Avoir – to have

Avoir - French verb
Avoir le monde dans sa poche …
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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 an 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.

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, avoir is equivalent to "be" in English.

avoir __ ans to be __ (years old)
avoir chaud to be hot
avoir de la chance to be lucky
avoir faim to be hungry
avoir froid to be cold
avoir honte to be ashamed
avoir l’habitude de to be in the habit of, used to
avoir mal au cœur to be sick to one’s stomach
avoir mal de mer to be seasick
avoir __ mètres (de haut, de long) to be __ meters (high, long)
avoir peur to be afraid
avoir raison to be right
avoir soif to be thirsty
avoir sommeil to be sleepy
avoir tort to be wrong
il y a there is, there are

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

Learn Spanish En español

Learn Italian In italiano

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Avoir - to have

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