French Language Blog

French Vocabulary – Idioms with Avoir Posted by on Jun 8, 2009 in Vocabulary

One of the first mistakes I, just like most beginning French learners whose native tongue is English, made is to say ‘Je suis chaud‘ (can be quite vulgar depending on who says it and in which situation) when I mean to say ‘J’ai chaud‘ (I’m hot as in temperature).  In English, we usually use the verb ‘to be’ with an adjective to describe ourselves or someone else no matter what.  However, in French, you have to be careful so that you don’t suggest something you don’t really want to!

avoir chaud to be hot J’ai chaud en été.
avoir froid to be cold J’ai froid en hiver.
avoir faim to be hungry Nous avons faim à midi.
avoir soif to be thirsty J’ai soif, donc je bois.
avoir sommeil to be sleepy Je vais au lit parce que j’ai sommeil.
avoir mal à to have an ache J’ai mal à la tête.
avoir l’air to seem Il a l’air triste.
avoir ____ ans to be __years old J’ai trente ans.
avoir peur de to be afraid of Elle a peur des chats noirs.
avoir honte de to be ashamed of Il a honte de ses notes.
avoir raison to be right Elle a raison.
avoir tort to be wrong Ils ont tort de ne pas aller.
avoir envie de to feel like J’ai envie de crier!
avoir besoin de to need J’ai besoin de 2 œufs.
avoir lieu to take place La réunion a lieu à 8h.
avoir de la chance to be lucky Tu as de la chance !
avoir l’occasion de to have the opportunity Nous avons l’occasion de voyager.

By the way, ‘Je suis chaud‘ can be used to mean you’re warmed up if you’re an athlete or a singer, for example.  Or it can refer to a woman in a vulgar way.  In Québec, it can mean you are drunk.

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  1. Yo:

    Avoir le temps de faire!