Avoir raison / tort / de la chance = To be right / wrong / lucky

Look at these sentences:

Nous avons de la chance.
We are lucky.

Luc a tort et j'ai raison.
Luc is wrong, and I'm right.

Vous avez toujours raison.
You are always right.

Je n'ai pas de chance.
I am not lucky.

The verb avoir (to have) is used to express being right (avoir raison), wrong (avoir tort) or lucky (avoir de la chance).

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Je n'ai pas de chance.
I am not lucky.


Vous avez toujours raison.
You are always right.


Nous avons de la chance.
We are lucky.


Luc a tort et j'ai raison.
Luc is wrong, and I'm right.


Q&A Forum 8 questions, 25 answers

NezihB1Kwiziq community member

Why a partitive article is not used with "tort" and "raison"

chance, tort and raison are all nouns, and we use "de la chance" but it is not the case for tort and raison. 

Asked 7 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Nezih,

It is just the way it is ....

 

to be right = avoir raison

to be wrong= avoir tort 

to be lucky = avoir de la chance (literally to have some luck) 

 

 

NezihB1Kwiziq community member

Hi Cécile

Thank you for answering my question, however this was not what i was looking for. Let me explain in another way. "Tort" is a masculin noun, and avoir a "verb". I would expect the usage should be "avoir du tort", similar to "avoir de la chance". But what i see is, the partitive article "du" is not used here. 

locution verbale: groupe de mots fonctionnant comme un verbe. Ex : "faire référence à"locution verbale: groupe de mots fonctionnant comme un verbe. Ex : "faire référence à"

NezihB1Kwiziq community member

At the bottom of my previous message i added what i found in the online dictionary Word Reference, but i am not sure what does it mean.

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Nezih,

There are other verbal phrases , normally with 'avoir', which have similar constructions to avoir tort/raison without any article -

Avoir peur = to be frightened ( lit. to have fear)

Avoir honte = to be ashamed

Avoir pitié to have mercy

Avoir faim/soif to be hungry/thirsty

Avoir horreur de = to loathe 

so 'avoir de la chance' is a bit of an anomaly...

 

Why a partitive article is not used with "tort" and "raison"

chance, tort and raison are all nouns, and we use "de la chance" but it is not the case for tort and raison. 

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RichardC1Kwiziq community member

is not "avoir sort" the same as "avoir de la chance"?

Asked 11 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Richard,

As you had pinned it ot this particular lesson I had assumed that you had confused the two terms, so sorry about this.

Sort  had many meanings in French ( fate/spell/curse) but you cannot say,

'avoir sort'.

Furthermore it is associated with bad luck rather than good fortune.

Je ne veux pas être dans le même sort qu'elle I don't want the same fate as her

J'espère que ce nouvel emploi va améliorer mon sort = I hope this new job will improve my lot.

C'est comme si elle m'avait jeté un mauvais sort It's just as if she had cast me a bad spell

Hope this helps!

 

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Richard,

The expression is 'avoir tort' and means 'to be wrong'.

RichardC1Kwiziq community member

"le sort" = fortune, luck; as in Spanish cognate "tener suerte"= be lucky

I made no reference to "tort"

RichardC1Kwiziq community member

parfois je confonds le français avec l'español

merci pour m'avoir beaucoup aidé

CécileKwiziq team member
De rien, Richard, ça c'est le problème des polyglottes...

is not "avoir sort" the same as "avoir de la chance"?

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TerryB1Kwiziq community member

Is it correct, je n'ais pas tort, to say I am not wrong ?

Just wanted to check that in the negative for tort et raison that there is no 'de'
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Terry,

Indeed, 'je n'ai pas tort' is correct for 'I am not wrong'.

Is it correct, je n'ais pas tort, to say I am not wrong ?

Just wanted to check that in the negative for tort et raison that there is no 'de'

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AlmutC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

She is lucky - elle est chanceuse.

"Elle est chanceuse" should be accepted too. The second link provided by Ron (https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-french/lucky) event lists "chanceux" as translation of "lucky".
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Almut,

If I can just interject here, I have never heard anyone in France using the expression 'être chanceux' for 'to be lucky' . You will hear 'avoir de la chance' or 'avoir de la veine' (which is slang) .

I suspect 'être chanceux/chanceuse' might be the expression our French Canadian friends favour...

