Bonjour, mes amis! If France is on your bucket list, or if you simply have a penchant for learning languages, you’ve come to the right place. This informative yet engaging guide on the basic words in French is specially tailored to meet the cravings of the curious and knowledge-hungry folks like you. So get ready, as we delve deeper into the world of French small talk in this article!
The Essentials For Greetings
Don’t Be Shy, Just Say Hi!
Being able to greet someone is the first step to breaking the ice. Not only does it make you seem friendly, but it also opens up a pool of opportunities to strike a conversation. So, start with these basics:
- Au revoir (Goodbye)
- À plus tard (See you later)
- À demain (See you tomorrow)
- Ça va? (How are you?)
- Oui, ça va bien. Et toi? (Yes, I’m fine. And you?)
Practice makes perfect, and who knows? You might make a new friend or two along the way! And trust us – a simple ‘Bonjour’ can be your trusty key to unlock any French-speaking heart. Just don’t get mixed up between ‘Bonsoir’ (good evening) and ‘Bonne nuit’ (good night); one greets for the evening while the other sends someone to bed!
When You Need A Little Help
There’s no shame in asking for help when you’re starting a French conversation! Mercifully, a simple phrase like ‘Est-ce que vous pouvez m’aider?’ (Can you help me?) can save the day. Keep these life-savers handy too:
- Je ne parle pas bien français (I don’t speak French well)
- Pouvez-vous parler plus lentement, s’il vous plaît? (Can you speak more slowly, please?)
- Comment dit-on ___ en français? (How do you say ___ in French?)
Don’t let your fears hold you back – embrace the potential of a helping hand!
Days Of The Week And Months
Mondays can feel like “lundi” (long day), but hey, at least you learned the first day of the week in French!
- Lundi (Monday)
- Mardi (Tuesday)
- Mercredi (Wednesday)
- Jeudi (Thursday)
- Vendredi (Friday)
- Samedi (Saturday)
- Dimanche (Sunday)
Couple those with the months, and you’ve got a full-blown French calendar!
- Janvier (January)
- Février (February)
- Mars (March)
- Avril (April)
- Mai (May)
- Juin (June)
- Juillet (July)
- Août (August)
- Septembre (September)
- Octobre (October)
- Novembre (November)
- Décembre (December)
Finding Your Way Around
Now that you’re ready to face the world, let’s get you equipped with some direction phrases. Exploring France will be a breeze!
- Où est la gare, s’il vous plaît? (Where is the train station, please?)
- Tout droit (Straight ahead)
- À gauche / À droite (To the left / To the right)
- La rue (Street)
- Le plan / La carte (Map)
- Au coin (Around the corner)
Shopping Like A Pro
What’s a trip to France without indulging in a bit of shopping? These phrases will help you shop till you drop!
- Combien ça coûte? (How much does it cost?)
- C’est trop cher! (It’s too expensive!)
- Avez-vous quelque chose de moins cher? (Do you have something cheaper?)
- Je cherche un cadeau (I’m looking for a gift)
- Je voudrais acheter ceci (I’d like to buy this)
- Où est le supermarché? (Where is the supermarket?)
Basic Words In French For Actions
They say verbs are the backbone of any language. With these basic French verbs at your disposal, you’ll quickly understand and tackle everyday conversations.
- Être (To be)
- Avoir (To have)
- Aller (To go)
- Faire (To do/make)
- Venir (To come)
- Voir (To see)
- Prendre (To take)
- Manger (To eat)
- Boire (To drink)
- Dormir (To sleep)
We hope you won’t need them, but just in case the unexpected happens, having these emergency phrases up your sleeve is a smart move.
- Au secours! (Help!)
- J’ai besoin d’aide (I need help)
- Où est l’hôpital / la pharmacie? (Where’s the hospital / pharmacy?)
- Appelez la police/les pompiers! (Call the police/fire department!)
- Je suis perdu(e) (I’m lost)
- Je suis malade (I’m sick)
A Handful Of Polite Expressions
Manners make the man, or as the French say, “Les petites attentions font les grands amours”, meaning small thoughtful actions make great love.
- S’il vous plaît (Please)
- Merci (Thank you)
- De rien (You’re welcome)
- Pardon / Excusez-moi (Pardon / Excuse me)
- Peek into Personal Pronouns
To help you wrap your head around French grammar, here are the personal pronouns—a tiny yet mighty piece of the linguistic puzzle.
- Je (I)
- Tu (You, informal)
- Il / Elle / On (He / She / One)
- Nous (We)
- Vous (You, formal or plural)
- Ils / Elles (They)
Fun fact, the French language has two ways to say “you,” each used in different contexts. Oh, la la!
Count On Your Numbers
Whether it’s counting croissants or French riviera escapade days, these are a must.
- Un (Un)
- Deux (Two)
- Trois (Three)
- Quatre (Four)
- Cinq (Five)
And yes, feel free to pat yourself on the back for getting through that tricky “quatre”!
Food For Thought And Tummy
Ah, the world-renowned French cuisine! Here’s how to order the basic dishes like a local.
- Du pain (Some bread)
- Du beurre (Some butter)
- Du fromage (Some cheese)
Prepare to impress at the next patisserie visit with your savvy linguistic skills!
Yup, We’re Talking About Weather
Complain or connect, the weather is a perpetual conversational ballgame. Let’s get you versed.
- Quel temps fait-il? (What’s the weather like?)
- Il fait beau (It’s nice out)
- Il fait chaud/froid (It’s hot/cold)
Now you are ready to talk about the one thing that unites people worldwide: unpredictable weather!
Learn French With Ling
Whew! You’ve made it through our list of basic words and expressions to enrich your knowledge of the French language! Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. Remember, the more you practice, the closer you’ll get to fluency. Leverage these basic words and phrases to build more engaging conversations and relationships as you embark on your French journey.
If mastering French is on your to-do list, we have a terrific treat for you – the Ling app. An interactive language learning tool designed to make your linguistic journey feel like a joyride, Ling is just the resource you need to eat, sleep, breathe (and yes, speak) French in no time! It offers a comprehensive roadway to conquer French. It’s a digital treasure chest of lessons, games, quizzes, and even native-speaker-sounding dialogues to guide you through the intricacies of this beautiful language.
Whether you’re a French novice or an intermediate speaker aiming to fine-tune your skills, the Ling app tailors its content to suit your needs. Each lesson is crafted with care, ensuring that you progress without feeling overwhelmed. Give it a try today by downloading it from the App Store or Play Store today!