Avoir Envie De - To Want To in French

How to use Avoir Envie De in a sentence?


Avoir envie de means "To want to" in English. It's one of the many common French expressions with the verb Avoir - To have. To want has two translations in French.

  1. The first one is Vouloir

  2. The second one is Avoir envie de, which we are going to focus on today.


How to Conjugate the Verb Avoir?


Avoir is an irregular verb but it's also one of the most used verbs in French. You must know it by heart.

Avoir - Present tense:

J'ai - I have

Tu as - You have

Il a - He has

Elle a - She has On a - We have

Nous avons - We have

Vous avez - You have

Ils-Elles ont - They have


But what about Avoir envie de?


Avoir Envie De - Conjugation


The word envie is never conjugated. The only word that changes a little bit, besides avoir, is DE. DE will change to D' if the following word starts with a vowel or a silent H.

AVOIR (conjugated) + ENVIE + DE or D'

Avoir envie de - Present tense:

J'ai envie de/d' - I want to

Tu as envie de/d' - You want to

Il a envie de/d' - He want to

Elle a envie de/d' - She want to On a envie de/d' - We want to

Nous avons envie de/d' - We want to

Vous avez envie de/d' - You want to

Ils-Elles ont envie de/d' - They want to


Avoir Envie De in sentences


Building a sentence with avoir envie de is fairly easy, the only thing that you should know is that it can be followed by an infinitive verb or by a noun.

Let's see a few examples when avoir envie de is followed by an infinitive verb:

AVOIR (conjugated) + ENVIE + DE or D' + INFINITIVE VERB
  • J'ai envie d'aller à la plage - I want to go to the beach

  • Tu as envie de partir en vacances - You want to go on vacation

  • Il a envie de regarder la télé(vision) - He wants to watch TV

  • Elle a envie d'apprendre le français - She wants to learn French

  • On a envie de déménager - We want to move out

  • Nous avons envie de dormir - We want to sleep

  • Vous avez envie de changer de travail - You want to change job

  • Ils ont envie de jouer dehors - They want to play outside

  • Elles ont envie d'acheter une moto - They want to buy a motocycle


What about in a negative sentence?


When avoir envie de is in a negative sentence, the first part of the negation will be before the verb avoir, the second part will be after the verb avoir.

NE or N' + AVOIR (conjugated) + PAS + ENVIE + DE or D' + INFINITIVE VERB

Remember that French negation has many forms: ne ... pas, ne ... plus, ne ... jamais, ...

Lets' see the sentences from above turned into negative sentences with NE ... PAS.

  • Je n'ai pas envie d'aller à la plage - I don't want to go to the beach

  • Tu n'as pas envie de partir en vacances - You don't want to go on vacation

  • Il n'a pas envie de regarder la télé(vision) - He doesn't want to watch TV

  • Elle n'a pas envie d'apprendre le français - She doesn't want to learn French

  • On n'a pas envie de déménager - We don't want to move out

  • Nous n'avons pas envie de dormir - We don't want to sleep

  • Vous n'avez pas envie de changer de travail - You don't want to change job

  • Ils n'ont pas envie de jouer dehors - They don't want to play outside

  • Elles n'ont pas envie d'acheter une moto - They don't want to buy a motocycle

Avoir Envie de = To feel like?


When avoir envie de is followed by a noun, a better translation for it would be to feel like when talking about food and drinks.

When used to talk about objects, vacations, etc. It translate to to want.

AVOIR (conjugated) + ENVIE + DE or D' + ARTICLE + NOUN
  • J'ai envie d'un café - I feel like a coffee

  • Tu as envie d'une pizza - I feel like a pizza

  • Il a envie de vacances - He wants a vacation

  • Elle a envie d'un nouveau téléphone - She wants a new phone


Avoir Envie De in a question


You can ask a question including avoir envie de in different ways:

If we look at the question, what do you want to do?

The casual question: Tu as envie de faire quoi ?

With Qu'est-ce que: Qu'est-ce que tu as envie de faire ?

With the inversion: Qu'as-tu envie de faire ? Which one to use? Use the first or the second one, the third one with the inversion is used more in formal conversation, writting.


Other lessons that you might like: - How to say TO BE EARLY in French? - How to say TO BE LATE in French?

- Learn the colours in French - 10 tips to sound more French - French genders: Masculine or Feminine - The French indefinite articles: Un - Une - Des


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