Avoir honte de = to be ashamed of

To express being ashamed in French, we can use the expression avoir honte de.

Look at these examples:

Il a honte de ses mauvaises habitudes.
He's ashamed of his bad habits.

Vous n'avez pas honte ?
Aren't you ashamed ?

Vous avez honte de continuer à fumer.
You're ashamed to keep on smoking.

Note that the French expression uses avoir (literally "to have shame of"), whereas in English we say to be ashamed.

Here are the different ways to use the expression avoir honte de :

Avoir honte de [quelque chose/quelqu'un] To be ashamed of [something/someone]

J'ai honte de Lucas.
I'm ashamed of Lucas.

Elle a honte d'Olivier.
She's ashamed of Olivier.

Ils ont honte de leurs notes.
They're ashamed of their grades.

J'ai honte de ma belle-sœur.
I am ashamed of my sister-in-law.

Thomas a honte des opinions de certains hommes.
Thomas is ashamed of some men's opinions.

Nous avons honte du projet final.
We are ashamed of the final project.

Note that de + le, la, l', les (= of the) follows the contraction rule of dedu, de la, de l', des.

 

Avoir honte de [faire quelque chose] To be ashamed of [doing something]

Tu as honte de mentir tout le temps.
You are ashamed of lying all the time.

Nous avons honte d'être si égoïstes parfois.
We are ashamed of being so selfish sometimes.

Il a honte de ne pas plus aider les gens.
He's ashamed of not helping people more.

 

Note that avoir honte de is followed by the infinitive of the verb, unlike -ing in English.

 

Avoir honte de [moi, toi, lui, elle, nous, vous, eux, elles] To be ashamed of [me, you, him, her, us, you, them]

Est-ce que tu as honte de moi ?
Are you ashamed of me?

Martine a honte d'eux.
Martine is ashamed of them.

Vous avez honte de nous.
You are ashamed of us.

 

Note that in this case, avoir honte de is followed by a stress pronoun.
See also Moi, toi, lui, elle, nous, vous, eux, elles (advanced stress pronouns)
 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Vous n'avez pas honte ?
Aren't you ashamed ?


Il a honte de ses mauvaises habitudes.
He's ashamed of his bad habits.


Nous avons honte du projet final.
We are ashamed of the final project.


Il a honte de ne pas plus aider les gens.
He's ashamed of not helping people more.


Nous avons honte de notre comportement.
We are ashamed of our behaviour.


Tu as honte de mentir tout le temps.
You are ashamed of lying all the time.


J'ai honte de ma belle-sœur.
I am ashamed of my sister-in-law.


Vous avez honte de continuer à fumer.
You're ashamed to keep on smoking.


Ils ont honte de leurs notes.
They're ashamed of their grades.


Est-ce que tu as honte de moi ?
Are you ashamed of me?


Elle a honte d'Olivier.
She's ashamed of Olivier.


Thomas a honte des opinions de certains hommes.
Thomas is ashamed of some men's opinions.


Vous avez honte de nous.
You are ashamed of us.


J'ai honte de Lucas.
I'm ashamed of Lucas.


Nous avons honte d'être si égoïstes parfois.
We are ashamed of being so selfish sometimes.


Martine a honte d'eux.
Martine is ashamed of them.


Q&A Forum 4 questions, 12 answers

MelisaA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Shame on you?

How would you convey the English expression, "Shame on you!"? Or, "Shame on him for eating the last cookie."?

Asked 1 week ago
Melisa asked:View original

Shame on you?

How would you convey the English expression, "Shame on you!"? Or, "Shame on him for eating the last cookie."?

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JamesonB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Difficulty with de/d' vs de + article variations

In the discussion following several of the lessons, there are often questions like Donna's. And, without being unkind to the wonderful moderators/teachers,  in NONE of the answers had I seen a really 'eureka' moment of clarification.

And then I searched THE SITE  and came across this amazing lesson!

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/de-vs-du-de-la-des-verbs/.

It is brilliant and clears up so much. I think that lesson should be included as a ' 'highlighted related lesson'' to this one and others like ' avoir peur'.

Additionally, in the lesson quoted above there is coverage of phrases meaning  "all/specific/adjectivally modified" nouns.

Two great examples of 'avoir envie' are given.

" Il a envie de bon chocolat. He wants (some) good chocolate."

"Il a envie du bon chocolat que tu m’as donné. He wants the good chocolate that you gave me."

Please add or indicate why NOT a similar distinction for the very common 'avoir besoin'.

You have

 "J’ai besoin de bonnes chaussures. I need (some) good shoes."

If I were to say to a store clerk "I need (the) special shoes with the orthopedic lifts" would I say ;

 "J’ai besoin des  chaussures spéciales  avec orthopédie."

Merci! Looking forward to the answer.

Asked 1 month ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Yes, Laura's page gives a very good summary of that topic. Laura is also somehow associated with kwiziq, so it may be possible to link to her page in the kwiziq lesson or incorporate it.

