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    Basic French Words

    You’ll be well on your way to speaking French if you learn just a few basic French words and phrases. Although you won’t be fluent – if you’re traveling, you’ll find that many people appreciate the effort you make in expressing yourself and it can make getting around just a little bit easier.

    Basic French Words
    By Sami
    5 September 2012
    , Basic French Words

    Basic French French for Beginners French Lessons

    Basic French Words


Words for Tourists

These basic words might come in handy on your daily interaction with the French people you meet.

  • Oui/Non (whee/no) – yes/no
  • S’il vous plaît (see voo play) – Please
  • Parlez-vous anglais? (parlay vooz ong-glay) – Do you speak English?
  • Merci (mair-see) – Thank you
  • Voici (vwah-see) – Here is
  • Voilà (vwah-la)- There is
  • De rien (du-rhee-en) – You’re welcome
  • Je ne comprends pas (zhe nhe comp-rehn pah) – I don’t understand
  • J’ai besoin d’aide (zhay buh-swahn ded) – I need help
  • Excusez-moi(escoosay mwah) – Excuse me
  • Je ne sais pas (zhe-nhe say paw) – I don’t know
  • Il y a (eel ee aw) – There is


In France, a greeting is simply being polite. Greet shop owners when you walk into their boutiques, and make sure to say something on your way out as well.

  • Bonjour (bon zhoor) – Good morning
  • Bonsoir ( bon swar) – Good night/evening
  • Bon après-midi (bon ah-pray mee-dee) – Good afternoon
  • Madame (mah-dahm) – Miss (or Mrs. preceeded by a last name)
  • Monsieur (mihn-see-yuh) – Sir
  • Comment allez-vous?(co-mo-tah-lay-voo) – How are you?
  • Au revoir (o-rhe-vwa) – Good bye

Informal Greetings

These are not things you would say to someone you don’t know, however these familiar phrases are something you’d use with your buddies or peers.

  • Salut (saw-loo) – Hi
  • Ça va? (saw-vaw) – How’s it going?
  • Ça va bien (saw-vaw-bee-en) – I’m fine

Note: Salut and ça va are often used together as in, “Salut! Ça va?”

Question Words

While traveling, you may find it very helpful to have a good command of basic question words and phrases.

  • Combien? (comb-bee-en) – How much?
  • Où? (oo) – Where?
  • Quand? (kond) – When?
  • Quelle/Quel/Quelles/Quels? (kell) – What?
  • Pourquoi? (por-kwah) – Why?
  • Comment? (co mo) – How?
Original Content: http://french.lovetoknow.com/


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