Would you like to know what the best greetings in French are? Greetings are essential when visiting a new country or meeting new French friends. In addition, good manners and politeness tell others about you more than many words.
French greetings are easy to learn, and there are many you can use depending on your situation. This article covers all the best ways to say hello in French.
How Do French Speakers Greet Each Other?
Native French speakers greet each other in various ways, depending on the context and the level of familiarity between the individuals. In the French language, there are tons of expressions one can use, but in general, these are the most common specific phrases.
Common Greetings In Informal Situations
For example, in informal situations, friends and family members may use casual greetings such as:
- Salut! – Hi!
- Coucou!– Hey!
They may also ask the following to start a conversation:
- Comment ça va? – How’s it going?
- Comment vas-tu?– How are you?
Common Greetings in Formal Situations
In more formal settings, such as in a business or professional context, French speakers may use more formal greetings, such as:
- Bonjour, Madame/Monsieur – Good morning, Mrs./Mr.
- Comment allez-vous, Madame/Monsieur? – How are you, Mrs./Mr.?
They may also use more polite phrases, such as:
- Je suis ravi/ravie de vous rencontrer – I am delighted to meet you
- C’est un plaisir de vous rencontrer – It’s a pleasure to meet you
In addition, French people may greet each other with a handshake, a kiss on the cheek, or a hug depending on the level of familiarity, the social context, and the region of France.
Best Ways To Greet People In French
Learning a few French greetings is a good idea so you can vary your conversation. Here are the best French phrases you can use:
1. Salut! – Hi!
2. Bonjour! – Good morning/hello!
3. Bonsoir! – Good evening!
4. Comment ça va? – How’s it going?
5. Comment allez-vous? – How are you?
6. Bienvenue! – Welcome!
7. Enchanté(e) – Nice to meet you
8. Heureux de vous rencontrer – Nice to meet you
9. Salutations! – Greetings!
10. Ça va bien? – How’s it going?
11. Coucou! – Hi/Hey
12. Salut les amis! – Hi friends!
13. Comment vas-tu – How are you?
14. Bonne journée! – Have a good day!
If you were to greet or meet people at different times of the day, you can also say:
- Bonne nuit – Good night
- Bonsoir – Good evening
- Bon après-midi – Good afternoon
Best French Greetings For a Formal Situation
Here are a few more formal ways to greet someone in French:
1. Comment allez-vous, Madame/Monsieur? – How are you, Mrs./Mr.?
2. Je vous salue, Madame/Monsieur – I greet you, Mrs./Mr
3. Je suis ravi/ravie de vous rencontrer – I am delighted to meet you
4. C’est un plaisir de vous rencontrer – It’s a pleasure to meet you
5. Je suis heureux/heureuse de vous accueillir – I am happy to welcome you
6. Permettez-moi de vous souhaiter la bienvenue – Allow me to welcome you
7. Je vous prie de m’excuser pour mon retard – I apologize for my delay
8. Je vous remercie de votre visite – Thank you for your visit
9. Je suis ravi de faire votre connaissance – It translates literally to ‘I am delighted to make your acquaintance’.
When French People Greet With A Kiss?
In France, it is common for friends and family members to greet each other with a kiss or two on the cheek. This is known as “la bise” in French.
The number of kisses depends on the region of France. People generally give two kisses in the north and east, while in the south and west, they give one kiss.
The kiss on the cheek is also common among close friends, family members, and acquaintances; it is not considered appropriate in formal or professional settings.
Why Do French People Say Bisous?
The word “bisous” (or “bisoux” in its plural form) is the informal way of saying “kisses” in French. It is often used to indicate the number of kisses that are given during a greeting, such as
“Donne-moi deux bisous” (Give me two kisses)
- Je t’envoie plein de bisous – I’m sending you lots of kisses
It is also used as a way to say goodbye or express affection.
- A demain, bisous – See you tomorrow, kisses
- Je t’aime, bisous – I love you, kisses
Another usage of “bisous” is when the speaker wants to express their affection or friendship without the need for a physical kiss; it can be used on social media, phone calls, or text messages as a friendly and affectionate way to end a conversation.
In summary, “bisous” is a casual and informal way of saying “kisses” in French, and it is often used to express affection and friendship and to say goodbye.
How To Respond To Greetings In French
If someone greets you, you should know a few ways to answer them so you are not remaining silent or speechless.
Here are a few ways to respond to greetings in French:
|Greetings (English)||Responses (English)||Greetings (French)||Responses (French)|
|Good morning!||Good morning!||Bonjour!||Bonjour!|
|How’s it going?||I’m good, thank you. And you?)||Comment ça va?||Ça va bien, merci. Et toi?|
|How are you?||Very well, thank you. And you?||Comment allez-vous?|
|Très bien, merci. Et vous? |
|Welcome!||Thank you, that’s kind||Bienvenue!||Merci, c’est gentil|
|Nice to meet you||Nice to meet you too||Enchanté(e)||Moi aussi, enchanté(e)|
|Nice to meet you||Same here||Heureux de vous rencontrer||Moi aussi|
|How’s it going?||It’s going well, thank you. And you?||Ça va bien?||Oui, ça va bien, merci. Et toi?|
|Have a good day!||Thank you, you too||Bonne journée!||Merci, à toi aussi|
|Thank you, how are you?||I’m fine, thank you||Merci, comment vas-tu?||Je vais bien, merci|
Would you like to know more about the French language?
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