Share this entry

some
British English: /sʌm/
, /s(ə)m/
American English: /səm/
When some is used as a quantifier to mean an unspecified amount of something, it is translated by du, de l' before vowel or mute h, de la or des according to the gender and number of the noun that follows: I'd like some bread = je voudrais du pain; have some water = prenez de l'eau; we've bought some beer = nous avons acheté de la bière; they've bought some peaches = ils ont acheté des pêches. But note that where some is followed by an adjective preceding a plural noun, de alone is used in all cases: some pretty dresses = de jolies robes.For particular usages see some 1 below.When some is used as a pronoun it is translated by en which is placed before the verb in French: would you like some? = est-ce que vous en voulez?; I've got some = j'en ai.For particular usages see some 2 below.

Translation of some in French:

determiner, quantifier

  • 1 (an unspecified amount or number) some cheese
    du fromage
    some money
    de l'argent
    some apples
    des pommes
    some old/new socks
    de vieilles/nouvelles chaussettes
    some red/expensive socks
    des chaussettes rouges/chères
    we need some help/support/money
    nous avons besoin d'aide/de soutien/d'argent
  • 2 (certain: in contrast to others)
    certains
    some shops won't sell this product
    certains magasins ne vendent pas ce produit
    some children like it
    certains enfants aiment ça
    some tulips are black
    certaines tulipes sont noires
    some people work, others don't
    certaines personnes travaillent, d'autres non
    in some ways, I agree in some cases, people have to wait 10 years
    dans certains cas les gens doivent attendre 10 ans
    some people say that …
    certaines personnes disent que …
    in some parts of Europe
    dans certaines parties de l'Europe
  • 3 (a considerable amount or number) he has some cause for complaint/disappointment
    il a des raisons de se plaindre/d'être déçu
    she managed it with some ease/difficulty
    elle a réussi sans problèmes/avec difficulté
    his suggestion was greeted with some indifference/hostility
    sa suggestion a été accueillie avec indifférence/hostilité
    it will take some doing
    ça ne va pas être facile à faire
    we stayed there for some time
    nous sommes restés là assez longtemps
    we waited for some years/months/hours
    nous avons attendu plusieurs années/mois/heures
    he hadn't seen her for some years
    ça faisait plusieurs années qu'il ne l'avait pas vue
  • 4 (a little, a slight) the meeting did have some effect/some value
    la réunion a eu un certain effet/une certaine importance
    the candidate needs to have some knowledge of computers
    le candidat doit avoir certaines or un minimum de connaissances en informatique
    there must be some reason for it
    il doit y avoir une raison
    you must have some idea where the house is
    tu dois avoir une idée de l'endroit où la maison se trouve
    this money will go some way towards compensating her for her injuries
    cet argent compensera un peu ses blessures
    the agreement will go some way towards solving the difficulties between the two countries
    cet accord aidera à résoudre les difficultés entre les deux pays
    to some extent well that's some consolation anyway!
    c'est toujours ça (informal)!
  • 5 [pejorative] (an unspecified, unknown) some man came to the house
    un homme est venu à la maison
    he's doing some course
    il suit des cours
    she's bought some cottage in Spain
    elle a acheté une maison en Espagne
    a car/computer of some sort, some sort of car/computer
    une sorte de voiture/d'ordinateur
  • 6
    [informal]
    (a remarkable) that was some film/car!
    ça c'était un film/une voiture!
    that's some woman/man!
    c'est quelqu'un!
  • 7
    [informal]
    (not much) some help you are/he is!
    [ironic]
    c'est ça que tu appelles/qu'il appelle aider!
    some mechanic/doctor he is!
    tu parles d'un mécanicien/d'un médecin!
    some dictionary/pen that is!
    tu parles d'un dictionnaire/d'un stylo!
    ‘I'd like the work to be finished by Monday’—‘some hope!’
    ‘j'aimerais que le travail soit fini avant lundi’—‘tu rêves (informal)!’

pronoun

  • 1 (an unspecified amount or number) I'd like some of those
    j'en voudrais quelques-uns comme ça
    (do) have some!
    servez-vous!
    (do) have some more!
    reprenez-en!
  • 2 (certain ones: in contrast to others) some (of them) are blue
    certains sont bleus
    some (of them) are French, others Spanish (people)
    certains d'entre eux sont des Français, d'autres des Espagnols
    some say that …
    certaines personnes disent que …
    I agree with some of what you say
    je suis d'accord avec une partie de ce que tu dis
    some (of them) arrived early
    certains d'entre eux sont arrivés tôt

adverb

  • 1 (approximately) some 20 people/buses
    environ 20 personnes/autobus
    some 20 years ago
    il y a environ 20 ans
    some £50
    autour de 50 livres (sterling)
    some 70% of the population
    environ 70% de la population
  • 2
    [informal]
    (American English) (somewhat , a lot)
    un peu
    to wait/work some
    attendre/travailler un peu
    from here to the town centre in 5 minutes, that's going some (informal)
    aller d'ici au centre ville en 5 minutes, il faut le faire

Idioms

and then some (informal)!

et pas qu'un peu (informal)!

some people!

ah vraiment, il y a des gens!

Definition of some in:

Share this entry

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

QUIZ


    Next Score: