avoir

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French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French avoir, from Old French avoir, aveir, from Latin habēre, present active infinitive of habeō ‎(have, hold, possess), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *gʰh₁bʰ- ‎(to grab, to take). Influenced and reinforced by similar (yet etymologically unrelated) verbs in Germanic; compare Frankish *habēn, *hebōn ‎(to have), Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐌱𐌰𐌽 ‎(haban, to have).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

avoir m ‎(plural avoirs)

  1. asset, possession

Verb[edit]

avoir

  1. (transitive) to have (to own; to possess)
    J'aimerais avoir 20 dollars.
    I would like to have 20 dollars.
  2. (intransitive, with à) to have to (to)
    Il va avoir à faire les courses.
    He will have to do the shopping.
  3. (auxiliary) to have (auxiliary verb to form compound past tenses of most verbs)
    J'ai parlé.
    I have spoken.
  4. (transitive) to have (a condition)
    J'ai faim.
    I'm hungry. (literally: “I have hunger.”)
    J'ai froid.
    I'm cold. (literally, “I have cold.”)
  5. (transitive) to have (a measure or age)
    Le mur semble avoir plus de deux mètres de haut
    The wall seems to be higher than two metres. (literally: “The wall seems to have more than two metres of height”)
    Elle a 19 ans.
    She is 19 years old. (literally, “She has 19 years.”)
  6. to have (to trick)
    Tu t'es fait avoir.
    You've been had.
  7. to have (to participate in an experience)
    avoir des relations sexuelles
    to have sexual relations

Usage notes[edit]

  • Avoir is often used with nouns like chaud ‎(heat), faim ‎(hunger), soif ‎(thirst), peur ‎(fear), etc. to express a personal condition or feeling, as shown in examples above. While constructions like être chaleureux (“be warm”) and être assoiffé (“be thirsty”) exist, they are almost always used figuratively. It is always more natural to use avoir rather than être in the examples listed above, and other similar cases. In some cases, both verbs can be used, but with vastly different meanings:

J'ai chaud.‎ ― I'm hot.
Je suis chaud.‎ ― I'm horny.

Conjugation[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Look at pages starting with avoir.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Middle French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French avoir, from Latin habēre, present active infinitive of habeō ‎(have, hold, possess), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *gʰh₁bʰ- ‎(to grab, to take).

Verb[edit]

avoir

  1. to have
  2. (auxiliary verb) to have (verb used to form the perfect tense)

Conjugation[edit]

  • Like Modern French avoir, highly irregular
  • Middle French conjugation varies from one text to another. Hence, the following conjugation should be considered as typical, not as exhaustive.

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]

  • avoir on Dictionnaire du Moyen Français (1330-1500) (in French)

Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin habēre ‎(have, hold, possess), present active infinitive of habeō.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

avoir

  1. to have
  2. (auxiliary verb) to have (verb used to form the perfect tense)
  3. to exist (there is/there are)
    • c. 1200, Author unknown, Les quatres sohais Saint Martin:
      Un vilain ot en Normendie
      There was a peasant in Normandy

Conjugation[edit]

This verb conjugates as a third-group verb. This verb has irregularities in its conjugation. Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.

Noun[edit]

avoir m ‎(oblique plural avoirs, nominative singular avoirs, nominative plural avoir)

  1. possession; good

Descendants[edit]