Expressing dimensions and measurements (numbers)

There are two ways to express notions of height, length, width and depth in French: 

faire [dimension] de haut, de long, de large, de profondeur

Ce bâtiment fait 30 mètres de haut
Ce bâtiment fait 30 mètres de hauteur

This building is 30 metres tall.

Ce lit fait 2 mètres de long
Ce lit fait 2 mètres de longueur.

This bed is 2 metres long.

Ma chambre fait 4 mètres de large
Ma chambre fait 4 mètres de largeur.

My bedroom is 4 metres wide.

Cette piscine fait 5 mètres de profondeur.
This swimming-pool is 5 metres deep.

Note that while the forms de hauteur, de longueur, de largeur can also be used (though less commonly), you can NEVER say de profond.

 

être + haut de/long de/large de/ profond de [dimension]

Ces baignoires sont longues de 2 mètres.
These bathtubs are 2 metres long.

Ce bâtiment est haut de 30 mètres.
This building is 30 metres tall.

Ma chambre est large de 4 mètres.
My bedroom is 4 metres wide.

Cette piscine est profonde de 5 mètres.
This swimming-pool is 5 metres deep.

 
Note that in this case the adjectives haut/long/large/profond agree in gender and number with the subject they refer to.

 

Case of measurements

Cette pièce fait 10 mètres sur 4.
This room is 10 by 4 metres.

 

Note: to indicate measurements, you use faire [dimension] sur (by) [dimension].

 

Examples and resources

Ma chambre fait 4 mètres de large
Ma chambre fait 4 mètres de largeur.

My bedroom is 4 metres wide.


Ces baignoires sont longues de 2 mètres.
These bathtubs are 2 metres long.


Ce bâtiment est haut de 30 mètres.
This building is 30 metres tall.


Ce bâtiment fait 30 mètres de haut
Ce bâtiment fait 30 mètres de hauteur

This building is 30 metres tall.


Ces baignoires font 2 mètres de long
Ces baignoires font 2 mètres de longueur.

These bathtubs are 2 metres long.


Ce lit fait 2 mètres de long
Ce lit fait 2 mètres de longueur.

This bed is 2 metres long.


Cette piscine est profonde de 5 mètres.
This swimming-pool is 5 metres deep.


Ce lit est long de 2 mètres.
This bed is 2 metres long.


Ma chambre est large de 4 mètres.
My bedroom is 4 metres wide.


Cette piscine fait 5 mètres de profondeur.
This swimming-pool is 5 metres deep.


measurements


Cette pièce fait 10 mètres sur 4.
This room is 10 by 4 metres.


Q&A Forum 9 questions, 19 answers

Pourquoi de onze pas d’onze?

La Fausse des Mariannes est profonde de onze kilomètres.


This answer was said to be correct however I had not ticked it because I thought « de onze » was incorrect. Why isn’t it « d’onze » ?

Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Stephanie,

You do not use elision with 'onze' and you cannot liaise if a consonant comes before it either,  so you will say -

Les //onze étudiants sont arrivés en retard 

without liaising between the -s of les and the of étudiants.

I suppose it is to make it clear that we are talking about the number eleven.

Pourquoi de onze pas d’onze?

La Fausse des Mariannes est profonde de onze kilomètres.


This answer was said to be correct however I had not ticked it because I thought « de onze » was incorrect. Why isn’t it « d’onze » ?

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Les possibilités pour "thickness"

Pourriez-vous expliquer les possibilités pour "thickness" svp?

Est-ce correct de dire:

Le mur fait 30 centimètres d'épaisseur?  

est-ce qu'il y a d'autres possibilités?

Merci d'avance.

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Bill,

You are correct , you can use -

faire + mesure + d'épaisseur 

you could also say -

Le mur est épais de 30 centimètres

L' épaisseur du mur est de 30 centimètres

Hope this helps!

Les possibilités pour "thickness"

Pourriez-vous expliquer les possibilités pour "thickness" svp?

Est-ce correct de dire:

Le mur fait 30 centimètres d'épaisseur?  

est-ce qu'il y a d'autres possibilités?

Merci d'avance.

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LynneC1

Hi - can someone explain please what it is that dictates the gender of long/longue - in respect of the question involving piscine Thanks

Asked 6 months ago
TomC1

Hi lynne

The possibilities are :

1. une piscine longue de 50 mètres (adjective + de + measurement)

2. une piscine de 50 mètres de long ( de + measurement + de + noun (long=longuer))

3. La piscine est longue de 50 mètres (être + adjective + de + measurement)

4. La piscine a une longueur de 50 mètres (avoir + noun + de + measurement)

5. La piscine a 50 mètres de longueur (avoir + measurement + de + noun)

6. La piscine a 50 mètres de long  (avoir + measurement + de + noun)

I believe any confusion may come from the the use of long as a masculine noun rather than long/longue as an adjective.

