I am writing an administrative letter in French.

I would like to avoid to use “j'ai l'honneur” twice.

Is there a synonym?

In the following context :

J'ai l'honneur de vous informer qu'il m'a été donné de constater un problème au niveau …

  • Can you provide us with the sentences in which you use it, it's a bit hard to give you an equivalent without any context.
    – vc 74
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 11:16
  • okey i will edit my question ... in 1 minute
    – user1712
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 11:24
  • 3
    The context is still not crystal clear but do you really need to use such a construct in your sentence. "J'ai eu l'occasion de constater un problème au niveau..." could work too and sounds 'lighter' to me.
    – vc 74
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 11:41

2 Answers 2


Per se, you could use similar sentence initiators, such as:

  • « Je suis très honoré de vous annoncer... » (a)
  • « Je suis heureux de vous annoncer... » (b)
  • « J'ai le plaisir de vous informer... » (b)
  • « Je me permets de vous informer... » (c)
  • « Permettez-moi de vous faire part de... » (c)
  • etc.

But they are not, strictly speaking, synonyms, as they do not convey the exact same message — respectively (a) solemnity, (b) delight, and (c) reserve.

Now, in your case, if you are informing about a problem, it seems weird to use any initiator that conveys solemnity (so, I would not use « J'ai l'honneur de ») or delight.

I'd go with (c) reserve (« Je me permets de vous informer d'un problème au niveau de... ») or a structure such as the one suggested by @vc74 (« J'ai eu l'occasion de constater un problème au niveau... »).

  • so i was looking for similar expressions :) I will update the title .
    – user1712
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 12:22

In this case, communicating about something negative, you probably don't want to use this formula. "J'ai l'honneur de..." is better suited for positive things.I would rather use :

J'ai le regret de vous informer...

That said, as several people already stated, your sentence might look a bit too "heavy" and could be shorter while still conveying the same meaning :

J'ai malheureusement pu constater un problème au niveau ...


J'ai malheureusement constaté un problème au niveau ...

  • I regularly observe the use of "j'ai l'honneur de.." for negative things. It is rather odd, but acceptable.
    – Mar Zum
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 16:29
  • 2
    Well literally speaking I don't consider it an honnor to announce bad news... There are so many alternative ways to express a negative thing I would certainly reserve "honneur" for positive ones, even if it's indeed acceptable.
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 18:33

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