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Almut,

Often times there are multiple correct ways to answer each question in kwiziq. However, as the lessons are designed to train a particular aspect of grammar or style, it isn't really helpful to search for alternative answers which have little to do with the lesson at hand.

In the example you provide, the lessons aimes (among other things) to train the use of "avoir de la chance". Hence a construction using this phrase is sought as the correct answer.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

AlmutC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
I encountered this sentence in a test and had no way of seeing a connection to a particular lesson. As long as they are not downright wrong all possible answers should be accepted. Otherwise I would have to learn answers by heart and would only learn "kwiziq-French" and not real French.
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I understand your frustration when, after giving a well considered and perfectly correct answer, it is marked as incorrect. Believe me, I've "been there, done that". It would, however, be nigh impossible to write a program which is smart enough to recognize all possible correct ways to answer a question. When I was marked incorrect, I read the corresponding lesson and learned what kwiziq was trying to teach me. Next time around knew what they were after.

-- Chris.

AlmutC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Well actually, I would not expect "a program which is smart enough to recognize all possible correct ways to answer a question" but rather I would expect Kwiziq to have *people* smart enough to recoginze correct answers and to feed a database from which the program checks the replies that users give in tests. This is actually the reason why I reported this issue - in hope it would be fed to the database. Otherwise we are backt to my point of learning "kwiziq-French" instead of real French.
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I am coming at this from a different angle, Almut. You are not learning "kwiziq-French" but you are using kwiziq to focus on learning specific aspects of French. By breaking language learning down into managable, bite-sized tasks which can be learned and tested for in a comparatively short amount of time, you speed up your progress overall.

Of course, besides going through lessons and tests, one needs to read, listen to and speak French as well. And this is where all possible nuances of expressions and a feeling for their proper uses is acquired. Not during the tests, which are geared toward teaching specific grammatical topics. The kwiziq team acknowledges this by offering reading and listening opportunities as well.

-- Chris.

StuartB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
If I may suggest a sentence here, it would be "Almut a toujours raison!"
AlmutC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
If only your were rigth, Stuart - if that's your real name... ;-)

She is lucky - elle est chanceuse.

"Elle est chanceuse" should be accepted too. The second link provided by Ron (https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-french/lucky) event lists "chanceux" as translation of "lucky".

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GaryA2Kwiziq community member

The only way to remember this is to say " I have luck, I have wrong, I have right " etc.

Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Gary, For the most part, that is correct; however, that is not how it would translate from French into English as that is the literal translation. Another case in point is avoir + age. In English we say «I am 15 years old»; however, in French that becomes «j'ai quinze ans» ---> literally, I have 15 years. But in English we would simply state that I am 15 years old. Bonne chance.

The only way to remember this is to say " I have luck, I have wrong, I have right " etc.

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NicholasC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

why not "tu es chanceux"

Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
It is similar to J'ai faim or J'ai soif. The same grammar rule applies. The use of être changes the whole meaning of the phrase. Regardez cela: Avoir raison / tort / de la chance = To be right / wrong / lucky
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
En fait, voici une autre référence de la dictionnaire Collins-Robert: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-french/lucky
CatrionaC1Kwiziq community member
Chanceuse is used by the Parliament of Canada on its website: "Certains diront qu'elle est chanceuse puisque l'attente moyenne pour une audience est de 19 mois et qu'elle a attendu neuf mois de moins que [...]", so why does KwizIQ say elle a de la chance is the only option?

why not "tu es chanceux"

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RandaA1Kwiziq community member

is 'tort, raison' for feminine and masculine?

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Randa, Yes, because they're not adjectives in French - they're nouns. J'ai raison is equivalent to "I'm right" in English, but literally it means "I have reason."
StuartB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
LOL  I thought you were asking if tort is for women and raison for men...  In my experience it is the opposite!

is 'tort, raison' for feminine and masculine?

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OliviaB1Kwiziq community member

What's the difference between saying de chance and de la chance?

As in the examples above where with je there is no la and with nous there is a la?
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Olivia, The expression is "avoir de la chance," as shown in the example "Nous avons de la chance." Also, J'ai de la chance, Tu as de la chance, etc. But when you change it to a negative, "de la" changes to "de": Nous n'avons pas de chance, Je n'ai pas de chance, Tu n'as pas de chance, etc. Here's a lesson: https://www.french-test.com/my-languages/french/view/23

What's the difference between saying de chance and de la chance?

As in the examples above where with je there is no la and with nous there is a la?

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Let me take a look at that...