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Use of être and avoir vs. faire

Melody S.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Use of être and avoir vs. faire

I'm not sure where to put these questions.  I did read the discussion about Darbeinet's text, which gives examples of measurements.  Three examples used avoir and one used être.  It did not use faire.  (I am not familiar with Darbeinet, just trying to make sense of the discussions.)

The answer was "that Darbeinet's text is a bit out of date and to native speakers (members of the language team and relatives ;-) ), 'faire' is definitely the verb to use here."

The example that used être (from Darbeinet) was "Ce bâtiment est long de trente mètres." I don't see how this differs in construction from "La porte est large d'un mètre", one of two correct answers in a Kwiz.  

So être is out of date?  But we are being taught être  as well as faire? Quoi?

Of the three examples using avoir (from Darbeinet) one is "Ce bâtiment a trente mètres de long."  Larousse online has the example "ici la rivière a 2 km de large--  here the river is 2 km wide".  (in definition of large) Those two examples seem similar to each other in construction.

A question about "Ce gouffre a trente mètres de profondeur" from a month ago was answered with ---

/Bonjour Tecla,

This question has already been discussed : "faire" is definitely the verb to use./

So, Larousse, also, is wrong/out of date in using avoir as the verb here?  

I am truly confused.  Reading the linked discussion was part of that confusion. 

As 'they' say, halp!

Asked 1 year ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Melody,

Thank you for your comment! I'm sorry that our previous explanations have confused you. So, I've attempted to explain it all below ;-).

As we explained in a previous answer, "John Darbelnet's Pensée et Structure" was a book published in the late 60s. And as we all know, languages do evolve! That is why some structures that might have been sued aren't anymore or have changed slightly (i.e. the 1990s Spelling Reforms).

With regards to Tecla’s question, in this context (i.e. a structure such as "[something] (verb) [dimension] de profondeur/hauteur etc", the best option is definitely “faire”. That is why I only replied with "faire" in Tecla's question.

Although, you are correct that “être” can be used, but, as per the lesson content explains, the structure will be different : "[something] est/etc haut/profond/etc de [dimension]". And therefore, you were correct to point out that "Ce bâtiment est long de trente mètres" (from Dalbernet's book) is alsocorrect!

Both Larousse's and Wordreference's examples sound strange to French ears because it sounds as if the object/person you are describing “holds/carries/keeps” the dimension like you would hold/carry/keep with an object. Look at the examples below:

Ma fille a trois pommes = My daughter has three apples

Ma fille a un mètre de hauteur/haut = My daughter has a meter of height

Ma fille a une hauteur de un mètre = My daughter has a height of one meter

Ma voiture a quatre portes = My car has four doors

Ma voiture a quatre mètres de longueur/long My car has  four meters of length

Ma voiture a une longueur de quatre mètres My car has a length of four meters

This has been discussed within the French team before and we do recommend the use of “faire” or “être” nowadays. Although, you may encounter the use of "avoir" with dimensions in Québec French, I believe - not in Metropolitain French, which is Kwiziq's focus (see here: Dimensions d'une surface).

I hope this is helpful and clarifies it all.

Bonne journée !

Melody S.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

removed answer

Use of être and avoir vs. faire

I'm not sure where to put these questions.  I did read the discussion about Darbeinet's text, which gives examples of measurements.  Three examples used avoir and one used être.  It did not use faire.  (I am not familiar with Darbeinet, just trying to make sense of the discussions.)

The answer was "that Darbeinet's text is a bit out of date and to native speakers (members of the language team and relatives ;-) ), 'faire' is definitely the verb to use here."

The example that used être (from Darbeinet) was "Ce bâtiment est long de trente mètres." I don't see how this differs in construction from "La porte est large d'un mètre", one of two correct answers in a Kwiz.  

So être is out of date?  But we are being taught être  as well as faire? Quoi?

Of the three examples using avoir (from Darbeinet) one is "Ce bâtiment a trente mètres de long."  Larousse online has the example "ici la rivière a 2 km de large--  here the river is 2 km wide".  (in definition of large) Those two examples seem similar to each other in construction.

A question about "Ce gouffre a trente mètres de profondeur" from a month ago was answered with ---

/Bonjour Tecla,

This question has already been discussed : "faire" is definitely the verb to use./

So, Larousse, also, is wrong/out of date in using avoir as the verb here?  

I am truly confused.  Reading the linked discussion was part of that confusion. 

As 'they' say, halp!

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