3.3 The Verb Avoir

Like être, the verb avoir (to have) is an irregular verb in the present tense. That means that its conjugation does not follow a regular pattern and all its forms must be memorized.

The Singular Form of the Verb Avoir
Person French English
1st person J’ai I have
2nd person Tu as You have
3rd person Il a
Elle a
On a
He/it has
She/it has
One has
The Plural Form of the Verb Avoir
Person French English
1st person Nous avons We have
2nd person Vous avez You have (formal or plural)
3rd person Ils ont
Elles  ont
They (masc.) have
They (fem.) have

Important Notes

  • When the conjugated verb begins with a vowel, je changes to j’. This elision always occurs when je precedes a vowel or silent h. When elision is made between two words, they are pronounced as one word.
  • In the plural forms liaison occurs; the “s” of the pronoun is linked to the following vowel sound and pronounced like a [z].


To show possession:

Il a deux livres. / He has two books.

To talk about age (avoir + number + ans):

J’ai vingt ans. / I’m twenty years old.

To express “there is/there are”:

Il y a vingt-six étudiants dans la salle de classe. / There are twenty-six students in the classroom.

Il y a une bonne cafétéria à l’université
/ There is a good cafeteria at the University.

Exercice 4: Conjugating Avoir

Use the proper form of the verb avoir to write sentences with the information provided below.

Modèle: Il / une grande voiture : Il a une grande voiture.
  1. Je / deux livres et un cahier.
  2. Marie / un sandwich.
  3. Nous / des photos de notre famille.
  4. Christine et Suzanne / des stylos.
  5. Vous / des livres?
  6. Je / une orange.
  7. Le professeur / les devoirs des étudiants.
  8. Tu / un dictionnaire?
  9. Paul et moi / nos devoirs.

This section includes content derived from Liberté, originally released under CC BY-NC-SA.


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Introduction to French Copyright © 2017 by Rita Palacios is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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