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Updated: Sep 17, 2018

Salut chers amis (Hello dear friends)!

It is another beautiful day and another wonderful moment with Ma Petite France. If you are just joining us for the first time, this is French Grammar for Beginners on Ma Petite France. You can do well to check our previous grammar classes to get yourself updated on how far we've gone.

Last week, we saw how to conjugate and use the verb "être - to be" in French. Today on French Grammar for Beginners, we will be considering another important verb which is "avoir - to have". We will be learning how to use this verb in present tense form. So, Grab your cup of coffee and follow the class through with all diligence, paying attention to details.

Let's quickly see how this verb is conjugated in present tense.

J'ai = I have

Tu as = You have

Il a = He has

Elle a = She has

Nous avons = We have

Vous avez = You have

Ils/Elles ont = They have

*note: when <<Je>> is placed in front of a verb that starts with a vowel or "h", it becomes << J' >>.

The verb "avoir" has numerous uses in French which includes its necessity in conjugating compound tenses in French. However, for the sake of this class, we would just state a few necessary ones for us at this level.

1. To talk about what one possesses


J'ai un stylo =I have a pen.

Ils ont deux stylos = They have two pens.

2. Age

Surprisingly in French language, you are not your age as it is in English language. In French, you rather have your age. Funny? Well, that's the French way. We use the verb "avoir" to say and ask for one's age.

Examples :

Il a dix ans = He is ten years old.

Tu as quel âge ? Or Vous avez quel âge ? = How old are you?

*note: always remember to add "ans" immediately after the number corresponding to the age.

3. To say whether one is wrong or right

The expression in French is "avoir raison" (to be right) and "avoir tort" (to be wrong). So, to say "I am right but he is wrong" in French would be "J'ai raison mais Il a tort". Remember, all you have to conjugate according to the subject pronouns is the verb "avoir".

4. To say whether one is cold or hot

In French we use the expression "avoir froid / chaud" (to be cold / hot).


J'ai froid = I am cold.

Elle a chaud = She is hot.

*caution : the expression "Être chaud" also exists in French but it doesn't mean one is hot (as in feeling heat). When someone says "Je suis chaud" especially a female gender, it has a sexually related connotation which can make it very embarrassing for someone to say it in public. So, when you feel heat and you want to express yourself in French, don't forget to use the verb "avoir".

5. To say where one is hurt or having pains

We use the expression "avoir mal à + the part of the body where one feels the pain".


J'ai mal à la tête = I have headache.

Il a mal au ventre = He has stomach ache.

Nous avons mal au dos = We have backache.

That's where we end the class for the week . Don't forget to read and read through again till you understand the use of the verb "avoir" very well. Should you have any question for clarity sake, do not hesitate to drop it in the comment box.

Till we meet again next week, don't forget to tell a friend to invite another friend to also enjoy French Grammar for Beginners on Ma Petite France.

Au revoir et à bientôt (Goodbye and see you soon)


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