Is "avoir à" a possible alternative to "devoir"

William C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Is "avoir à" a possible alternative to "devoir"

Is avoir à a possible alternative to devoir?

Can avoir à ever be used instead of devoir? For example j'ai à vous remercier instead of je dois vous remercier.
Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi William,

As the lesson points out 'devoir' can be both 'to have to' or 'to need to' something .

'Avoir à' is mostly used to indicate an idea of need rather than must as in :

Tu n'as pas à t'excuser = You don't need to apologise (in other words - it was not your fault)

Tu n'as pas à faire ça You don't need to do that ( or even: there's no need for you to do that

J'ai à faire = I have things to do (there are things I need to do

so it may be best to use 'devoir' or 'falloir' to convey the idea of 'must'.

Hope this helps!

 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I have heard "avaoir à" used in some specific context loke:

Tu n'as qu'à ranger ta chambre. -- You only have to clean up your room. 

 But I found a more comprehensive discussion here: https://www.reddit.com/r/French/comments/1urs43/avoir_à_vs_devoir/

Is "avoir à" a possible alternative to "devoir"

Is avoir à a possible alternative to devoir?

Can avoir à ever be used instead of devoir? For example j'ai à vous remercier instead of je dois vous remercier.

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