Improve your French skills with our comprehensive list of common French phrases. Learn basic sentences to navigate daily conversations with ease.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to converse with French speakers without stumbling over your words? Any language takes time to learn because there is a large amount of vocabulary to master.
However, you can take a significant shortcut at first by determining the words and expressions you are most likely to use early on and concentrating on those.
The good news is that I took care of it for you, so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself! Here is my list of the 79 key French expressions you must know to speak the language straight immediately.
With the help of these standard French expressions, you’ll be prepared for your initial interactions with native speakers. They will help you now and in the future throughout your first encounters.
Why learn the most common French phrases first
Don’t be intimidated by the idea that there are an unlimited amount of French sentences. I’ve got some fantastic news: to speak the French language properly, you just need to be familiar with a small number of French idioms.
For instance, you can comprehend 50% of any book if you only know 100 words.
The top 1000 French words to start with can be found on a variety of lists. You may easily strike up a conversation in quite basic French while you’re traveling.
To build basic phrases, start with the French words that are used the most commonly. To start having meaningful discussions right away, learn these fundamental French phrases.
You will be able to hold your first basic conversation as soon as you start learning a few fundamental phrases. For you to start conversing right away, I’ve put together common French phrases that look like conversations.
Take into account how simple it is to develop confidence. The best method to learn a language is to start with the most fundamental concepts and progress to the more sophisticated ones.
What could be said if 1,000 French phrases were combined? We swiftly establish the groundwork for you to learn more difficult French expressions by starting with the fundamentals.
You don’t even need to be an expert in all of them. You may be able to fast gain proficiency by steadily expanding your knowledge.
Easy sentences in French: tips for beginners
If you’re a beginner or casual learner planning a trip to France, keep things simple and start with basic French sentences. Before you rush to memorize 1000 sentences, take some time to consider how sentences are put together.
Certain words and phrases need to be arranged in a certain order to construct a sentence in French. A simple sentence is one independent clause with a subject and verb that expresses a complete idea. Simple statements must adhere to a few important standards.
- Bonjour! – Hello! (the standard greeting in French)
- Bonsoir! – Good evening! (replaces bonjour in the evening)
- Salut! – Hi! (a more informal greeting)
- Enchanté(e) ! – Nice to meet you! (a standard expression when meeting someone for the first time)
- Ça va? – How are you? (the basic way to enquire how someone is)
- Ça roule? – How’s it going? (a much more informal way to ask the same question, to be used with people you are on very informal terms with)
- Comment vas-tu/comment tu vas ? Comment allez-vous? – How are you? (a slightly more elegant version of ça va ? in both the formal and informal forms)
(komon va too, komon too va, komon tallay voo) – the ‘n’ is nasal and not pronounced strongly
- Ça va/je vais bien – I’m well (the first version is the same as the question but with different intonation. The second is another way to say it)
Useful sentences in French to listen and repeat
We can all agree that starting with practical French phrases is a wise move, particularly for specialized circumstances, like traveling, for which you undoubtedly wish to learn French. But how precisely do you go about doing that? Where can I obtain such common French phrases?
Spend more time speaking French instead of merely hearing or reading it if you want to learn it. Even if you are only learning the language, you ought to start conversing with a native speaker straight away.
Speaking practice can still be done independently even if you lack the essential tools (time, money, or confidence). You can learn more about the most popular French words as you explore different resources online.
Greetings in French
You should start by getting practice at saying hello to people. After all, you’ll begin every conversation in basic French with a salutation. However, ciao isn’t the only greeting you may use in French!
Basic French phrases are useful even though they might seem obvious. Knowing the proper French greetings will help you establish a positive first impression, whether you’re speaking for business or when traveling.
French culture values greetings and introductions since they are generally regarded as the most fundamental ways to show respect. You can use different phrases depending on whether the environment is formal (a business meeting) (or meeting someone at a restaurant).
Send a sincere greeting to friends and coworkers as a way to start a conversation. Here are other ways of greeting each other:
- Où est la boutique duty-free?: Where is the duty-free shop?
- Comment puis-je vous aider?: How may I help you?
- Je cherche des chaussures.: I’m looking for shoes.
- C’est combien?: How much is it?
- C’est trop cher!: It was too expensive!
How to order at the restaurant in French: essential phrases
In a restaurant, how do I speak French? Dining is one of the delights of traveling to France. In actuality, a frequent subject in essential French travel phrases is food.
However, trying to decipher a French menu might be intimidating! But if you want to get the most out of your trip, especially in the many little, off-the-beaten-path eateries, you need to be aware of how French eat.
You should therefore learn idioms for eating and drinking. Here are some tips to help you choose a restaurant while visiting France and confidently peruse its menu (and pay the check too!).
- Je vais prendre – I will take
- Je n’ai pas encore choisi -I haven’t chosen yet
- Une minute encore, s’il vous plaît – One more minute, please
- Qu’est-ce que vous recommandez ? -What would you recommend?
- Quelle est la spécialité du jour ? – What is today’s special?
- C’est terminé -I/We have finished
- L’addition, s’il vous plaît – The bill, please
- La carte -Menu
- À la carte – From the menu (selections can consist of any type of meal combination of your choice)
- L’entrée – Starter
- Le plat principal – Main dish
- Le plat du jour – Dish of the day (the words du jour of the day) following an option on the menu, which means that the type of dish changes every day.
- Le fromage – Cheese plate
- Le dessert -Dessert
How to ask for directions in French: basic phrases
The words that can be used to refer to a particular place or address should first be learned. Using these simple statements will help you avoid getting lost in a French-speaking city and make your trip more enjoyable and relaxed. Not everyone who wanders is lost, though.
- “Centre ville” (city center)
In French: Le supermarché est au centre ville.
In English: The supermarket is in the city center.
- “Au coin de” (at the corner of)
In French: Le supermarché est au coin de la rue.
In English: The supermarket is at the corner of the street.
- “Au bout de” (at the end of)
In French: Le supermarché est au bout de la rue.
In English: The supermarket is at the end of the street.
- “La prochaine rue” (next street)
In French: Vous devez prendre la prochaine rue.
In English: You have to take the next street.
- “La rue suivante” (next street)
In French: Vous devez prendre la rue suivante.
In English: You have to take the next street.