I am trying to say that a place is overpopulated, however I am not understanding the difference between saying

je pense cela trop surpeuplé.


je pense cela trop surpeuplait

From browsing examples on reverse dictionary, I thought the first was correct. However when I typed this phrase into a grammar checker, it was corrected to the second output. Any help in understanding this would be much appreciated!

  • 1
    Among other things, your first sentence seems to be missing a verb (ie, "est" to correspond with the "is" in the English version), so maybe your grammar checker, failing to detect that "is" before the past participle, 'surpeuplé', used as an adjective, thought you were trying to use "surpeupler" as a verb and conjugated it in the 3rd person imperfect form. (note also that using "trop" with "surpeuplé" is arguably redundant, just as you didn't use "too" with "overpopulated" perhaps for that reason)
    – Papa Poule
    Jan 15, 2020 at 23:05

1 Answer 1


The sentence

Je pense cela trop surpeuplé.

is not idiomatic and doesn't translate "a place is overpopulated" but something like "I think this place too overpopulated".

One way to improve it can be:

Je pense que c'est trop surpeuplé.

or, replacing penser by trouver:

Je trouve cela trop surpeuplé.

Cela is however odd to refer to a place so the next sentence works better:

Cet endroit, je le trouve trop surpeuplé.

Trop surpeuplé might be frowned upon but suggests that some level of overpopulation would be acceptable for you but in that case, it is beyond that point.

A more recent usage of trop could also lead to an opposite meaning: this place is is extremely overcrowded and that's really cool.

On the other hand, there is no way to fix the incorrect :

Je pense cela trop surpeuplait.

if only because the verb surpeupler is very rare and is missing here both a realistic subject and a complement.

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