I researched this: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/devoirfalloir.htm
From that I got the impression that falloir is to express absolute necessity like: If you don't want to die you have to breathe. Whereas devoir was more of an obligation, something you should or are supposed to do, it's more casual like: I could go to the movies with you but I have to study.
Is that right? Does it make sense to say they differ in the severity of their meaning?
Thanks in advance.
"Il faut" is very versatile, as "devoir" is, and we can complement it with adverbs to give it nuances:
- il faut probablement que je mange = je dois probablement manger
- il faut sans aucun doute que je mange = je dois sans aucun doute manger
- il faut absolument que je mange = je dois absolument manger
Do you recommend learning all the possible conjugations for these 15 verbs? I ask as I have never made up a set of flashcards, however, if you think they would aid the great majority of conversation (and reading comprehension) I will set to it. I don't have an aversion to flashcards per se, I just didn't know where to begin ;D.
Cheers SS for any advice.
I am aware that French conjugations are frightening in the beginning, but you can group them to ease your learning.
As JJ says, start with the indicative present, then add more tenses when you feel comfortable with the present.
être and avoir are the absolute "musts" because you need them as auxiliaries as well for all the compound tenses.
trouver, donner and parler are regular and conjugated alike (1st group)
falloir only exists in 3rd person singular, so that's a lot of work saved (indicative: il faut, il faudra, il fallait, + the past participle "fallu" for the rest)
pouvoir and vouloir are very close.
very sadly, the others are seriously irregular.
When I learned Latin, I learnt all verbs as lists with all persons, tenses and moods, which was only a matter of memorization since the logic was very similar to the French conjugations'. But I also started to learn irregular English verbs at the same time and those were so much easier in comparison! Yet, I was 12 at the time and my brain was still fresh!
Hi Ripcurlgirl. I think that you are asking Sitesurf so please forgive my slight rudeness to butt in. I used flashcards when I home educated my children and they learnt really quickly. So just for the present tense of the verbs which Sitesurf has outlined above, I'd say go for it. However, as I assume you know, for all tenses there are around 47 conjugations multiplied by the 3 groups of verbs and you may have to clear the garage to have a place to store the lot. :)
Both "must" and "have to" are used to express strong obligation. The difference between both is that usually "have to" means that some external circumstance makes the obligation necessary (e.g. I have to clean my house - you don't want to but your parents are coming to visit -> external motivation) and "must" is used when there are some internal/personal circumstances for it (e.g. I must clean my house - you just can't stand living in dirty house -> internal motivation)
I would definitely dispute what elaliv said if (s)he claims it is a rule, and even as a general trend it does vary from person to person... Yes, the trend is there. But really, "must" and "have to" mean more or less the same thing. Trying to memorize the situations in which you would use either would be a waste of time.
I largely agree with both of you, Zesty and Elaliv. Just one thing, though, Must can be a noun as in "This regulation is a Must". There, "have to" has to go as it always had to because it can never muster the must that Must has; has to have and would have to have as a noun which must has, has to and always will have to. This is a Must. (I must finish here now because I have to stop as one eventually must, ought and should.) (I bet you must read this, even though you don't have to.)
Because, Galactic, there are accents and dialects. Confusing, I know; in England, in London or "Dahn Sarf" as we Cockneys say, Nowthen means pay attention but in the North it means "Hello." In the South we say "I'm going home" in Durham they say "Am gannin yam." This is a tiny island compared to France yet one may go not 30 miles and not understand a word that is spoken. There you go blossom, all "Hunky-Dory" or "Hooky-Dunch" as is said, depending on where one is in England.
There must be some confusion here.
"Boise" comes from the verb "boiser" which means "to plant trees".
"I drink" translates to "je bois" and the full conjugation of the verb "boire" (infinitive form) in present is:
- je bois, tu bois, il/elle/oon boit, nous buvons, vous buvez, ils/elles boivent.
Only a few of them require an infinitive without any preposition: aimer/aimer mieux, aller, compter, croire, daigner, devoir, entendre, espérer, faire, falloir, (s')imaginer, laisser, oser, penser, pouvoir, prétendre, savoir, sembler, sentir, valoir mieux, venir, voir and vouloir.
Well, with respect, isn't this sentence structured the other way round? Isn't here Duo translating Dois to I have (to) rather than Must? Surely here isn't Manger used because the sentence begins with "I have To Eat" (infinitive) and Manger translates to To Eat? So it begins "I Have To Eat (Manger) and Drink and therefore it is Boire that is the infinitive second verb? Sitesurf, I'm certainly not questioning your explanation of French grammar but it seems that both question and answer here are back to front?
The question OodStalcup asked yesterday was already answered above with more information:
A number of French verbs can be followed by an infinitive without any preposition: aimer/aimer mieux, aller, compter, croire, daigner, devoir, entendre, espérer, faire, falloir, (s')imaginer, laisser, oser, penser, pouvoir, prétendre, savoir, sembler, sentir, valoir mieux, venir, voir and vouloir.
This means that "je dois" (I must/I have to/I need to...) can be followed by "manger", "boire" or any other verb, in infinitive.
In this sense, those verbs work like your modals, but our infinitive single form corresponds to both your infinitives (with "to") and to your bare infinitives (without "to"), which makes comparisons a bit complex.
I appreciate the green owl's work but could you make for us another partiton for verbs , teach us the conjugations of each and every verb with its meaning, that would really be very helpful and will, without any inquiry raise your popularity. Thanks for reading- hoping you will put this in your mind :)
Well, John, There are 3 groups of verbs each conjugating differently and there are some 48 conjugations for each. That will require space 172,800 extra words multiplied by however many characters each word uses; say an average of at least 6=1,036,800. Duo do seem to leave the student to carry extra curricular studies on or from other sites or sources. If you go to Conjugation fr.com click on the link and when on site type in the infinitive and all conjugations will be displayed for over 1200 French verbs. When I don't know what the infinitive is I first go to Google Translate (good for pronunciation and finding infinitives but unreliable for sentences), I then type in the English infinitive "To Eat" for example and the French comes up Manger and that I then type into Conjugation fr.com. Works every time for me. This is an example of how Duo works with its community of users.
In English, "to have something" means to possess something; in French "avoir quelque chose" has the same meaning.
In English, "to have to do something" means to need to do something; in French "devoir faire quelque chose" has the same meaning.
So, "je dois manger et boire" can translate to "I must eat and drink" or "I have to eat and drink" or "I need to eat and drink", because the French verb "devoir" has a rather broad range of meanings, from absolute obligation to need.