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

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.


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

My bedroom is 4 metres wide.


measurements


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


Q&A

Bill

Kwiziq community member

17 March 2019

1 reply

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.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

17 March 2019

17/03/19

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!

lynne

Kwiziq community member

26 February 2019

1 reply

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

Tom

Kwiziq community member

27 February 2019

27/02/19

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

Robin

Kwiziq community member

7 January 2019

2 replies

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.

Robin

Kwiziq community member

7 January 2019

7/01/19

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. 

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

17 March 2019

17/03/19

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....

Heyes

Kwiziq community member

5 January 2019

4 replies

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

Chris

Kwiziq community member

6 January 2019

6/01/19

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. :)

Heyes

Kwiziq community member

6 January 2019

6/01/19

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

Chris

Kwiziq community member

7 January 2019

7/01/19

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

Cette piscine est profonde de 5 mètres.

It parallels the second example sentence I posted.

Heyes

Kwiziq community member

7 January 2019

7/01/19

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

Marnie

Kwiziq community member

19 October 2018

2 replies

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?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

19 October 2018

19/10/18

You misspelled longueur. Could that be the problem?

Marnie

Kwiziq community member

19 October 2018

19/10/18

ha ha ha!  that indeed could be!  merci chris!

Nicholas

Kwiziq community member

1 October 2017

2 replies

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

Ron

Kwiziq community member

1 October 2017

1/10/17

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,

Nicholas

Kwiziq community member

5 December 2017

5/12/17

I had the same issue. I think the quiz needs updating to bring into agreement with the lesson.

Meghna

Kwiziq community member

10 January 2017

4 replies

Abbreviation for units

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

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

10 January 2017

10/01/17

Bonjour Meghna ! Yes, it is absolutely acceptable as well !

Meghna

Kwiziq community member

10 January 2017

10/01/17

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

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

12 January 2017

12/01/17

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!

Meghna

Kwiziq community member

6 May 2017

6/05/17

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

Chris

Kwiziq community member

24 October 2016

2 replies

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.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

24 October 2016

24/10/16

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 !

Marnie

Kwiziq community member

19 October 2018

19/10/18

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!

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