Why is Je dois incorrect?

Graham

Kwiziq community member

3 February 2018

3 replies

Why is Je dois incorrect?

This relates to:
Avoir besoin de = To need -

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

3 February 2018

3/02/18

Hi Graham - without context we can't help here. Can you let me know more detail?

CrystalMaiden

Kwiziq community member

11 April 2018

11/04/18

He means why can't you use Je dois instead of J'ai besoin de.

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

11 April 2018

11/04/18

Well, without context I can't tell what the issue was so I can only guess: devoir expresses obligation where as besoin de expresses need, so you can use both with a verb, but only besoin de with a noun.


You can say:
J'ai besoin de faire les courses. (I have to go shopping)
Je dois faire les courses. (I need to go shopping)


And you can say:
J'ai besoin d'un sac. (I need a bag)


But you can't say:
Je dois un sac. (I have to the bag)


[Note: in fact, you could actually say that but it would mean "I owe a bag" which in a very specific context might actually be something you would say - a game of poker playing with bags, perhaps? So long as you know it doesn't mean need here...]


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