Idiomatic Expressions with Avoir
In Chapter 2, you learned about idiomatic expressions — expressions that have meaning only in a particular language. Some phrases using
It is relatively easy to remember these idiomatic expressions when translating from French to English, because they don't make a whole lot of sense if translated literally. When moving from English to French, however, extra caution is needed, as you can easily fall into a trap if you accidentally translate the English words literally to form a French sentence. This can seriously alter the meaning, so pay close attention.
Literally, it looks like “to have hot,” which does not make sense in English, but the meaning is “to be hot” or “to feel hot.” Note that to say “It is hot (outside),” you need to use the verb
This means “to feel (be) cold.” As seen above, to say “It is cold (outside),” you need to use the verb
Literally, this means “to have hunger,” which makes sense in English, but sounds absurd. Instead, in French, this expression means “to be hungry.”
This construction, which means “to be thirsty,” closely resembles “hunger,” so you should find it easy to remember the two of them.
The literal translation of this expression (which means “to seem”) is “to have the air,” which is very close to “seem” in English.
You can use this phrase, which means “to be sleepy,” when you want to indicate that someone is tired or sleepy, including yourself.
You can use this phrase when you want to indicate that you are a particular age. Literally, it means “to have years,” as in
This expression is used to describe an ache or pain and is followed by the preposition
There is no separate verb for “wrong.” Instead, this idiomatic expression is used, and it means “to be wrong.”
This phrase is the opposite of
Avoir Besoin de
Literally, this phrase would translate as “to have a need for.” When translating into English, a close approximation is “to need.” The phrase
Avoir Peur de
When translating this expression, which means “to be afraid,” you can also use the verb “to fear.”
Avoir Honte de
Avoir Envie de
In the English equivalent of this expression that means “to feel like,” “feel like” is often followed by a word ending in “-ing,” like “reading.” After the French idiomatic expression, the infinitive of the verb is used:
You can use this phrase to describe the beginning of almost any event — it means “to take place.”
Avoir de la Chance
Avoir L'occasion de
In English, this phrase usually means “to have the opportunity.” It can also be translated as “to have the chance,” but be sure not to confuse it with