How to conjugate avoir in French

How to Conjugate “Avoir” in French

Avoir is one of the most essential verbs in the French language. It means “to have” and is also used as an auxiliary verb in compound tenses. In this lesson, we will focus on how to conjugate “avoir” in various tenses.

1. Le Présent (Present Tense)

When conjugating avoir in the present tense, we use the following forms:

  • J’ai – I have
  • Tu as – You have (informal/singular)
  • Il/Elle/On a – He/She/One has
  • Nous avons – We have
  • Vous avez – You have (formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles ont – They (masc./fem.) have


  • J’ai un livre. (I have a book.)

2. L’Imparfait (Imperfect Tense)

This tense is used to describe actions that were ongoing in the past.

  • J’avais – I had
  • Tu avais – You had (informal/singular)
  • Il/Elle/On avait – He/She/One had
  • Nous avions – We had
  • Vous aviez – You had (formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles avaient – They (masc./fem.) had


  • Nous avions une belle maison. (We had a beautiful house.)

3. Le Futur Simple (Simple Future Tense)

This tense describes actions that will happen in the future.

  • J’aurai – I will have
  • Tu auras – You will have (informal/singular)
  • Il/Elle/On aura – He/She/One will have
  • Nous aurons – We will have
  • Vous aurez – You will have (formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles auront – They (masc./fem.) will have


  • Elle aura 20 ans demain. (She will be 20 years old tomorrow.)

4. Le Passé Composé (Compound Past Tense)

In the compound past tense, “avoir” acts as an auxiliary verb for many verbs.


  • J’ai mangé. (I ate or I have eaten.)

To form this tense:

  • Use the present tense of avoir + the past participle of the main verb.

5. Important Notes:

  • Avoir is irregular, which means its conjugation doesn’t follow a regular pattern. It’s crucial to memorize its forms.
  • Avoir is also used in various idiomatic expressions, like “avoir faim” (to be hungry) or “avoir soif” (to be thirsty).


Mastering the conjugation of avoir is crucial in your French learning journey, given its frequent use in various contexts and tenses. It’s advisable to practice regularly using written exercises, verbal repetition, and real-life conversations.

Bon courage! (Good luck!)

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