Avoir – to have

Avoir - French verb
Avoir le monde à portée de main
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Have a French Verb

Avoir is one of the two most important French verbs (être is the other one) and has irregular conjugations in just about every tense and mood. Avoir literally means "to have," but also serves as an auxiliary verb and is found in many idiomatic expressions.

Avoir = to have, possess

J’ai une voiture bleue.   I have a blue car.
As-tu un numéro portable ?   Do you have a cell phone number?

Avoir = to have, be experiencing, be suffering from

J’ai mal au dos.   I have a backache.
Il a la grippe.   He has the flu.

Avoir = to have, dupe, con

J’ai été eu.   I’ve been had.
Je t’ai bien eu !   I got you!

Avoir = auxiliary verb

For the vast majority of French verbs, avoir serves as the auxiliary verb in the compound tenses and moods.

Par exemple…

Nous avons déjà mangé.   We’ve already eaten.
Auras-tu fini avant midi ?   Will you have finished before noon?
S’il avait vendu la voiture, il vous auriez remboursé.   If he’d sold the car, he would have reimbursed you.

 Avoir = to be

In more than a dozen common phrases (to be hot / hungry / wrong …), avoir is equivalent to "be" in English.

Avoir in idiomatic expressions

Avoir is also found in dozens of idiomatic expressions, including

Avoir in action

Do these French expressions need the subjunctive?

 Related lessons

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Avoir - to have

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