Hope this helps,

Tom

Lynne asked:View original

Hi - can someone explain please what it is that dictates the gender of long/longue - in respect of the question involving piscine Thanks

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RobinA2

this lesson does not advise when one would use either faire or être

Bonjour.  I read the lesson.  The lesson does not seem to advise when it is appropriate or better to use être or faire.  Does it absolutely not matter?  Or are there situations where être may be better to use than faire, or vice versa?  Merci.

Asked 8 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Robin ,

You can indeed use -

'être' + adjective  + de + measure 

e.g

Le colis est long de 30 cms , large de 15 cms et haut de 3 cms...

but the expressions using 'faire' are more usual....

RobinA2

Bonjour encore.  Further to my question above, I meant to add, could use of être or faire be just a matter of speech, how it sounds in the sentence?  Merci. 

Robin asked:View original

this lesson does not advise when one would use either faire or être

Bonjour.  I read the lesson.  The lesson does not seem to advise when it is appropriate or better to use être or faire.  Does it absolutely not matter?  Or are there situations where être may be better to use than faire, or vice versa?  Merci.

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My dictionary gives as an example « le trou à 6 mètres de profondeur » is it wrong?

Asked 8 months ago

Le trou a 6 mètres de profondeur. -- The hole has a depth of 6 meters.Le trou est profond de 6 mètres. -- The hole is 6 meters deep.

More than one way to skin a cat. :)

But this way wasn’t given as a possibility in the lesson.

This example, however, can be found in the lesson:

Cette piscine est profonde de 5 mètres.

It parallels the second example sentence I posted.

M’y question concerne the use of the verb avoir.

My dictionary gives as an example « le trou à 6 mètres de profondeur » is it wrong?

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Quiz Test for faire de long vs faire de longeur

my answer "fait 6 mètres de longeur" was also marked as incorrect.  As longeur is "less commonly used" but not "wrong" should not this answer have been marked correct but with another green tick showing "de long" also correct?
Asked 11 months ago
You misspelled longueur. Could that be the problem?
ha ha ha!  that indeed could be!  merci chris!

Quiz Test for faire de long vs faire de longeur

my answer "fait 6 mètres de longeur" was also marked as incorrect.  As longeur is "less commonly used" but not "wrong" should not this answer have been marked correct but with another green tick showing "de long" also correct?

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why had "6 mètres de longeur" been given as wrong?

Asked 1 year ago
RonC1
Bonjour Nicholas, Since the complete response was not posted with your question, I imagine that the incorrectness of the response had to do with the verb choice used. If possible, would you repost the complete response phrase to give a better example of your concern. Merci en avance,
I had the same issue. I think the quiz needs updating to bring into agreement with the lesson.

why had "6 mètres de longeur" been given as wrong?

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Abbreviation for units

Is 2m not an acceptable option for 2 meters in French ?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Meghna ! Yes, it is absolutely acceptable as well !
Thank you. Unless I made some other mistake - when the response given to a test question as 2m instead of meters it was marked as wrong. Hence my wuery
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Meghna !

I've looked through your history, and the mistake I found was as follows:
La voiture de Jim fait ________. (Jim's car is 2 meters wide.)
You wrote "2 metres" instead of "2 mètres de large" :)
And in another test, your answer was "2m de" missing "large".

I hope that's helpful!
Back with this one. My answer was ´2 m de large´ (Copy /pasted ) but was marked wrong. I don't get it?

Abbreviation for units

Is 2m not an acceptable option for 2 meters in French ?

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How to express dimensions with faire/être

As you explain, it is either 1. faire + value + de + dimension (noun) 2. être + de + dimension (adjective) + value You say ...faire 1 m de profondeur. But you also say ...faire 1 m de long Isn't "longeur" the noun for length and "long/ue" the adjective? So why is it not "...faire 1 m de longeur" instead of "1 m de long"? To me this looks like expressing depth works different from all other dimensions. -- Chris.
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Claus ! Indeed, while you would use "de long / de large / de haut", for depth you use the noun "de profondeur". Note that the forms "de hauteur, de longueur, de largeur" can also be used (though less commonly), however you can never say "de profond". Thanks to you, I've updated the lesson to reflect these nuances. Merci et à bientôt !
Bonjour Aurélie,  You will see that I also posted a question about this.  You may have updated the lesson but NOT the quiz (the 10 question tests) that include this topic.  Mercia!

How to express dimensions with faire/être

As you explain, it is either 1. faire + value + de + dimension (noun) 2. être + de + dimension (adjective) + value You say ...faire 1 m de profondeur. But you also say ...faire 1 m de long Isn't "longeur" the noun for length and "long/ue" the adjective? So why is it not "...faire 1 m de longeur" instead of "1 m de long"? To me this looks like expressing depth works different from all other dimensions. -- Chris.

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