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French grammar - To have to - avoir à

To have to - avoir à

Another example of a preposition changing the meaning of a verb is avoir à.

When used as an auxiliary verb avoir à means 'to have to' (do something).

Avoir à is similar to the verb devoir.

Nous avons à parler français à l'école.
We have to speak French at school.
J'ai à vous remercier.
I have you to thank.
J'ai à vous parler, c'est urgent.
I have to talk to you, it's urgent.
Il a à choisir.
He has to choose.
Tu n'as pas à t'excuser.
You do not have to apologize.
Vous n’avez qu’à lui demander.
You just have to ask him.
Tu n’as pas à me poser des questions.
You do not have to ask me questions.

The sense here is 'you should not be asking me'

Tu n'as pas à avoir honte.
You don't have to be ashamed.
Je vais le dire dans sa langue pour qu'il n'ait pas à écouter l'interprétation.
I'll say it in his language so he doesn't have to listen to the interpretation.
Faites en sorte qu'il n'ait pas à regretter sa bonté.
Make sure he doesn't have to regret his kindness.