Devoir Expressions

French expressions with devoir
Tu dois faire ça.
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Needy French Phrases

The French verb devoir, “to be necessary,” is found in various expressions, including to be indebted, to befit one’s rank, and to set about doing. Learn these and more French expressions featuring devoir.

Devoir translations

  • to be bound to
  • to be expected to
  • to be necessary to
  • to have to
  • must
  • to owe

In the conditional, devoir has an additional meaning – learn more.

Expressions with devoir

à qui doit-on + noun   whom do we have to thank for …
who discovered …
Ça devrait pouvoir se faire.   That should be possible.
Cela devait arriver.   It was bound to happen.
Les choses semblent devoir s’arranger.   Things seem be be sorting themselves out.
devoir qqchose à qqun   to owe someone something
devoir une fière chandelle à (informal)   to be greatly indebted to
Dois-je comprendre par là que …   Am I to understand from this that …
dû à son rang   befitting one’s rank
Il est de mon devoir de … (formal)   It is my (solemn) duty to
Je leur dois la vie / d’être en vie.   I owe them my life.
Je te dois bien ça.   It’s the least I can do for you.
ne rien devoir au hasard   to have nothing to do with luck, to owe nothing to chance
se mettre en devoir de   to proceed to do, set about doing
se devoir (reflexive)
  to owe it to oneself
to owe it to each other
se devoir à   to have a duty to
to have to be committed to
se devoir de + infinitive   to have a duty to, be duty bound to
comme il se doit   naturally, of course, as was right and proper

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French expressions with devoir

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