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Que veut dire “DEVOIR”?
Conjugations and uses of the verb “devoir”
Conjuguez « Devoir » Au Présent.
Devoir is one of the most common French verbs. It is irregular in conjugation and has a number of different meanings related to concepts like obligation and probability.
1. Obligation and necessity
ce soir ? Do you have to study tonight? Elles doivent manger They must / need to eat. 2. Probability and supposition Il doit rentrer avant le dîner He should / will probably be back before dinner Nous devons gagner plus cette année We should earn more this year. Elle doit être à l'école She must be at school
3. Expectation and intention
I was supposed to go with them.
He was supposed to do it, but he forgot
. Fatalism and inevitability
He had to / was bound to lose one day
She wasn't to hear it until Monday
can be translated by should, must, ought to, have to, supposed to - the distinction between necessity and probability is not always clear
dois faire la lessive (I should/must/have to do the laundry)Il doit arriver demain (He is supposed to / should / has to arrive tomorrow)To specify "must" rather than "should," add a word like absolument or vraiment: Je dois absolument partir I really have to go Nous devons vraiment te parler We must speak to youTo specify "should" rather than "must," use the conditional:
You should leave
They should talk to him.
To say that something that "should have" happened, use the
plus the infinitive:
You should have eaten.
I should have studied.
as a transitive
(and thus not followed by a verb),
devoir means "to owe": Combien est-ce qu'il te doit ? How much does he owe you? Pierre me doit 10 francs Pierre owes me 10 francsDevoir as a nounDevoir is also a masculine noun. Le devoir means "duty," while les devoirscan mean "duties" or "homework."
HOW TO USE DEVOIR
ought toWhere you could replace should
and it would have more or less the same meaning, then a common translation in French is to use the conditional tense of the verb devoir. As in English, it is followed by the infinitive. For example:je/tu devrais venirI/you should comeil devrait faire ses devoirshe should do his homeworkon devrait pouvoir venirwe should be able to comevous devriez l'aideryou should help him How to translate should have ... into FrenchThe formula should have ... is translated into French using the conditional perfect of devoir. This means that you use:
you should have told him that you were ill
eaten so much chocolate
HOW TO USE DEVOIR
wouldIn formal, old-fashioned usage, should
is sometimes used to mean
.Where you could change should to would with essentially no change of meaning, then use the conditional tense as usual in French.Since using should in this way is essentially formal (and for many speakers old-fashioned), you could try to find a formal verb in French. For example, for I should like ... a possibility is to say j'aimerais ... orje souhaiterais ... rather than je voudrais .... It's often not possible to make such a distinction in French, however.should introducing a conditionIn English, the construction if I/you should ... is sometimes used to mean something similar to if ever I/you .... In French, a possible translation is therefore to use si jamais ... ("if ever ..."):si jamais vous visitez la France, allez voir la Tour Eiffelif you should (ever) visit France, go and see the Eiffel Tower
HOW TO USE DEVOIR
"it is surprising that he should ..."
In formal or careful usage, English sometimes uses should
the speaker's reaction to something rather than stating that something has taken place. (In a formal analysis, this is sometimes called a non-assertion.) For example:I was really surprised that he should decide to come In this sentence, the speaker chooses to say should decide rather than decided to emphasise theirreaction to the decision rather than simply stating that the decision was made.In French, this use of should generally corresponds to the subjunctive. The subjunctive is a special verb form used to make a non-assertion. (English no longer has subjunctive forms of the verb; the nearest equivalent to the subjunctive in English is using other constructions such as should ..., might ... as in the above example.) So to translate the above example into French using the subjunctive, we might say:cela m'a vraiment étonné qu'il ait décidé de venir The construction ait décidé means roughly the same as a décidé = (has) decided, but ait is thesubjunctive form of avoir rather than the usual present tense form that you'd use to form the perfect tense.
Devoir is one of the trickiest verbs to translate and use in French. The following is a list of the different meanings of devoir used in various tenses.
must, have to
étudier.Il doit être malade.I must (have to) study.He's probably sick.
had to (and did),
He had to leave.
was supposed to,
used to have to
chanter ce soir.
She was supposed to sing tonight.
will have to
Tu devras payer l'argent.You will have to pay money.ConditionalshouldVous devriez manger les fruits.You should eat fruits.Past Conditionalshould haveIls auraient dû jouer.They should have played.