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Kwiziq community member

30 May 2018

2 replies


We are told that devoir can sometimes mean 'to need to [do]' yet only one example is given and no further explanation. In the example devoir is followed by a verb in the infinitive. Is that how devoir can be used?

This question relates to:
French lesson "Devoir vs avoir besoin de to express "to need to""


Kwiziq language super star

31 May 2018


Hi John,

This is quite subtle and it is when 'must' equals an imperative need to do something, rather than an obligation as the following examples will illustrate:

Je dois aller chez ma mère ce matin, elle ne va pas bien.

Je dois aller aux toilettes.

Je dois passer à la banque, je n'ai plus d'argent.

You would use 'devoir' rather than 'avoir besoin de' and as you have noticed it is followed by another verb in the infinitive.

Hope this helps!


Kwiziq community member

1 June 2018


Merci Cécile. Maintenant je comprends.

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