I'm wondering if both of these are correct ways of saying 'I have to', and if so, whether there's any difference in what is implied:

Je dois acheter (un parapluie) VS J'ai acheter (un parapluie)


  • J'ai acheté – Toto Sep 18 '18 at 10:39
  • @Toto Thanks. Isn’t that “I bought “? Just looking at the responses below. – nwebb Sep 18 '18 at 10:41
  • Le temps de conjugaison ici est le passé composé, l’auxiliaire avoir + le participe passé. – Toto Sep 18 '18 at 10:45
  • Merci. Je comprends un peu. I will come back to this though, as I’ve only just started learning French :) – nwebb Sep 18 '18 at 10:49

The first form is correct but the second one is not grammatical and would also be confused with j'ai acheté un parapluie (I bought an umbrella) in spoken French.

You might say:

J'ai à acheter un parapluie. (very rare, might be perceived as an anglicism)

Je n'ai pas à acheter un/de parapluie. (common)

J'ai un parapluie à acheter.

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As @jlliagre said the second sentence is not correct.

If you want to say "I have to" you can also say

Il faut que j'achète un parapluie

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  • 2
    And another way to put it: Il me faut acheter un parapluie. – Stéphane Gimenez Sep 17 '18 at 21:58
  • Il me faut acheter un parapluie.. au 19e siecle :-) – user13512 Sep 18 '18 at 19:13

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