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Avoir envie de = To feel like, want to

The French expression avoir envie de has different meanings, such as to feel like, to want or, in some cases, to need.

To feel like / want [something]

Il fait chaud et j'ai envie d'une glace.
It's hot and I feel like an ice cream.  It's hot and I'd like / want an ice cream.

J'ai envie de toi.
I want you. (Be careful: this would normally have amorous connotations!)

Julie vraiment envie de chocolat.
Julie really wants/craves chocolate.

To feel like / want in French, you can use the expression avoir envie de [quelque chose] (literally to have desire/want of [something]).

Note that de becomes du / de la / de l' / des depending on the gender and number of the noun following it (e.g. of the).

 

To feel like [doing something] - To want/need [to do something]

J'ai envie d'aller aux toilettes!
I want/need to go to the toilets!

On a envie de rester au lit ce matin.
We feel like staying in bed this morning.

Elle a envie de faire la cuisine.
She feels like cooking.

To express to feel like [doing something] / to want or to need [to do something], you will use avoir envie de / d' + infinitive of the verb.

 

See also the verb vouloir (to want):

Conjugate vouloir in Le Présent (present tense) 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

J'ai envie d'aller aux toilettes!
I want/need to go to the toilets!


J'ai envie de toi.
I want you. (Be careful: this would normally have amorous connotations!)


On a envie de rester au lit ce matin.
We feel like staying in bed this morning.


Julie vraiment envie de chocolat.
Julie really wants/craves chocolate.



Il fait chaud et j'ai envie d'une glace.
It's hot and I feel like an ice cream.  It's hot and I'd like / want an ice cream.


Elle a envie de faire la cuisine.
She feels like cooking.


Micro kwiz: Avoir envie de = To feel like, want to
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Q&A

alison

Kwiziq community member

13 August 2017

2 replies

Hi if de changes to du,de la des ... Why is it "J'ai envie de chocolat"

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

23 August 2017

23/08/17

Bonjour Alison !

In the case of fixed expressions such as "avoir envie de", you're literally saying "I have envy of [something]".
Using du, de la, de l' or des would add the definite article (de + le, la, l', les) and would be used to be more specific = I have envy of the [thing] (that I mentionned previously).


J'ai envie de chocolat.
I feel like chocolate.
J'ai envie du chocolat que tu m'avais offert pour mon anniversaire.
I feel like the chocolate you'd given me for my birthday. 


I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Ron

Kwiziq community member

14 August 2017

14/08/17

Bonsoir Alison,
I think the answer lies in the fact that «avoir envie de» is a fixed expression. In reviewing the lesson, all of the phrases construct similarly regardless of what is desired be it a masculine or feminine noun.
Bonne chance.

Susan

Kwiziq community member

23 September 2016

2 replies

In expressing need, when would one use, "avoir envie de," and when, "avoir besoin de?"

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

24 September 2016

24/09/16

Bonjour Susan,

To express need, you'd only use avoir besoin de, which means "to need."

Avoir envie de means "to want."

Susan

Kwiziq community member

25 September 2016

25/09/16

Thanks for the clarification.

ruba

Kwiziq community member

23 November 2015

2 replies

What is the difference between veux and envie

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

23 November 2015

23/11/15

Bonjour Ruba,

"Veux" is from "vouloir" which means "to want."

"Envie" is used in the expression "avoir envie" which means "to feel like."

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

8 December 2015

8/12/15

Bonjour Ruba,

You might have encountered the sentence "J'ai envie de toi" meaning "I want you" in a loving way in French. "Je te veux" in that context would be much less romantic!

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