Avoir honte de = to be ashamed of

To express being ashamed in French, we can use the expression avoir honte de.

Look at these examples:

Il a honte de ses mauvaises habitudes.
He's ashamed of his bad habits.

Vous n'avez pas honte ?
Aren't you ashamed ?

Vous avez honte de continuer à fumer.
You're ashamed to keep on smoking.

Note that the French expression uses avoir (literally "to have shame of"), whereas in English we say to be ashamed.

Here are the different ways to use the expression avoir honte de :

Avoir honte de [quelque chose/quelqu'un] To be ashamed of [something/someone]

J'ai honte de Lucas.
I'm ashamed of Lucas.

Elle a honte d'Olivier.
She's ashamed of Olivier.

Ils ont honte de leurs notes.
They're ashamed of their grades.

J'ai honte de ma belle-sœur.
I am ashamed of my sister-in-law.

Thomas a honte des opinions de certains hommes.
Thomas is ashamed of some men's opinions.

Nous avons honte du projet final.
We are ashamed of the final project.

Note that de + le, la, l', les (= of the) follows the contraction rule of dedu, de la, de l', des.

 

Avoir honte de [faire quelque chose] To be ashamed of [doing something]

Tu as honte de mentir tout le temps.
You are ashamed of lying all the time.

Nous avons honte d'être si égoïstes parfois.
We are ashamed of being so selfish sometimes.

Il a honte de ne pas plus aider les gens.
He's ashamed of not helping people more.

 

Note that avoir honte de is followed by the infinitive of the verb, unlike -ing in English.

 

Avoir honte de [moi, toi, lui, elle, nous, vous, eux, elles] To be ashamed of [me, you, him, her, us, you, them]

Est-ce que tu as honte de moi ?
Are you ashamed of me?

Martine a honte d'eux.
Martine is ashamed of them.

Vous avez honte de nous.
You are ashamed of us.

 

Note that in this case, avoir honte de is followed by a stress pronoun.
See also Moi, toi, lui, elle, nous, vous, eux, elles (advanced stress pronouns)
 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Martine a honte d'eux.
Martine is ashamed of them.


Vous n'avez pas honte ?
Aren't you ashamed ?


Il a honte de ses mauvaises habitudes.
He's ashamed of his bad habits.


Nous avons honte du projet final.
We are ashamed of the final project.


Il a honte de ne pas plus aider les gens.
He's ashamed of not helping people more.


Nous avons honte de notre comportement.
We are ashamed of our behaviour.


Tu as honte de mentir tout le temps.
You are ashamed of lying all the time.


J'ai honte de ma belle-sœur.
I am ashamed of my sister-in-law.


Vous avez honte de continuer à fumer.
You're ashamed to keep on smoking.


Ils ont honte de leurs notes.
They're ashamed of their grades.


Est-ce que tu as honte de moi ?
Are you ashamed of me?


Elle a honte d'Olivier.
She's ashamed of Olivier.


Thomas a honte des opinions de certains hommes.
Thomas is ashamed of some men's opinions.


Vous avez honte de nous.
You are ashamed of us.


J'ai honte de Lucas.
I'm ashamed of Lucas.


Nous avons honte d'être si égoïstes parfois.
We are ashamed of being so selfish sometimes.


Q&A

Donna

Kwiziq community member

6 January 2018

6 replies

Plural "des"

When I answered one of the questions with "J'ai honte des mes infidélités," it was marked wrong in favor of "J'ai honte de mes infidélités." Yet one of the examples on this page is almost identical and it used "des" as I did: "Thomas a honte des opinions de certains hommes." Confusing. Can you help explain please?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

7 January 2018

7/01/18

In the sentence "J'ai honte de mes infidélités." you have a oersonal pronoun (mes) between "de" and "infidélités", and the personal pronoun already indicates the plural. Therefore it is simply "de" instead of "des". The second example "Thomas a honte des opinions...." there is no pronoun and hence you need "des". Hope this helps, -- Chris (not a native speaker).

Donna

Kwiziq community member

7 January 2018

7/01/18

Yes, it does! Thanks.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

8 January 2018

8/01/18

Bonjour Donna ! To simply complete Chris' explanation, "des" is the contraction of "de + les" (of + the), but in "de mes infidélités", "les" is replaced by "mes" (of + my), therefore no contraction :) Bonne journée !

Donna

Kwiziq community member

8 January 2018

8/01/18

Bonjour Aurélie! I appreciate your additional explanation. It's even easier to understand now. What an incredibly complex language this is! I'm grateful to have this site to help me through it. Merci beaucoup!

Chris

Kwiziq community member

8 January 2018

8/01/18

It is my theory that every language has about the same level of complexity simply because people have, on average, similar needs to express themselves. But it might be more difficult to adjust fro, one way of thinking to a another one depending on what you are used to. Neither English nor German has noun cases, for example. German has four, Russion six and Croatian seven. English has fewer grammatical rules but is one of the indo-european languages with the largest vocabulary. I guess each language has its own area of complexity. Certainly a point to mull over.... Best wishes, -- Chris.

Donna

Kwiziq community member

8 January 2018

8/01/18

Hi Chris, I came in assuming that, but I'm starting to change my mind because of the random illogic and inconsistency of French verb conjugations. Changing a spelling to help with pronunciation makes total sense to me. But there are so many quirky exceptions that serve no purpose whatsoever! What I love about Kwiziq is that the quizzes ease them in on you gradually, so you can master them and move on. That helps, at least! But it's astounding how many quirks there are. Still, it's a gorgeous language. I suspect that mastering a language that prefers "tour d'horizon" to a prosaic word like "overview" will open the door to a marvelous new world. Do you find your way of seeing the world changes with each of the languages you mention?

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