Whether you're starting out on your beginner French lessons or planning to travel to a French-speaking destination soon, learning about common French phrases is a good idea.
Here in this article, I will share common phrases in French, which I am sure you will find useful.
But before anything else...
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Before we jump to the list of commonly used French phrases, let's get to know the very basics first. Ready?
Bonjour - Hello
Even if you don't know any other French words or phrases, this one is actually just enough for you to get by. Use it to start every conversation in French!
Meeting a new person, say "bonjour !"
Entering a shop -- "bonjour !"
Bumped into someone you know --- "bonjour !"
Well, you catch the idea.
You can also check out this separate lesson on French greetings which includes sample audio exercises.
Merci - Thank you
Another very basic French word you should know is "merci". Feel free to use this whenever you have someone to thank! It would always be appreciated.
S’il vous plaît - Please
Same as "excusez-moi" (excuse me), "pardon" (pardon me, I beg your pardon), and "je suis désolé(e)" (I'm sorry), this phrase is a useful one to learn as part of basic French politeness.
Learn more about it here: The Ultimate Guide to French Politeness and Niceties
Comment allez-vous ? - How are you?
The most common and formal way to ask someone how they're doing is to say "comment allez-vous ?" Other informal options are "Comment ça va ? " and simply, "ça va ?"
Je m’appelle... - My name is...
When you have to tell someone your name, just say Je m'appelle <your name>.
You can also check out French Cheat Sheet: Basic French Questions and Answers for your guide to the different common questions and answers in French.
Je ne comprends pas - I don't understand
If you don't understand anything, no need to hide it or fake it. Simply say "je ne comprends pas"!
Je ne sais pas - I don't know
Similar to the one above, if you don't know it, just say so.
Que veut dire ___ ? - What does ___ mean?
You can ask "Que veut dire <insert word here>" to ask about something you don't understand. You can also say "Que veut dire ça ?" (What does that mean?)
Où est … ? - Where is ...?
Trying to find your way around but not sure how to ask in French, just say "Où est (l’hôtel / la banque / l’aéroport etc.)?"
Pouvez-vous m’aider? - Can you help me?
Remember this useful phrase for when you need help!
For more useful travel phrases like this, also check out the article Essential French Travel Phrases.
Je voudrais... - I would like...
Whether you're in a restaurant and would like to order something from the menu or you're in a regular conversation, je voudrais is a useful phrase to remember so you could express what you want.
Now with all the basics out of the way, let's have a look at this list of 50 common French phrases
50 Frequently Used French Phrases
Now here is your list.
|attendez-nous là||wait for us there|
|avez-vous faim?||are you hungry (formal)?|
|c'est pour vous||it is for you (formal)|
|c'est quoi?||what is it?|
|c'est tout?||is that all?|
|c'est très gentil||it is very nice|
|c’est combien?||how much is it?|
|c’est grave?||is it serious?|
|ça n'est pas grave||no problem|
|ce n’est pas comme ça||It is not like that|
|combien cela coûte?||how much is this?|
|comment as-tu passé... ?||how have you spent...? (informal)|
|comment t'appelles-tu?||what's your name (informal)?|
|comment vas-tu?||how are you (informal)?|
|depuis quand?||since when?|
|il est prêt||he is ready|
|il veut y aller||he wants to go there|
|j'ai déjà dit que||I have already said that|
|j’attends mes amis||I am waiting for my friends|
|je ne comprends pas||I don't understand|
|je ne sais pas||I don't know|
|je serai à||I will be at|
|je suis arrivé||I have arrived (m)|
|je suis désolé||I am sorry (m)|
|je suis perdu||I'm lost (m)|
|je suis près de||I am close to|
|je te tiens au courant||I'll let you know (informal)|
|je vais être en retard||I'll be late|
|ne t'inquiète pas!||don't worry (informal)!|
|nous parlerons plus tard||we will speak later|
|où on se retrouve?||where do we meet?|
|où pouvons-nous manger?||where can we eat?|
|où sont les toilettes?||where is the bathroom?|
|où veux-tu dîner?||where do you want to have dinner? (informal)|
|parlez-vous anglais?||do you speak English? (formal)|
|pas du tout||not at all|
|pas pour moi||not for me|
|peux-tu m'aider?||can you help me (informal)?|
|pourquoi pas?||why not?|
|pourriez-vous répéter?||can you say it again? (formal)|
|puis-je faire ça?||can I do that?|
|qu'est-ce qui se passe?||what is happening?|
|qu’est-ce que vous recommandez?||what do you recommend (formal)?|
|que voulez-vous faire?||what do you want to do (formal)?|
|qui est-ce?||who is it?|
|quoi de neuf?||what's new?|
|tu vas y aller||you are going to go there (informal)|
|viens avec moi!||come with me! (informal)|
Other Useful Resources for Learning About French Phrases
Start learning French today! This guide for beginners will help you get started.
Here are some FAQs about Common French Phrases
French phrases to know when traveling
When traveling to a French-speaking country, these phrases will be helpful!
Bonjour – Hello.
Merci – Thank you.
S’il vous plaît – please
Comment allez-vous ? – How are you?
Je vais bien/ ça va – I am fine.
Je m’appelle… – My name is…
Je ne comprends pas – I don’t understand.
Je ne sais pas – I don’t know.
Que veut dire ___ ? – What does ___ mean?
Où est … ? – Where is …?
Pouvez-vous m’aider? – Can you help me?
Je voudrais… – I would like…
Why are subject pronouns repeated in French sentences?
Subject pronouns in French are usually repeated to add emphasis.
Check the example below:
English: I like pizzas
French: Moi j‘aime les pizzas
Moi = Me
How do you make French sentences plural?
To make sentences plural, you must make nouns, verbs, and adjectives plural. You can do so by adding an -s to their singular form. If the singular form of a noun already ends in -s, -x or -z, there is no need to add -s. And if the noun ends in -eau or -eu add an -x.
How do you say some very basic French words?
Bonjour /boh·zhoor/ (Hello or good morning)
Adieu /a·dyoe/ (Farewell)
Oui /wee/ (Yes)
Merci /mehr·see/ (Thank you)
Non /nõ/ (No)
Fille /fiy/ (Girl)
Garçon /gar·son/ (Boy)
Femme /fam/ (Woman)
Homme /om/ (Man)
Amour /a·mour/ (Love)
Mademoiselle (Miss, unmarried woman)
Madame /ma·dam/ (Married woman, older woman)
Beau /bo/ (Handsome)
Belle /bel/ (Beautiful)
How do you say some common French phrases?
Here are common French phrases with audio!
Au revoir. (Goodbye)
Pardon, excusez-moi. (Pardon, excuse me.)
Je vous en prie or De rien. (You’re welcome.)
Parlez-vous anglais? (Do you speak English?)
Je ne parle pas français. (I do not speak French.)
À tout à l’heure! (See you later!)
Je ne comprends pas. (I don’t understand.)
S’il vous plaît. (Please.)
Je m’appelle… (My name is…)
Pardon or Excusez-moi. (Excuse me.)