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How to say I'm hungry in French

I have always been taught to say

Je suis faim

Now, one of my teachers says to say

J'ai faim

I have done some research on the Internet, and it turns out that J'ai faim is actually the technically correct version, however Duo accepts "Je suis faim."

So would it be Je suis or J'ai?

I personally think it is odd to say "I have hunger," but hey, learning languages has some twists and turns.

What do you think?

May 31, 2015



If you want to use "suis", you have to change the noun "la faim" for the adjective "affamé(e)":

  • je suis affamé(e) = j'ai faim


Ah. Okay, thanks Sitesurf!


French is my mother tongue, the correct answer is " j'ai faim". when we try to translate other languages many things are strange it's like in English you say " I'll have a coffee" for French and Spanish people that sounds really wrong in France or In spain we take a coffee and that doesn't mean we are stealing it


i'm french and you say j'ai faim


The English "I am" tends to translate as "I have" in French. It would be "J'ai faim" which literally means "I have hunger" and we understand this as meaning "I'm hungry".


Duolingo uses "J'ai" before other adjectives too. Like in the skill Adjectives 1, Duolingo teaches the phrase "J'ai chaude" as well as the phrase "Nous avons chaude." Strangly though, Duolingo also teaches the phrase "Il EST chaude" in the same lesson. Why the inconsistency? I have no idea, but I thought it would just be interesting to share what I found out.


"j'ai chaud" = I am feeling warm.

"il est chaud" = that thing is hot. "Don't touch the stove, it is hot".

I guess "je suis chaud" would suggest that you have fever...?


No, actually "Je suis chaud" is something you would want to say to your spouse, not your doctor, if you follow my meaning.


I have corrected this skewed view at least two dozen times: "je suis chaud" primarily means: I am enthusiastic.


Ah, yes, actually I had heard that meaning but just didn't remember it :)


I'm actually taking a French class currently for school and they way I was taught was to say J'ai faim. Also if you say je suis faim I think that would literally translate to I am hunger.


i don't know the correct one but i think "j'ai faim" as french are used to using "avoir" instead of "être" in such cases e.g. you say "j'ai chaud / j'ai 15 ans /..etc" Hope that's useful


It is the same when you ask someone's age.in French-j'ai 20 ans literally I have 20 the same in Spanish


The proper use of être and avoir is important. My wife and I were in Paris last month, dining at a café in the Tuileries Garden. The waiter wanted to know if we were finished eating so he could clear our plates. My wife replied, "Oui, je suis fini," to which the waiter smiled and replied, "Non, j'ai fini. Je suis fini..." and thereupon made a croaking noise, stuck out his tongue, and drew his extended finger across his throat. It was an unforgettable French lesson.


LOL. Great story, thanks for sharing. Have a lingot.

[deactivated user]

    Yeah, this story made me laugh hard, too. The first lingot I've ever given away!


    I wish we could learn more French like this. We get it and won't forget.


    That gave me the chuckles. Haha.


    It's the same in German, in fact most of the time i find that English is actually the bastard language, and the odd one out. Just look at the verb "to write" in other euro languages.


    often in french the verb be means avoir like i'm 19 is j'ai 19 ans!!


    Start at 1:42 into the clip. Sorry the subtitling is in Spanish. She's saying, "J'ai faim!"


    Just click here instead. It automatically starts it at 1:42 ;)

    [deactivated user]

      What a funny scene! I love Truffaut, so now I must see this film.


      SethRomero, it's a little preachy once or twice, but it's really enjoyable.

      DetErMinNavn, thanks.


      I personally prefer to say j'ai faim.


      J'ai faim is correct ...The verb 'avoir' to have is used in some languages to express hunger

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