Bootstrap French Grammar

Learn French Grammar step-by-step

French grammar - Idiomatic expressions with avoir

Idiomatic expressions with avoir

There are many idiomatic expressions that use the verb avoir.

Take note - many of these expressions are quite different to how these ideas are expressed in English.

Examples:
J'ai chaud.
I am hot.

avoir chaud means 'to be hot'

In French 'I HAVE hot' rather than 'I AM hot' but only when talking about people

As-tu froid ?
Are you cold?

avoir froid means 'to be cold'

In French 'I HAVE cold' rather than 'I AM cold' but only when talking about people

Pourquoi tu as peur ?
Why are you afraid?

avoir peur means 'to be afraid'

In French 'I HAVE fear' rather than 'I AM afraid'

Vous avez raison - la réponse est correcte.
You are right - the answer is correct.

avoir raison means 'to be right'

In French 'I HAVE right' rather than 'I AM right'

Vous avez tort - la réponse est incorrecte.
You are wrong - the answer is incorrect.

avoir tort means 'to be wrong'

In French 'I HAVE wrong' rather than 'I AM wrong'

Les enfants ont faim.
The children are hungry.

avoir faim means 'to be hungry'

In French 'I HAVE hunger' rather than 'I AM hungry'

Le chien a soif.
The dog is thirsty.

avoir soif means 'to be thirsty'

In French 'I HAVE thirst' rather than 'I AM thirsty'

Elle a sommeil.
She is sleepy.

avoir sommeil means 'to be sleepy'

In French 'I HAVE sleepiness' rather than 'I AM sleepy'

Il a honte.
He's ashamed.

avoir honte means 'to be ashamed'

In French 'I HAVE shame' rather than 'I AM ashamed'

Tu as de la chance.
You are lucky.

avoir de la chance means 'to be lucky'

In French 'I HAVE SOME luck' rather than 'I AM lucky'