Re your question about avoir besoin de: it works just as avoir envie de.

GruffKwiziq team member

Hi Jameson - thanks for your feedback about these difficulties. We're having a think about how to solve this case and cases like it as intelligently as possible (which is the philosophy underpinning Kwiziq). I'm discussing this with our linguists and engineers. Much appreciated!

Jameson asked:View original

Difficulty with de/d' vs de + article variations

In the discussion following several of the lessons, there are often questions like Donna's. And, without being unkind to the wonderful moderators/teachers,  in NONE of the answers had I seen a really 'eureka' moment of clarification.

And then I searched THE SITE  and came across this amazing lesson!

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/de-vs-du-de-la-des-verbs/.

It is brilliant and clears up so much. I think that lesson should be included as a ' 'highlighted related lesson'' to this one and others like ' avoir peur'.

Additionally, in the lesson quoted above there is coverage of phrases meaning  "all/specific/adjectivally modified" nouns.

Two great examples of 'avoir envie' are given.

" Il a envie de bon chocolat. He wants (some) good chocolate."

"Il a envie du bon chocolat que tu m’as donné. He wants the good chocolate that you gave me."

Please add or indicate why NOT a similar distinction for the very common 'avoir besoin'.

You have

 "J’ai besoin de bonnes chaussures. I need (some) good shoes."

If I were to say to a store clerk "I need (the) special shoes with the orthopedic lifts" would I say ;

 "J’ai besoin des  chaussures spéciales  avec orthopédie."

Merci! Looking forward to the answer.

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HeatherB2Kwiziq community member

In the audio for Ils ont honte de leur notes. I can’t hear ont and honte as separate words. Are they pronounced the same?

Asked 8 months ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Heather !

Indeed, the difference between "ont"and "honte" here is very faint, due to the presence of "de" after "honte", making the [t] and [d] sounds kind of merge with each other, which is tricky for non-native ears :)

I've now changed the audio to a slightly more articulate voice, and I think the [t] sounds more acute, but be aware that this "merging" would definitely occur in natural speech :)

Hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Heather, 

The -t is there but maybe a bit faint, will ask Aurélie to re-record when she has a moment...

PatriciaA2Kwiziq community member

I had the same problem

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Patricia, 

I have checked the new recording and it is very clear now .

Maybe the problem comes from ‘ Ils ont’ which is pronounced ‘Ilzont ‘ and  ‘honte’ which is sounded onte’  without the -h ? 

In the audio for Ils ont honte de leur notes. I can’t hear ont and honte as separate words. Are they pronounced the same?

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DonnaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Plural "des"

When I answered one of the questions with "J'ai honte des mes infidélités," it was marked wrong in favor of "J'ai honte de mes infidélités." Yet one of the examples on this page is almost identical and it used "des" as I did: "Thomas a honte des opinions de certains hommes." Confusing. Can you help explain please?
Asked 2 years ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
In the sentence "J'ai honte de mes infidélités." you have a oersonal pronoun (mes) between "de" and "infidélités", and the personal pronoun already indicates the plural. Therefore it is simply "de" instead of "des". The second example "Thomas a honte des opinions...." there is no pronoun and hence you need "des". Hope this helps, -- Chris (not a native speaker).
DonnaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Yes, it does! Thanks.
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Donna ! To simply complete Chris' explanation, "des" is the contraction of "de + les" (of + the), but in "de mes infidélités", "les" is replaced by "mes" (of + my), therefore no contraction :) Bonne journée !
DonnaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Bonjour Aurélie! I appreciate your additional explanation. It's even easier to understand now. What an incredibly complex language this is! I'm grateful to have this site to help me through it. Merci beaucoup!
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
It is my theory that every language has about the same level of complexity simply because people have, on average, similar needs to express themselves. But it might be more difficult to adjust fro, one way of thinking to a another one depending on what you are used to. Neither English nor German has noun cases, for example. German has four, Russion six and Croatian seven. English has fewer grammatical rules but is one of the indo-european languages with the largest vocabulary. I guess each language has its own area of complexity. Certainly a point to mull over.... Best wishes, -- Chris.
DonnaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Hi Chris, I came in assuming that, but I'm starting to change my mind because of the random illogic and inconsistency of French verb conjugations. Changing a spelling to help with pronunciation makes total sense to me. But there are so many quirky exceptions that serve no purpose whatsoever! What I love about Kwiziq is that the quizzes ease them in on you gradually, so you can master them and move on. That helps, at least! But it's astounding how many quirks there are. Still, it's a gorgeous language. I suspect that mastering a language that prefers "tour d'horizon" to a prosaic word like "overview" will open the door to a marvelous new world. Do you find your way of seeing the world changes with each of the languages you mention?

Plural "des"

When I answered one of the questions with "J'ai honte des mes infidélités," it was marked wrong in favor of "J'ai honte de mes infidélités." Yet one of the examples on this page is almost identical and it used "des" as I did: "Thomas a honte des opinions de certains hommes." Confusing. Can you help explain please?

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