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The French idiom "J'ai un petit creux" revealed

Get prepared to discover all the things you need to know about the basic French expression "J'ai un petit creux". It includes a detailed guide of what it is and how you can use it in a casual conversation with an audio example. Plus, we also added some useful stuff like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio, synonyms and more!

English translation

  • Translation : I am a little hungry

  • Literal meaning : I have a little hollow

  • Register : Informal - Basic

How to pronounce



  • IPA : / ʒe ɛ̃ pəti kʁø /

aesthetic french quote petit creux

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What does it mean exactly?


It literally means:

The expression "J'ai un petit creux" is useful to say "I am a little hungry" in informal contexts. The "creux" (hollow) in this expression is a reference to the sensation of void/emptiness in our stomach when we are hungry.

As you may have noticed, in French we don't use "to be hungry" but "to have hunger" instead. For example, the most basic way to say "I am hungry" is "J'ai faim". (Literally: I have hunger)

How to use

Whenever you start to feel this annoying emptiness in your stomach, you can use "J'ai un petit creux" (I am a little hungry). But when you are extremely hungry/starving, other expressions are more suitable, for example: "J'ai la dalle" or "J'ai les crocs" (Which both basically mean: "I'm starving").

Beware that all these expressions are informal. For the formal way to express this feeling, use "J'ai faim" (I'm hungry). 


Example in a dialogue with French audio


J'ai un petit creux, et toi ?

I am a little hungry, and you?

Non j'ai trop mangé, mais j'ai soif

No, I ate too much, but I'm thirsty

Comme d'habitude...

As usual...

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Ça te chauffe ?


To vocabulary list


Je tombe des nues