Top French Phrases
French is one of the most spoken languages in the world. It is also one that many people choose to learn as a second or third language. From movies to music to literature, French has a great cultural impact. If you are learning French or travelling abroad, knowing a few French phrases might be a great help. Bonne chance !
Greetings in French
You can be greeting people in many different ways – depending on the formality and channel. Ways to greet people in French include: Bonjour – Good morning/ General greeting throughout the day, Bonsoir – Good evening, Bonne nuit – Good night. And more informally: Salut – Hello or Allô ? – if you are on the phone. You could also ask people you meet by saying ‘How are you?’ such as Comment ça va ? and Ça va ?
Introduction in French
If you are looking to introduce yourself you could be saying Je m’appelle … – My name is, and to ask someone’s name you can say Comment est-ce que vous vous appelez ?, or Comment tu t’appelles ?, which is the informal way to put this question.
Would you like to know where someone comes from? You could ask them D’où êtes-vous ? – formally, or Tu es d’où ? an informal way to ask. To these questions, you might reply Je suis de … – I’m from …
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Goodbye in French
Ways to say goodbye include Au revoir, or À bientôt – Goodbye, and Bonne journée ! – Have a nice day.
Shopping / Eating out
If you are out eating or shopping you might find the following French phrases useful: C’est combien ? – How much is this?; S’il vous plaît – Please, in a formal way and S’il te plaît – in an informal way; Excusez-moi ! or Pardon ! – Excuse me; Merci/Merci beaucoup – Thank you / Thank you very much; Où sont les toilettes ? – Where’s the toilet/bathroom?
Or you might be asking/saying for something specific: Serveur – Waiter; La bière – A beer; Le coca – A coke; Santé ! – Cheers / Good health! (when celebrating); L’addition, s’il vous plaît ! – The bill, please!
And if you don’t understand something in French…
If you have difficulty understanding what people say to you in French, you could say Je ne comprends pas – I don’t understand; Est-ce que vous pourriez parler plus lentement, s’il vous plaît ? – Please speak more slowly in a formal way or Parlez plus lentement, s’il vous plaît in an informal way. In case you are struggling you can ask or Parlez vous anglais ? – Do you speak English? (in an formal way).
Learning French – Next Steps
The pronunciation of French phrases is as important a learning the language. You will need to practice in order to develop your French speaking skills. You can hear the recordings of these French phrases here.
Are you interesting in learning French? You can start by joining our group classes for complete beginners. If you already have some knowledge and want to practice the speaking skills you can join our French conversation classes. Develop your French language skills with qualified French tutors. We offer online courses. across the UK, private classes and in French language holidays.