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How do you tell the difference between "le plus" as in "the more" from "le plus" as in "the most" in French?

As in "The more easy" vs. "The most easy"

  • Not enough information. The more as in the most?? What does that mean? In English, /more beautiful/, /the most beautiful/?? Is that what you mean? In English, there is no "the more" by itself. – Lambie Apr 7 '16 at 13:54
  • Marco, please give some examples to your question. It's very difficult to answer this without any context. – cccg03 Apr 7 '16 at 14:12
  • I’m not saying at all that your question is a duplicate (and I’ll certainly vote to reopen yours if it’s closed as such) but to the extent that you’re asking about French comparatives vs. French superlatives, these two answers might help: comparing-things-eg-as-good-as and is-there-any-difference-except-of-the-prepositions (in addition to the answers you've already received). – Papa Poule Apr 7 '16 at 15:08
  • @Lambie, "the more" does exist by itself in English. Eg: "the more you know" – Nico Mezeret Apr 8 '16 at 8:56
  • Yeah, like in "The more and more you eat that..." Or "The more terrible of a person you are, the less likely you're able to make friends" btw I like the way you used "The more you know for that reply haha" – Marco Ruben Abuyuan Llanes Apr 8 '16 at 11:43
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I would be tempted to say that "au plus" or simply "plus" seems more correct to say "the more", as in "au plus je grandit"/"plus je grandis" to say "the more I grow".

In case you do stumble upon one of the examples you describe, an easy way to differentiate them without the full context is to change them to the plural form.

"The most" will still make sense in the plural: Le plus grand -> Les plus grands (correct)

While "The more" will not: Le plus je grandis -> Les plus je grandis (incorrect)

  • au plus has nothing to do with the comparative/superlative. Le plus grand-the biggest or greatest. – Lambie Apr 8 '16 at 13:33
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"The most" is a superlative, in French, un superlatif. "Il est le plus grand d'entre nous" = he is the tallest of us.

The more is a comparative, in French, un comparatif. "Il est plus grand que moi" = he is taller than I.

The use of "le/la", as Nico Mezeret said, is necessary linked to a superlative. See : http://la-conjugaison.nouvelobs.com/regles/grammaire/le-superlatif-141.php.

So, there is no potential mistake: "le plus grand" is the tallest!

  • la, le, les + adjective + noun =superlative, le plus beau filme – Lambie Apr 8 '16 at 13:35

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