“Ils auront fort à faire pour rembourser leurs dettes.…”
“They will have much to do to repay their debts…”
In our lessons, we have met the verb devoir (= to have to) many times over. Falloir (= to be necessary) often accomplishes a similar task, to convey what must be done, what is necessary, etc.
But there is a third possibility when discussing what we have to do. The key expression is avoir à faire, that is, to have… to do.
In our headline above, we have an example of this expression at work. In this case, the verb avoir is in the future – auront. Let's consider some other examples:
- Ce coureur aura fort à faire pour rattraper son retard.
= This runner/racer/cyclist will have much to do to catch up. (Literally, 'to make up [for] his delay')
- Les Bleus auront fort à faire pour battre les All-Blacks.
= The Blues will have a lot to do to beat the All Blacks.
- Vous aurez à faire le choix d'un cours adapté à votre profil.
= You will have to choose a course adapted to your profile.
Mais, attention! Don't confuse the expression above with the expression avoir affaire à (= to be dealing with, to be in discusssions with, etc)
- À la banque, j'ai affaire avec Monsieur Martin, mon conseiller.
= At the bank, I am dealing with Mr Martin, my advisor.
- Si vous faites du bruit la nuit, vous aurez affaire à moi!
= If you make noise during the night, you'll have me to deal with!
- Le suspect est un récidiviste qui a déjà eu affaire à la justice.
= The suspect is a repeat offender who has already had dealings with the authorities.
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