avoir envie/ avoir besoin de

KevinA2Kwiziq community member

avoir envie/ avoir besoin de

For me, avoir envie means would like, or wants..., whereas avoir besoin de indicates a need. This distinction seems borne out by the lesson itself, where avoir envie is NOT shown as an alterntive to avoir besoin de...In your lesson you say that in some/certain cases avoir envie can mean "need", but there are no examples of this and there's no explanation. Looking at the examples, it appears that avoir envie CAN mean "need": IF it is followed by "aller". I agree with Sandra (below). This matter shouls not be tested until the distinction is made clear.

Asked 2 months ago
MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

In general, «avoir envie de» is not an alternative to «avoir besoin de» - the lesson says as much.

As the lesson covers, there are 2 specific situations in which « avoir envie de » is/can be used in French, when in English we might use the word 'need' - 

1. «avoir envie d'aller aux toilettes» translates as need/want/have to go to the toilet (as does « avoir besoin d'aller aux toilettes»,

and 

2. « avoir envie de vomir » translates as 'need' to/'want' to vomit, or even 'feel like vomiting'. («avoir besoin de vomir» would not be grammatically incorrect, but is less colloquial)

"Avoir envie d'aller ..." does not generally mean "I need to" - in other situations it translates as "I feel like/want/fancy going....". See the link below for more on the usage of « avoir envie de ..»

Otherwise, where in English we use 'need', in French the choice is most likely between «avoir besoin de» and «devoir», with overlapping but not entirely interchangeable use. As others have noted devoir in the context of 'need' will always be followed by a verb (infinitive), whereas «avoir besoin de» can be followed by a noun or verb (infinitive).

 Avoir envie de = To feel like, want to

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Kevin,

Why not simply file a report and have it looked at by the language team?

Jim

avoir envie/ avoir besoin de

For me, avoir envie means would like, or wants..., whereas avoir besoin de indicates a need. This distinction seems borne out by the lesson itself, where avoir envie is NOT shown as an alterntive to avoir besoin de...In your lesson you say that in some/certain cases avoir envie can mean "need", but there are no examples of this and there's no explanation. Looking at the examples, it appears that avoir envie CAN mean "need": IF it is followed by "aller". I agree with Sandra (below). This matter shouls not be tested until the distinction is made clear.

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