Back in school we read L'avare. At some point he invites some people for diner. But being greedy as he is, he plans to cook/order for less people than are actually invited.

I'm looking for the quote (in French) which goes something like: "When there is food for 6 persons, there is also food for 8 persons"

1 Answer 1


Maître Jacques — Combien serez−vous de gens à table ?
Harpagon — Nous serons huit ou dix ; mais il ne faut prendre que huit ; quand il y a à manger pour huit, il y en a bien pour dix.
Valère — Cela s'entend.

Molière, L'Avare, 1668.

This is still a common expression:

Quand y'en a pour some number, y'en a pour some larger number.

  • That's it! Thanks so much!
    – Laoujin
    Aug 9, 2023 at 12:42
  • Is the expression mainly comic, then?
    – Luke Sawczak
    Aug 9, 2023 at 12:53
  • 5
    @LukeSawczak the expression itself isn't really comic, but its use by Molière definitely is: usually this expression is an invitation for more people to join, while here it is used as an excuse not to serve enough food. Aug 9, 2023 at 13:08
  • Funny enough (yet as always seems to happen), so shortly after reading this expression here for the first time, I encountered it again in Anne Frank: "Peter asked if I'd come again one evening ... and said that where there was room for one, there was room for two."
    – Luke Sawczak
    Aug 12, 2023 at 21:30

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