Il Faut – How To Use This French Impersonal Expression

il fautIl faut means “it’s necessary” and has a lot of uses in French. Il faut is the third-person singular form of the verb falloir, meaning to be necessary. The verb is only conjugated in the il form.

uses of il faut

1) Il faut + infinitive

This translates roughly to it’s necessary or you have to.

  • Il faut travailler pour réussir dans la vie! You have to work to succeed in life.
  • Il faut faire très attention à la pronunciation! You have to pay attention to pronunciation!
  • Il faut étudier tous les verbes! You have to study all the verbs.

2) Il faut que + subjunctive

Il faut que is an impersonal expression which requires the use of the subjunctive. It translates loosely to one must, it’s necessary to or you have to.

  • Il faut que tu fasses attention. You need to pay attention.
  • Il faut que tu ailles en France. You need to go to France.
  • Il faut que tu sois patient. You need to be patient.

3) Il me faut + noun

This translates to I need. Literally, “it’s necessary to me”.

  • Il me faut une fourchette pour manger le steak. I need a fork to eat the stake.
  • Il me faut un billet d’avion pour aller en France. I need a plane ticket to go to France.
  • Il me faut cinq dollars pour acheter les bonbons. I need $5 to buy the candy.
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Source: Learn French With Alexa (YouTube channel)

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