What's the meaning of "je t'envie"?

Is it "I want you" or "I am jealous of you"? Or both?

  • 1
    It mainly depends on the direct object represented by t... ;)
    – MC68020
    Sep 29, 2018 at 13:54

3 Answers 3


Definitely no more the first one. While in the 19th century, envier has sometimes been used to mean "to desire", in current French, "I want you" would translate to j'ai besoin de toi or je te veux.

Nowadays, envier means something like "to regret not to be in someone's position, not having something someone has".

It is close but often slightly softer than être jaloux de quelqu'un. Être jaloux is a negative feeling while envier is more neutral.

  • 1
    Définitely not the first one ? Heu... are you sure ? Pour mes potes et moi... si l'objet direct d'envier est une femme... alors c'est the first one... actually. Ha! Note bien qu'il n'y a pas que pour mes potes et moi... on dirait bien que pour Huysmans... aussi! Ça crédite ça Huysmans en français.
    – MC68020
    Sep 29, 2018 at 13:51
  • @aCOSwt Ah oui, j'aurais mieux fait de regarder un dictionnaire avant de répondre. Réponse modifiée. Merci.
    – jlliagre
    Sep 29, 2018 at 14:18

''I envy you.'' Envier translates into English as “to envy”.

However, beware of “avoir envie de” … This is better translated as “to feel like”, for example “j'ai envie d'aller au resto ce soir”.


Second but not necessarily in a mean or bad way it's more like wanting to be or have what someone is or has. It's also a little like jealousy however the way you're feeling, to desire or wanting someone would be, j'ai envie de toi, je te veux, tu me tentes vraiment (en québécois) or tu m'donnes le goût loll jte veux, tu me donnes vraiment envie, anyway I never even said j'envie cette personne. It's more like, j'aimerais vraiment être à sa place, it's more like a feeling and then you do the changes to be happy and wealthy and get whatever you think you envy that person for :)

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