Are you curious to know how to say cheers in French? If you want to make a good impression on your friends, then you better start learning French so that you can use some expressions when making a toast!
You might already be aware of some expressions to use with your friends, but if you go to Paris or go out with other French people, it’s better to know several ways to make a toast rather than just one!
So, let’s get started on how to say cheers in French and the best way to learn French!
How To Say Cheers In French In Different Ways
It’s possible to use different expressions to say cheers in French. In fact, you should be able to differentiate between a toast at a formal gathering vs a casual meeting with friends. Formal situations require proper expressions to make sure you do not appear impolite.
French people cheer by wishing each other good health. In general, you can use the word “santé” to do that. After saying those words, it is common to clink glasses with the other people present!
Here are more expressions to use when cheering:
- Porter un toast – Let’s make a toast (formal)
- Portons un toast – We should make a toast
- Lever nos verres à… – To raise our glasses to… (formal)
- À ta santé – To your health (used with one other person)
- À votre santé – To your health (used with more than one person)
- À la nôtre – To ours health (literally translates to “to ours”)
- À la tienne – To your health (literally translates to “to you,” singular informal)
- À la votre – To your health (plural)
- On trinque? – Shall we toast? (casual)
- Trinquer à… – To toast someone
How To Use French Cheers Words
During special occasions, such as weddings, dinner parties, and business celebrations, when wishing to toast to the guest or the host, you can use the following expressions:
- Porter un toast à ceux qui sont ici aujourd’hui – Toast to the ones here today
- Lever nos verres à nos nouveaux amis – Raise your glass to our new friends
- Levez votre verre au nouveau couple marié – Raise your glass to the new married couple
If you are making a generic toast in an informal setting, you can use santè in different variations. For example:
- Santè – Good health
- À ta santé – To your health (very informal)
- À votre santé – To your health (plural)
Other examples include:
- À la tienne [insert name here] – To [insert name here]
- À la nôtre – To us
- À la vôtre – To you (plural, used for the whole group)
Before drinking, people often clink their glasses together while making eye contact. After the glasses clink and you have finished exchanging cheers, it is then time to take the first sip. Only after that can you put your glass down on the dinner table or you can continue drinking!
During New Year’s Eve, when it comes to the moment to toast in French, you can use the word “santè.”
Rules To Follow When Saying Cheers In French
To be polite and show good manners, there are specific rules you should follow when making a toast in French. French people follow certain rituals, which means that failing to do so is frowned upon.
Here are some guidelines to follow in case you find yourself toasting with French people:
- It is considered good manners to look into the other person’s eyes when making a toast
- Do not add ice cubes to a wine glass (this is considered bad taste because ice melts quickly, which will dilute the wine and change the taste)
- Everyone should toast before anyone drinks from the glass (in other words, you should only start drinking once everyone has finished exchanging cheers)
- Do not cross your arms and/or glasses with others
- Do not toast with water or soft drinks
While crossing your arms and/or glasses with others and toasting with water or soft drinks might not sound like a big deal to you, it’s considered bad luck to do so in France!
What Does The Frech Expression “Cul Sec” Mean?
Another tradition you should know about when toasting in French is the expression, “cul sec.” This expression literally translates to “dry a**.”
This expression indicates that you have emptied your glass. However, this typically refers to drinking the contents all in one gulp!
For example, you might encounter this sentence when in France:
- Et bien, cul sec ma fille – Well, drink up, girl
- Allez, on fait cul sec – Okay, let’s drink up
Instead of “cul sec“, you might also ear:
- Boire un verre d’une seule traite – To drink a glassful in one gulp
Isn’t that a fun expression to know?
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If you want to learn more about French, make sure to check out some of our other blog posts, including How To Say Happy New Year and Introduce Yourself In French.
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