French The Expression "it is necessary"

Beginner French - Level A1


The French phrase "il est nécessaire" means "it is necessary," and it's used quite often. There are many words and phrases in French that express necessity and obligation.  One of the most common ways to express this is by using the phrase IL FAUT.

French Grammar: Necessity and Obligation with [IL FAUT]
la grammaire française: la nécessité et l’obligation avec [il faut]

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The expression “It is necessary’

Faloir is the French verb that means “to be necessary.” We use the third person singular conjugation Il faut as the impersonal, standard expression for the expression. Following the expression comes an infinitive to say altogether “it is necessary to do something.”


Il faut lire (read) le journal le matin.

It is necessary to read the newspaper every morning.    

Il faut organiser les dossiers pour le travail.

It is necessary to organize the folders for work.

Il faut faire un stage avant (before) on pose sa candidature.

It is necessary to have work experience before one applies for a job.

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Learn how to use the French subjunctive in conjunction with the idiom Il faut que in French.

Directions: Complete the following sentences using the expression Il faut and one of the verbs in the parenthesis. Choose the verb that makes the most sense in the sentence.

  1. ___________ à la bibliothèque pour réussir (succeed/pass) à l’examen. (étudier, faire)
  2. ___________ un métier après qu’on fait un stage. (rater, chercher)
  3. __________au téléphone au bureau. (travailler, répondre)
  4. __________ avec vos collègues pendant la journée. (communiquer, quitter)
  5. __________ sympathique pour avoir beaucoup d’amis. (entendre, être)

Answers and Translation:

  1. Il faut étudier / It is necessary to study at the library in order to pass the test.
  2. Il faut chercher / It is necessary to search for a job after one has some work experience.
  3. Il fait répondre / It is necessary to respond tothe phone at the office.
  4. Il faut communiquer / It is necessary to communicate with your colleagues during the day.
  5. Il faut être / It is necessary to be nice in order to have a lot of friends.

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