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Avoir besoin de = To need

To express need in French you can use "avoir besoin de" (Literally: "to have need of <something>") in the following ways:

"avoir besoin de <quelque chose>" = to need <something>

J'ai besoin de repos.
I need rest.

Nous avons besoin de nos parents.
We need our parents.

Guillaume a besoin d'un crayon bleu.
Guillaume needs a blue pencil.

"avoir besoin de <infinitive>" = to need <to do>

Elle a besoin de faire ses devoirs.
She needs to do her homework.

Est-ce que tu as besoin de manger quelque chose ?
Do you need to eat something?

Alain a besoin d'aller aux toilettes !
Alain needs to go to the toilet!


Note that in both cases, de becomes d' in front of a vowel or mute h.


See also Un, une become de or d' in negative sentences (indefinite articles) 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Alain a besoin d'aller aux toilettes !
Alain needs to go to the toilet!



Nous avons besoin de nos parents.
We need our parents.



Est-ce que tu as besoin de manger quelque chose ?
Do you need to eat something?


Pas besoin de me remercier !
No need to thank me!


Examples - to need to


J'ai besoin de faire les courses.
I need to go shopping.


to need


Guillaume a besoin d'un crayon bleu.
Guillaume needs a blue pencil.


J'ai besoin de repos.
I need rest.


to need to


Elle a besoin de faire ses devoirs.
She needs to do her homework.


Micro kwiz: Avoir besoin de = To need
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Q&A

Graham

Kwiziq community member

3 February 2018

3 replies

Why is Je dois incorrect?

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...]


Is that helpful?

Ross

Kwiziq community member

28 December 2015

3 replies

How does this function relative to "il fault que"?

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

28 December 2015

28/12/15

Bonjour Ross,

Avoir besoin de means "to need" in French, while Il faut que (note that there is no "l") means "to be necessary."

So avoir besoin focuses on the subject who needs to do something, and il faut que focuses on what needs to be done.

Margaret

Kwiziq community member

13 May 2016

13/05/16

Bonjour Laura
So does 'Il faut que' translate as 'It is necessary that'?

Lorina

Kwiziq community member

26 June 2017

26/06/17

yes basically
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