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 absolument to be dead set on, determined to
vouloir bien to really want to
vouloir dire to mean
vouloir du bien à quelqu’un to wish someone well
vouloir du mal à quelqu’un to wish someone ill / harm
vouloir faire quelque chose to want to do something
vouloir que quelqu’un fasse quelque chose to want someone to do something
vouloir que quelque chose se fasse to want something to be done
vouloir quelque chose de quelqu’un to want something from someone
vouloir sans vouloir to 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’un to not mean to hurt someone
ne pas vouloir qu’on se croie obligé(e)(s) to not want someone to feel obliged
sans le vouloir unintentionally, inadvertently
sans vouloir te / vous vexer no offense
Ça va comme tu veux ? (informal) Is everything OK?
comme le veut la loi according to the law, as the law requires
comme le veut la tradition according to tradition
Comme tu veux / vous voulez As 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 veut to do what one likes with someone, to twist someone around his/her little finger
le feu n’a pas voulu prendre the fire wouldn’t light / catch
le hasard voulut que as 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 abuser I don’t want to impose
Je veux ! (familiar) You bet! I’d love to!
Je veux bien Yes, 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 + subjunctive He 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 non whether he likes it or not
savoir ce qu’on veut to know what one wants
Si tu veux If you like / want, If you will
Si tu voulais bien le faire If you’d be kind enough to do it
Si vous le voulez bien If you don’t mind
Si vous voulez bien me suivre This 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 vouloir to claim to be, to be supposed to be
s’en vouloir de + infinitive to 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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