Posts Tagged ‘hâte’

A reader of OffQc asks how to say looking forward (to it) and looking forward to the weekend. You can use j’ai hâte, which means I’m looking forward to it or I can’t wait. If you want to say what it is that you’re looking forward to, use the preposition à before it:

J’ai hâte à la fin de semaine.
I’m looking forward to the weekend.
I can’t wait for the weekend.

J’ai hâte à lundi.
I’m looking forward to Monday.
I can’t wait for Monday.

J’ai hâte à l’été.
I’m looking forward to the summer.
I can’t wait for the summer.

But use de before a verb in the infinitive:

J’ai hâte de partir en vacances.
I’m looking forward to leaving on holiday.
I can’t wait to leave on holiday.

J’ai hâte de faire ça.
I’m looking forward to doing it.
I can’t wait to do it.

Use que before a subject, followed by the subjunctive:

J’ai hâte que tu viennes.
I’m looking forward to you coming.
I can’t wait for you to come.

J’ai hâte qu’il fasse chaud.
I’m looking forward to it being hot out.
I can’t wait for it to be hot out.

J’ai hâte à la fin de semaine!


Hâte sounds a little like the English word ought. That’s because the h is silent, and the â resembles something falling in between the English aw and ow sounds. (That’s the Québécois pronunciation; a European speaker pronounces hâte like the English word at.)

Fin de semaine is pronounced spontaneously as fin d’semaine. But when this contraction occurs, the d’ is in fact pronounced like a t. This means fin d’semaine sounds like fin t’semaine. To say it, say fin with a t sound on the end of it, then say semaine.

À la, maybe you’ll remember, often contracts to à’ in spontaneous speech. (It sounds like an ever-so-slightly longer à.) This means à la fin de semaine can be pronounced spontaneously as à’ fin t’semaine.

Try saying j’ai hâte à la fin de semaine again, using this knowledge.

Hâte –> haste

The circumflex accent in French (e.g., in words like forêt, arrêt, hâte) can replace what used to be an s. English conserved that s: forest, arrest, haste. J’ai hâte literally means “I have haste.”

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It’s winter, and Natalie and Louis (from the television show Les Parent) exchange text messages about the salt that was *supposed* to have been put down by their son Zak to prevent someone from slipping on the ice and getting hurt…

The text from the image is all typed out below, but you can click on the image for a larger version.

grey: Louis
blue: Natalie

Attention, chérie, c’est glissant dans l’entrée.
Careful, dear, the driveway’s slippery.

C’est réglé. J’ai envoyé Zak mettre du sel tantôt.
It’s been taken care of. I sent Zak to put salt down earlier on.

Wow! T’es sûre qu’il y est allé?
Wow! You sure he did it (you sure he went)?

Ha ha! La confiance règne!
Ha ha! What confidence (confidence prevails)!

Désolé. C’est juste qu’il y a des indices qui mentent pas.
Sorry. It’s just that there are some dead giveaways that he didn’t (some clues that don’t lie).


Moi, effoiré dans l’entrée, le dos barré.
Me, sprawled in the driveway with my back thrown out.

Viens me chercher quand t’auras fini de rire.
Come get me (find me) when you’ve finished laughing.

Usage notes

  • In the winter, we put salt (du sel) on surfaces outside to melt the ice on them and make them safe to walk and drive on
  • tantôt, before, earlier on (e.g., désolé pour tantôt, sorry about earlier on; merci pour tantôt, thanks for earlier on)
  • t’es, contraction of tu es, sounds like
  • effoiré, sprawled (e.g., s’effoirer sur le divan, to crash on the sofa; the oi in effoiré may sound like ; more about effoirer in #900)
  • dos barré, back that’s been thrown out, pulled, injured (literally, locked back; remember that barré is pronounced bârré, where sounds approximately like “baw”)
  • t’auras, contraction of tu auras

This exchange of textos was found here on the Facebook page for Les Parent. There, the page administrator asked:

Avez-vous hâte à l’hiver? 😂
Are you excited for winter?
Are you looking forward to winter?

avoir hâte à
to be looking forward to
to be excited for, etc.

J’ai hâte à lundi!
I can’t wait until Monday!

J’ai hâte à demain.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

Non, j’ai pas hâte à l’hiver!
No, I’m not looking forward to winter!

Like barré, hâte also uses the â sound. You can hear â pronounced in this video when Martin Matte says j’me fâche and tasse-toi.

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In a comical radio ad, a husband announces to his wife that his mother is coming to stay with them… for a few months. Surprisingly, the wife is happy about it.

To test her resolve, the husband then tells his wife that his mother can’t wait to give her cooking tips: Elle a vraiment hâte de te donner des conseils de cuisine.

If you’re not familiar with how â is pronounced in Québec, you might not have understood the word hâte.

As an approximation, hâte sounds a little like the English word “ought.” The â sound is close to “aww.”

Keep listening to lots of French from Québec so that you’ll hear exactly what â sounds like and become accustomed to it.

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