Why is Je dois incorrect?

Why is Je dois incorrect?

Asked 4 years ago
GruffKwiziq language super star
Hi Graham - without context we can't help here. Can you let me know more detail?
He means why can't you use Je dois instead of J'ai besoin de.
GruffKwiziq language super star

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?

Why is Je dois incorrect?

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