Skip to Content

Quelque + Indefinite Expressions

Quelque + Indefinite Expressions

In French, the world “quelque” means “some” and is used for English equivalent expressions which start with “some” such as “something”. These are referred to as “indefinite” words or expressions.

French indefinite expressions with quelque

How to use “quelque” in French and form indefinite expressions

French indefinite expressions

  • quelquefois sometimes
  • quelqu’un someone, somebody
  • quelque chose something
  • quelque part somewhere

Example sentences using indefinite expressions

  • J’ai quelques amis en France. I have a few friends in France.
  • Je vais à la plage quelquefois en été. I go to the beach sometimes during the summer.
  • Est-ce que tu veux manger quelque chose? Do you want to eat something?
  • On va aller quelque part aujourd’hui mais je ne sais pas où exactement. We’re going to go somewhere today but I don’t know where exactly.

Note that in French were “some” precedes a noun you can also use the partitive article. Of course in English the ‘some’ can be omitted but either “quelques” or “des” must be included in French.

  • J’ai des amis à Lyon. I have (some) friends in Lyon.
  • J’ai quelques amis à Lyon. I have (some) friends in Lyon.

Also note the difference between quelquefois and quelques fois. The former means sometimes and the latter means a few times.

  • Quelques fois je vais à Paris. Quelques fois je vais à Rome. Sometimes I go to Paris. Sometimes I go to Rome.
  • Je suis allé à Paris quelques fois mais je ne suis jamais allé à Rome. I’ve been to Paris a few times but I’ve never been to Rome.

Quelques’un means a few or a few of them and it’s used with the pronoun en. Quelques-unes is used for feminine nouns.

  • As-tu des romans français? Do you have any French novels?
    Oui, j’en ai quelques-uns. Yes, I have a few (of them).
  • As-tu des recettes françaises? Do you have any French recipes?
    Oui, j’en ai quelques-unes. Yes, I have a few (of them).

When some is the subject of the a sentence use the word certains for some. Specifically, certains refers to “certain people”. Certaines is used to refer to feminine nouns. D’autres means “others” as the subject of a sentence.

  • Certains ne respecteront pas les nouvelles lois. D’autres les respecteront. Some (people) will not respect the new laws. Others will respect them.
  • Cetaines voitures sont trop bruyantes. D’autres sont moins bruyantes. Some cars are too noisy. Others are less noisy.

Finally, note that on its own quelque can mean some or a little and equates to un peu.

  • J’ai eu quelque difficulté à trouver le bon train. I had some difficulty to find the right train.

Related Lesson

More Resources

See all French grammar lessons

Sharing is caring!

David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

See all posts by