Avoir – Conjugation in present, past, futur, passé composé, etc.

Avoir is a very important auxiliary verb in French. Below you can see the different conjugations of avoir and at the bottom of the page you can read about how the verb is used and pronounced correctly.

 

Conjugation of avoir

Indicatif (indicative)

Présent (present)

  • j’ai
  • tu as
  • il a
  • nous avons
  • vous avez
  • ils ont

Example: j’ai envie de manger = I feel like eating

Passé composé (present perfect)

  • j’ai eu
  • tu as eu
  • il a eu
  • nous avons eu
  • vous avez eu
  • ils ont eu

Example: j’ai eu envie de manger = I have felt like eating


 

Imparfait (imperfect)

  • j’avais
  • tu avais
  • il avait
  • nous avions
  • vous aviez
  • ils avaient

Example: j’avais envie de manger = I felt like eating

Plus-que-parfait (pluperfect)

  • j’avais eu
  • tu avais eu
  • il avait eu
  • nous avions eu
  • vous aviez eu
  • ils avaient eu

Example: j’avais eu envie de manger = I had been wanting to eat


 

Futur (future)

  • j’aurai
  • tu auras
  • il aura
  • nous aurons
  • vous aurez
  • ils auront

Example: j’aurai envie de manger = I get the urge to eat

Futur passé (future perfect)

  • j’aurai eu
  • tu auras eu
  • il aura eu
  • nous aurons eu
  • vous aurez eu
  • ils auront eu

Example: j’aurai eu envie de manger = I would have wanted to eat


 

Passé simple (simple past)

  • j’eus
  • tu eus
  • il eut
  • nous eûmes
  • vous eûtes
  • ils eurent

Example: j’eus peine à trouver la maison = I had a hard time finding the house

Passé antérieur (past perfect anterior)

  • j’eus eu
  • tu eus eu
  • il eut eu
  • nous eûmes eu
  • vous eûtes eu
  • ils eurent eu

Example: j’eus eu chaud = I had been hot

 


 

Conditionnel (future of the past)

Conditionnel présent

  • j’aurais
  • tu aurais
  • il aurait
  • nous aurions
  • vous auriez
  • ils auraient

Example: j’aurais adoré être policier = I would have loved to be a police officer

Conditionnel passé

  • j’aurais eu
  • tu aurais eu
  • il aurait eu
  • nous aurions eu
  • vous auriez eu
  • ils auraient eu

Example: si il m’avait payé des millions, j’aurais eu un autre statut = if he had paid me millions, I would have had a different status

 


 

Subjonctif (subjunctive)

Subjonctif présent

  • que j’aie
  • que tu aies
  • qu’il ait
  • que nous ayons
  • que vous ayez
  • qu’ils aient

Example: le seul problème que j’aie dans tout ceci, c’est que l’argent n’a jamais été versé = the only problem I have in all this is that the money has never been transferred

Subjonctif passé

  • que j’aie eu
  • que tu aies eu
  • qu’il ait eu
  • que nous ayons eu
  • que vous ayez eu
  • qu’ils aient eu

Example: c’est un des meilleurs restaurants que j’aie eu l’opportunité de visiter = it is one of the best restaurants I have had the opportunity to visit


 

Subjonctif imparfait

  • que j’eusse
  • que tu eusses
  • qu’il eût
  • que nous eussions
  • que vous eussiez
  • qu’ils eussent

Example: j’eusse aimé vivre auprès d’une jeune géante = I would have loved to live next to a young giant

Subjonctif plus-que-parfait

  • que j’eusse eu
  • que tu eusses eu
  • qu’il eût eu
  • que nous eussions eu
  • que vous eussiez eu
  • qu’ils eussent eu

Example: il répondit à ma question avant que j’eusse eu le temps de la formuler = he answered my question before I had time to formulate it

 


 

Impératif (imperative)

Impératif présent

  • (tu) aie
  • (nous) ayons
  • (vous) ayez

Example: le personnel le plus attentionné que nous ayons rencontré = the most attentive staff we have met

Impératif passé

  • (tu) aie eu
  • (nous) ayons eu
  • (vous) ayez eu

Example: c’est qui la meilleure amie que tu aie eu ? = who is the best friend you have ever had?

 


 

Infinitif (infinitive)

Infinitif présent

  • avoir

Translation of: avoir = to have

Infinitif passé

  • avoir eu

Translation of: avoir eu = have had

 


 

Participe

Participe présent

  • ayant

Translation of: ayant = having

Participe passé

  • ayant eu

Translation of: ayant eu = having had

Participe antérieur

  • ayant eu

Translation of: ayant eu = having had

 

About the verb avoir

Avoir is an irregular French verb that is also one of the two auxiliary verbs (the other is être).

If you want to learn French, it is very important that you can conjugate avoir, as it is one of the most used verbs in the French language – both because of its very central role in the language, but also because of its function as an auxiliary verb.

 

Pronunciation of avoir

Avoir is not only difficult to pronounce correctly; its conjugations often cause a lot of confusion when learning French. Examples include:

  • a or à: a is a conjugation (present, 3rd person, singular) of avoir, where à is a preposition that can best be translated as to or in. Examples: il a mangé = he has eaten and je vais à la boulangerie = I go to the bakery. Because the two words are very similar in spelling and pronunciation, they can easily confuse beginners.
  • Il y a: The little phrase il y a, usually means “there is” or “is there”. At first glance, this part of the sentence seems strange to most people, but it is widely used in French and it is therefore useful to learn it. In everyday speech it is pronounced iya.
  • Il n’y a pas: This is the same part of the sentence as above, with the addition of a negation (ne + pas) to give the sentence the opposite meaning: “there is not” or “there is not”. Il n’y a pas is pronounced iyapa.
  • Eu, eus, eut: The conjugations eu, (which is part of the past participle) eus and eut (which is part of the passé simple) are all pronounced y, as in tu (‘you’). The same applies to eûmes, eûtes and eurent, which are pronounced y-m, y-t and y-r respectively.

 

Contractions

There are a number of contractions associated with the conjugations of avoir. Here are a few examples:

  • Z sound: When a word ends in s and is adjacent to a word starting with a vowel, the s must be voiced with a z sound. In relation to avoir, this applies in the following cases: nous avons, vous avez, ils ont and elles ont.
  • Ils/elles ont: As mentioned above, the s must be voiced between ils/elles and ont so that you pronounce a z sound. If you fail to do this, you say ils/elles sont instead (with an s sound), which is a conjugation of être! This is a very common beginner’s mistake.
  • Tu as: Tu as means “you have” or “have you” and is contracted to t’a, and is therefore pronounced ta. However, there is nothing wrong with pronouncing the words separately (ty a) and this pronunciation is sometimes heard in Francophone countries.
  • Tu n’as pas: This is the same part of the sentence as above, but with the addition of a negation (ne + pas), so that the sentence has the opposite meaning: “you don’t have” or “you don’t have”. This part of the sentence can be pronounced both ta pa (t’as pas) and ty na pa (tu n’as pas).