Vouloir Expressions

French expressions with vouloir
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Wanting French Phrases

The French verb vouloir, “to want,” is found in many essential and idiomatic expressions, including to be determined to, to mean, and inadvertently. Learn these and dozens of other French expressions featuring vouloir.

Vouloir translations

  • to want
  • to claim, assert
  • to expect
  • to need, require

 In different tenses and moods, as well as in certain negations, vouloir has additional meanings – learn more.

Proverbs with vouloir

C’est vouloir prendre des lièvres au son du tambour. Drumming is not the way to catch a hare.
Quand on veut, on peut. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Vouloir, c’est pouvoir. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Vouloir le beurre et l’argent du beurre. To want to have one’s cake and eat it, too.

Expressions with vouloir

vouloir à boire to want something to drink
vouloir à manger to want something to eat
vouloir absolumentto be dead set on, determined to
vouloir biento really want to
vouloir direto mean
vouloir du bien à quelqu’unto wish someone well
vouloir du mal à quelqu’unto wish someone ill / harm
vouloir faire quelque choseto want to do something
vouloir que quelqu’un fasse quelque choseto want someone to do something
vouloir que quelque chose se fasseto want something to be done
vouloir quelque chose de quelqu’unto want something from someone
vouloir sans vouloirto only half want
en vouloir(informal)to want, be raring to go
en vouloir à quelque chose(informal)to be after something
en vouloir à quelqu’un(informal) to be mad at someone, hold a grudge against someone
ne pas vouloir blesser quelqu’unto not mean to hurt someone
ne pas vouloir qu’on se croie obligé(e)(s)to not want someone to feel obliged
sans le vouloirunintentionally, inadvertently
sans vouloir te / vous vexerno offense
Ça va comme tu veux ?(informal)Is everything OK?
comme le veut la loiaccording to the law, as the law requires
comme le veut la traditionaccording to tradition
Comme tu veux / vous voulezAs you like / wish, Have it your way, Suit yourself
Comment voulez-vous que je sache ?How should I know?, How do you expect me to know?
Comment veux-tu / voulez-vous que + subjunctive ?How do you expect (something to happen)?
faire de quelqu’un ce qu’on veutto do what one likes with someone, to twist someone around his/her little finger
le feu n’a pas voulu prendrethe fire wouldn’t light / catch
le hasard voulut queas luck would have it
… en veux-tu en voilà(informal)tons of …
Il y a des problèmes en veux-tu en voilà.(informal)There are tons of problems.
J’aurais voulu que vous voyiez sa tête !I wish you could have seen his face!
J’aurais voulu t’y voir !I’d like to see what you’d have done!
Je ne voudrais pas abuserI don’t want to impose
Je veux !(familiar)You bet! I’d love to!
Je veux bienYes, please
Je veux bien le croire mais …I’d like to believe him but …
Je voudrais que vous voyiez sa tête !I wish you could see his face!
Je voulais te / vous dire…I wanted / meant to tell you…
Je voudrais bien voir ça !I’d like to see that!
Je voudrais t’y voir !I’d like to see you try!
Le malheur a voulu qu’il + subjunctiveHe had the misfortune to…
Moi je veux bien, mais…Fair enough, but …
Qu’est-ce que tu veux / vous voulez ?What can you do?, What do you expect?
Que veux-tu / voulez-vous ?What can you do?, What do you expect?
Que voulez-vous qu’on y fasse ?What do you expect us to do about it?
Qu’est-ce que tu veux que je te dise ?What can I say? what do you want me to say?
Que lui voulez-vous ?What do you want with him?
Qu’est-ce qu’il me veut, celui-là ?(informal)What does he want from me?
qu’il le veuille ou nonwhether he likes it or not
savoir ce qu’on veutto know what one wants
Si tu veuxIf you like / want, If you will
Si tu voulais bien le faireIf you’d be kind enough to do it
Si vous le voulez bienIf you don’t mind
Si vous voulez bien me suivreThis way, please
Tu l’as voulu !You asked for it!
Tu l’auras voulu !It’ll be your own fault! You’ll have brought it on yourself!
Tu veux bien lui dire que …Would you please tell him that …
L’usage veut que …Custom requires that …
Veux-tu (bien) + infinitive !Will you (please) …!
Veux-tu que je te dise / raconte pourquoi ?Shall I tell you why?
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir ?Do you want to sleep with me tonight?
en vouloir à quelqu’un(informal)to be mad at someone
Ils en voulaient à sa vie.They wanted him dead.
Je ne t’en veux pas.(informal)I’m not mad at you, No hard feelings.
Ne m’en veux pas(informal) Don’t be mad at me, Don’t hold it against me.
Tu m’en veux ?(informal) Are you mad at me?
Tu ne m’en veux pas ?You’re not mad at me?, No hard feelings?
se vouloirto claim to be, to be supposed to be
s’en vouloir de + infinitiveto be annoyed with oneself for
Je m’en voudrais !Not on your life!

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French expressions with vouloir

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