Just when I thought I had it!

MartinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Just when I thought I had it!

I’ve been looking for the main difference with avoir besoin de and avoir envie de and thought I got it when you say that avoir envie de is to feel/need to DO SOMETHING! 

But then the first question to answer is J’ai envie d’une nouvelle voiture and that blew it out the water. 

I am confused again! Why use one over the other in this simple context?

Thank you

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Martin,

In the case of a car, it is quite straight forward -

If your car is old or has broken down you will say -

J'ai besoin d'une nouvelle voiture

If however, you would like/ you wish for a new car it will be -

J'ai envie d'une nouvelle voiture 

There, the difference between a need and a whim is clear.

Avoir envie de will be used to express a need, an urge like in -

J'ai envie d'aller aux toilettes = I need to go to the toilet 

J'ai une envie pressante = I have an urgent need 

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Don't overthink it. The difference is that avoir envie is more about having the desire for something and avoir besoin is for having the need for something.

If you use that as a guide, you'll be smack on 80% of the time.

MartinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thank you Cécile and Chris, I appreciate the reply and the examples have made it clear. And you're right Chris I need to not think about it too deeply (beginner's mistakes lol)

Just when I thought I had it!

I’ve been looking for the main difference with avoir besoin de and avoir envie de and thought I got it when you say that avoir envie de is to feel/need to DO SOMETHING! 

But then the first question to answer is J’ai envie d’une nouvelle voiture and that blew it out the water. 

I am confused again! Why use one over the other in this simple context?

Thank you

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