French Grammar: The Verb [AVOIR] with Age

French Grammar: The Verb [AVOIR] with Age

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French Grammar: The Verb [AVOIR] with Age
la grammaire française: le verbe [avoir] avec l’âge

The verb AVOIR means “to have”. It shows possession!

There are also a number of other expressions that use AVOIR to communicate different types of physical and emotional states.

In French, the verb AVOIR is also used to express someone’s age.  You have your years!


French Grammar: The Verb AVOIR – Verb Conjugation Chart


The verb AVOIR means “to have”.  It shows possession.

J’ai un livre de français.
I have a French book.

Nous avons bientôt un cours d’anglais.
We have an English class soon.

Tu as les devoirs pour aujourd’hui?
Do you (fam.) have the homework for today?

Note that AVOIR is an irregular verb. Check out the lessons on irregular verbs for more details.


In French, the verb AVOIR is also used to express someone’s age.  You have your years!

English is a language of “to be”.  In English, we are our age: “I AM twenty years old.”  But French is a language of “to have”.  In French, we possess our age.  Our years are something that we HAVE“J’ai vingt ans” literally means “I HAVE twenty years.”

HAVING years (i.e., age) is used for all people (and all things) in all situations:

J’ai vingt ans!
I have twenty years!
(I am twenty years old!)

Mon père a soixante ans.
My father has sixty years.
(My father is sixty years old.)

Mes fils ont deux et quatre ans.
My sons have two and four years.
(My sons are two and four years old.)

Mon amie a trente ans.
My friend (fem.) has thirty years.
(My friend –fem.- is thirty years old.)

Quel âge a ta petite-fille?
What age does your granddaughter have?
(How old is your granddaughter?)

Ma petite-fille a seize mois.
My granddaughter has sixteen months.
(My granddaughter is sixteen months old.)

Mon chien a huit ans.
My dog has eight years.
(My dog is eight years old.)

Ma fille a déjà treize ans!
My daughter has already thirteen years!
(My daughter is thirteen years old already!)

Ta voiture a dix ans.
Your (fam.) car has ten years.
(Your car is ten years old.)

Leur maison a cent ans.
Their house has one hundred years.
(Their house is one hundred years old.)


French Grammar: The Verb AVOIR – Verb Conjugation Chart


Quel âge avez-vous?
How old are you (formal)?

J’ai quarante ans.
I am forty years old.

Quel âge a ta chatte?
How old is your cat (fem.)?

Ma chatte a cinq ans.
My cat (fem.) is five years old.

Quel âge a votre petite-fille?
How old is your granddaughter?

Notre petite-fille a dix-huit mois.
Our granddaughter is eighteen months old.

Quel âge ont vos frères?
How old are your (formal) brothers?

Mes frères ont douze et quinze ans.
My brothers are twelve and fifteen years old.

Quel âge ont les pyramides égyptiennes?
How old are the Egyptian pyramids?

Les pyramides égyptiennes ont cinq mille ans environ.
The Egyptian pyramids are about five thousand years old. 


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