have to go to the bathroom

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Vraie, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Vraie Member

    English - U.S.
    In English, we often say, "I have to go to the bathroom." I would think that in French one would say, "je dois aller aux toilettes", but when in France I often heard "j'ai envie d'aller aux toilettes". Wouldn't that mean "I feel like going to the bathroom"? It doesn't quite seem to be the same as needing to use the bathroom.

    So, what is the appropriate way to convey "I have to go to the bathroom" or "I need to go the bathroom" in French?

    Thank you so much!
  2. otip Member

    Vendée - France
    French - France

    I don't think people often say "j'ai envie d'aller aux toilettes". Unless they really want to insist on that point (and speak about it?! :)), or kids maybe... Even in this situation people are more likely to say "je DOIS aller aux toilettes!" (like in a hurry).

    If it's not a hurry and you are just justifying your leaving, I guess the most common sentence is simply : "je vais aux toilettes".

    I hope that help.
  3. chanta Member

    Français - Québec
    We also use "j'ai envie" to say that we have to go and find a bathroom.
  4. doinel

    doinel Senior Member

    Southern France
    France French
    Ou j'ai besoin d'aller aux toilettes.
  5. Vraie Member

    English - U.S.
    Thank you all so much for clarifying.
  6. Niiiko Member

    Paris, France
    Je dirais pour ma part soit qu'on informe pourquoi on s'absente en disant "je vais au toilettes", soit, si on ne sait pas où c'est, "où sont les toilettes?", mais ce n'est pas très élégant d'insister -sauf entre amis ou intimes- en disant j'ai BESOIN d'aller aux toilettes, ou "j'ai envie d' aller aux toilettes" .... tout ce qui a rapport avec la description précise d'aller faire pipi n'est pas très élégante, et on dira plutôt simplement "excusez-moi, je reviens" et tout le monde comprend ! peut-être que le "I have to go to the bathroom" est moins claire que le "je dois aller aux toilettes" car elle laisse la possibilité qu'on veut s'y laver les mains.... à part ça, je trouve le "je dois" et le "j'ai envie" assez semblables, surtout si on ajoute "c'est pressé" en se pliant en deux !!! :):)

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