De trop

French expressions analyzed and explained

Un morceau de sucre de trop
PM Images / Getty
Expression: De trop

Pronunciation: [deu tro]

Meaning: too many, too much; unwanted

Register: normal

Notes: You can use the French expression de trop after a noun or verb to indicate too many or too much of something:

    Tu as ajouté un morceau de sucre de trop.
   You added one sugar cube too many.

    Il y a trois livres de trop.
   There are three too many books, There are three books too many.

    Tu bois de trop.

   You drink too much.

    Nous avons payé de trop.
   We paid too much.

De trop vs trop (de): Their meaning is essentially the same, but they are used slightly differently.

With nouns: de trop goes after the noun while trop de (which is an adverb of quantity) goes before it. In addition, de trop is used with a number or some other indicator of the excess amount whereas trop de remains vague on that point, which means that they are not interchangeable.

    cinq kilos de trop  vs  trop de kilos
   five kilos too many  vs  too many kilos

    un morceau de sucre de trop  vs  trop de morceaux de sucre / trop de sucre
   one sugar cube too many  vs  too many sugar cubes / too much sugar

With verbs: de trop goes after the verb(s), while the placement of trop (note there is no de) depends on the type of conjugation. It follows simple verbs, but with compound verbs and dual-verb conjugations, it is placed between the conjugated verb and the past participle or infinitive.
Other than placement, de trop and trop can be used interchangeably.

    Je mange de trop  vs  Je mange trop
   I eat too much

    J'ai mangé de trop  vs  J'ai trop mangé
   I ate too much

    Il peut s'énerver de trop  vs  Il peut trop s'énerver
   He can get too worked up

De trop also has a figurative meaning:

    Je me sentais de trop.

   I felt unwanted/unwelcome, like an intruder.

    Ta remarque était de trop.
   Your comment was uncalled-for.

De trop is used in English only in the last sense, with that same sort of negative, figurative meaning: over the top, excessive, unwanted, uncalled-for, etc.

   These decorations are a bit de trop.

   I think four bathrooms are rather de trop.

   Your comment was de trop.


More