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Complete post:

Nov

24

2014

Il me faudrait un billet pour…”

“I would need a ticket for…”

A listener asked the following question regarding an expression used in lesson 18:…

My question relates to the expression below, from lesson 18.

I don't understand why the expression "il me faudrait" appears to mean "I would need…".

Why is there no "je"?

In fact, we could use either of two French expressions here:

  • avoir besoin de(= to need)
    • J'aurais besoin d'un billet pour…= I would need a ticket for…
  • falloir(= to be necessary)
    • Il me faudrait un billet pour…= I would need a ticket for… (ou, littéralement "It would be necessary [that] I have a ticket for…")

falloir… often used to convey need

Learners sometimes have difficulty with the verb falloir, un verbe impersonnel. Such verbs are conjugated only in the 3rd person singular. In our second example, above, we have the conditional form —> il faudrait ('it would be necessary').

Falloir is used very frequently where someone needs something:

  • Il me faut de l'argent. (= I need some money.)
  • Il me faut une solution. (= I need a solution.)
  • Il lui faut une réponse. (= He/she needs an answer.)
  • Il leur faut du temps pour s'y adapter. (= They need time to adapt to it.)

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