French common words and expressions

“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” - Chinese Proverb

This page will teach you some of the most useful French words and expressions. If you are an experienced French learner, you should know them all but if not, you may want to learn them all or to pick up just a few. Thanks to these few useful phrases you can participate in some little conversations with native French speakers.

It is also important to know how to refer people politely, in French-speaking countries

Dedicate some time to learn some basic vocabulary like this and you will see that the progress in learning French will come faster.

Being polite is important and the following easy words and phrases are useful for most of everyday situations:

  • S’il vous plaît - Please
  • Merci - Thank you
  • Merci beaucoup / Merci bien - Thank you very much
  • Je vous en prie - You’re welcome
  • De rien - It’s nothing
  • Je voudrais - I would like
  • Excusez-moi / Pardon - Excuse me
  • Enchanté(e) – Nice to meet you
  • A bientôt – See you soon
  • Bonne journée – Have a nice day
  • Bonne soirée – Have a nice evening
  • Bon weekend - Have a nice week-end
  • Au revoir – Bye-bye

It is also important to know how to refer people politely, in French-speaking countries. A man would be called "Monsieur" or "M.", which is the same as Mr. or Sir. And a woman is called "Madame" or "Mme". The title "Mademoiselle" or "Mlle" drops from official use in France.

These phrases are especially helpful when travelling to French-speaking countries. If you are already learning French, you can easily pick them up:

  • Je ne parle pas bien français. - I don’t speak French very well.
  • Parlez-vous anglais? - Do you speak English?
  • Oui, je parle anglais. - Yes, I speak English.
  • Pouvez-vous traduire pour moi? - Can you translate for me?
  • Répétez, s’il vous plaît. – Please, repeat.
  • Je ne comprends pas. - I don’t understand.
  • Pouvez-vous répéter? - Can you repeat that?
  • Pouvez-vous parler plus lentement? - Could you speak slower?
  • Est-ce que je peux vous aider? - May I help you?
  • De quoi avez-vous besoin? - What do you need?
  • Où est l’hôtel? - Where is the hotel ?
  • J’ai besoin de renseignements. - I need some information.
  • Je suis perdu(e). - I’m lost.
  • Où allez-vous? - Where are you going?
  • Je rentre. - I’m going home.
  • Ces places-là sont prises. - Those seats are taken.
  • Je voudrais du café. - I would like some coffee.
  • Je ne sais pas. - I don’t know.
  • Avec plaisir. - With pleasure.
  • Quel temps fait-il? - What’s the weather like?
  • Il fait chaud. - It’s hot.
  • Il fait froid. - It’s cold.
  • Avec plaisir. - With pleasure.
  • Bon courage! - Good luck!

I hope than you’ll practice all these phrases whenever possible… Bon courage!

Alice