How Much/How Many/ How Long in French : Combien ?

how much is it in french combien

People are obsessed with numbers, said the Little Prince. “How tall are you?” “How much do you weigh?” “How many brothers do you have?” “How much money do you make?” “How much is this?”

Counting everything is far away from the ideal world, but it’s the one we live in.

Until any drastic change happens, we’ll have to ask and answer all sorts of “How much“, “How long“, “How many times” and “How many“?

Luckily, the French language is simple, it uses only one word for all of these questions, and that’s combien.

Today we’ll help you to ask different questions using Combien in French.

How much/How many in French

In contrast to English, where the main focus is to determine whether a noun is countable or uncountable to be able to ask a question accordingly,  French uses only one word to ask a question. The word combien that’s usually combined with c’est (this is) or il y a (there is).

The interrogative adverbs combien serve to ask a question on a number or on a quantity.

C’est can come before, while il y a, goes before or after the word.

C’est combien?

How much is it? 

Combien des pommes il y a?

How many apples are there?

Il y en a combien?

How many are there? How much is there?

Combien in Different Questions

combien de temps → how long

combien de fois → how many times

pour combien → for how much

Difference Between Combien and Combien de

The interrogative adverbs combien and combien de  serve to ask a question on a number or on a quantity.

They are both placed, at the beginning of the interrogative phrase, require the inversion of the verb and the subject of the sentence.

Cette robe noire coûtait quinze euros.  —>  Combien coûtait cette robe blanche ?

Nous sommes dix en classe.   —>  Combien êtes-vous en classe ?

Use combien de when you’ve got the thing you’re “counting” straight afterward, for example.

Combien de pommes?

How many apples?

Combien can be used on its own if you do not have the thing you’re “counting” immediately afterward. When the word comes right at the end of a sentence, which often happens when you’re asking a question.

It’s time to test the waters with this exercise. 

Common Questions Using Combien

Combien ca coute?

How much is it?

Combien avez-vous payé pour ca?

How much have you paid for that?

C’est combien sa s’il vous plais

Please, how much is it?

Ca coûte combien la tarif vers New York ?

How much is the fare to New York?

Combien de voitures avez-vous?

How many cars do you have?

Combien d’enfants voulez-vous?

How many children would you like?

 Combien coûtent les billets ?

How much are the tickets?

Combien ça coûte de louer des skis nautiques?

How much does it cost to rent water skis?

Combien ça coûte?

How much is that?

Combien de jours ?

How many days?

Combien de langues parlez-vous ?

How many languages do you speak ?

Combien de sacs avez-vous?

How many bags do you have?

Combien de temps ?

How much time?

Heart of Every Conversation in French

Do you feel ready to ask all sorts of “How much”, “How many”, “How long”, “How many times”?

As the little Prince said, people love asking these questions, making it the heart of almost every conversation in French.

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