and, Pourquoi tant de mots. Now from what I've read autant and tant are different words. Autant means, as many. Tant means, so many. So one of the translations would be, your saying the same amount of words, and the other is saying, your saying more words. Am I right?


Well strictly speaking "autant" means "as much as" or "as many as", and "tant" means "so much" or "so many".

But in common French we usually use "autant" for both meanings, while "tant" is still used in literature/formal speech, and also from time to time in common conversation. It can actually depend of the people you're speaking with. Personally I use "autant" most of the time in oral conversation.


I might make the suggestion here that the English sentence actually could mean "why as many?" and hence autant may be the correct choice as well as the common.

If I am proofreading someone's essay, for example, I might ask them "why so many words?". By this I mean why as many words as they have used which is being compared with the number of words I would have expected.


I see what you're trying to do there but I think you're unnecessarily complicating it.


Complicating it was certainly not my intention, I apologise if I made it confusing for you to read. When I read the sentence that was my first interpretation of it because otherwise it sounds like an ill-formed, childish complaint to me.

My thought was that perhaps the Duo team responsible for the sentences thought the same way.


I also think this should be "tant de" and not "autant de" because it's not a comparison.


Both are correct if you take into account common French.


The word needed wasn’t even in the dictionary, because the parser couldn’t group the words to form the phrase.


pourquoi si beaucoup de mots - Is it really wrong ?


That sentence means "why if many words?" and yes, it is incorrect.

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