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question about j'ai and je dois

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Chillenoutkr
Posts: 0
Santa Clarita , CA
United States
Registered:
May 2, 2013
Apr 29, 2018 at 6:59pm

I have a question about "j'ai" I have and "je dois" I must/have. One of the flashcards in level 2 lesson 18 says in English "I need to call my wife, so I have to charge my cellphone". The answer in French is "J’ai besoin d’appeler ma femme, donc je dois recharger mon portable". why is it je dois recharger and not j'ai recharger?

andy@fluenz
Posts: 0
France
United States
Registered:
Feb 6, 2011
May 1, 2018 at 3:22pm

Hi, I think the confusion comes from literally translating "I have to" to the version "To have" rather than the obligation "I must". In English, if you say "I have an apple" for example, this is the verb "Avoir". If you say "I have to buy some apples" this would be the verb "Devoir" - I must buy some apples, I have to buy some apples, it's my obligation to buy apples. Does this make sense? It can be a bit tricky

Chillenoutkr
Posts: 0
Santa Clarita , CA
United States
Registered:
May 2, 2013
May 1, 2018 at 5:56pm

yes it does. thank you.

andy@fluenz
Posts: 0
France
United States
Registered:
Feb 6, 2011
May 4, 2018 at 3:04pm

Great to hear. Eventually, when you get more advanced, you'll begin to learn similar sayings, but in the subjunctive such as "Il faut que je fasse" which are highly used in French. Don't worry too much about that yet. That will be after you complete all of Fluenz before you move on to such things. Just good to be aware though and in the meantime use "Je dois" or "J'ai besoin de"

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