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french conversation starters

22 MORE Useful French Phrases for Striking Up a Conversation

french conversation starters

Casual conversations with French speakers are a great way to practice your language skills! Here, tutor Beth L. shares 22 useful French phrases that will come in handy…

When learning a new language, it’s important to keep on talking — and listening — to practice your new skills. If you’ve already learned basic conversational phrases, now it’s time to move on to some more interesting conversation topics!

To help you practice and prompt your new French-speaking friends, below are some useful French phrases to use. In each case, the first version is formal, while the second is informal.

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French Conversation Starters

  1. Qu’est-ce que vous faites ce weekend? / Qu’est-ce que tu fais ce weekend?
    What are you doing this weekend?
  2. Que’est-ce que vous avez fait le week-end dernier? / Qu’est-ce que tu as fait le week-end dernier?
    What did you do last weekend?
  3. Comment est-ce que vous allez passer vos vacances? / Comment est-ce que tu vas passer tes vacances?
    How are you going to spend your vacation?
  4. Quelles autres langues est-ce que vous parlez? / Quelles autres langues est-ce que tu parles?
    What other languages do you speak?
  5. De quelle nationalité êtes-vous? / De quelle nationalité es-tu?
    What is your nationality?
  6. Qu’est-ce que vous faites dans votre temps libre? / Qu’est-ce que tu fais dans ton temps libre?
    What do you do in your spare time?
  7. Quelles sont vos sports préférés? / Quelles sont tes sports préférés?
    What are you favorite sports?
  8. Quelles sont vos chansons préférées? / Quelles sont tes chansons préférées?
    What are your favorite songs?
  9. Où est-ce que vous avez voyagé? / Où est-ce que tu as voyagé?
    Where have you traveled?
  10. Où est-ce que vous voudriez voyager? / Où est-ce que tu voudrais voyager?
    Where would you like to travel?
  11. Qu’est-ce que vous aimez manger? / Qu’est-ce que tu aimes manger?
    What do you like to eat?
  12. Où habitez-vous? / Où habites-tu?
    Where do you live?
  13. Qu’est-ce que vous faites comme travail? / Qu’est-ce que tu fais comme travail?
    What kind of work do you do?
  14. Quelle est votre matière préférée à l’école / au collège / au lycée / à l’université? / Quelle est ta matière préférée à l’école / au collège / au lycée / à l’université?
    What is your favorite subject matter in school / middle school / high school / university?
  15. Est-ce que vous avez un chien / un animal de compagnie? / Est-ce que tu as un chien / un animal de compagnie?
    Do you have a dog / pet?
  16. Est-ce que vous avez des frères ou des sœurs? Décrivez-le. / Est-ce que tu as des frères ou des sœurs? Décris-le.
    Do you have brothers or sisters? Describe them.
  17. Quel est ton film préféré? Pourquoi? / Quel est ton film préféré? Pourquoi?
    What is your favorite film? Why?
  18. Quel est votre livre préféré? / Quel est ton livre préféré?
    What is your favorite book?
  19. Qui es votre acteur / actrice préféré(e)? Pourquoi? / Qui es ton acteur / actrice préféré(e)? Pourquoi?
    Who is your favorite actor? Why?
  20. Qui est ton musicien préféré? / Qui est ton musicien préféré?
    Who is your favorite musician?
  21. Quel est votre endroit préféré? Décrivez-le. / Quel est ton endroit préféré? Décris-le.
    What is your favorite place? Describe it.
  22. Si vous pouviez vivre n’importe où, vous choisiriez quel endroit? / Si tu pouvais vivre n’importe où, tu choisirais quel endroit?
    If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

useful French phrases for conversations

Not sure where to bring up these French phrases? Check out some ideas for practicing conversational French here. And of course, these phrases will come in handy when you’re working with your French tutor, as well! The more speaking and listening practice you get, the faster you’ll learn.

CarolPost Author: Carol Beth L.
Carol Beth L. teaches French lessons in San Francisco, CA. She has her Masters in French language education from the Sorbonne University in Paris and has been teaching since 2009. Learn more about Carol Beth here!

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are language lessons worth it

How to Stop Wasting Your Money & Time on Language Lessons

are language lessons worth it

Are language lessons worth the money, or should you learn another way? French tutor Jinky B.  shares her tips here… 

 

Thinking about taking a language class or working individually with a language tutor for French, Spanish, or another language? With so many resources available these days, it can be a daunting task to pick the right way to learn. And it’s no secret that signing up for private language tutoring is usually one of the pricier options.

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Aspiring learners often ask, “Are language lessons worth it, or are they a waste of money? Do they even work?”

Here’s the thing: while private lessons can be more expensive than using a free app online, the benefits of individual lessons can pay back tenfold.

Yes, those language lessons can be a waste of money — if you’re not taking learning seriously.

Language lessons and classes work — if you put in the effort.

In order to reach your language learning goals, here are five things you can do to better maximize your progress and not waste your money.

1. Determine your objectives and goals.

Let’s take a French student, for example. Why do you want to learn French? Do you have an upcoming ski trip to the French Alps? Are you moving to the south of France for graduate school? Do you want to perfect the French accent?

Decide the reason for your language lessons. Saying that you want to become fluent is too broad of an objective. Narrow down the specifics. When you’re on the ski trip, would you like to be able to talk to the ski instructors about une piste (a ski trail)? For your move for graduate school, would you like to be able to carry on a 30-minute conversation with a colleague about the lesson?

With your final objective in mind, this is why private lessons are so much more effective than other learning methods. Together with your tutor, you can break your objective down into manageable (and measurable) goals. Then, he or she will know exactly how to organize your time together. Reaching your goals and seeing the direct outcome of the money you’ve spent will help you understand that your lessons were worth it!

2. Practice every day.

Most students take language lessons once a week, but you’ll also need to commit to practicing on your own — every day. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to take up a ton of time, and you can even incorporate it into your daily life. If you like to drink a cup of coffee every morning, for example, use that 15 to 20 minutes while drinking your coffee to go over any new words or phrases that your teacher introduced that week.

If you’re not setting aside this time each day, you risk forgetting the information you’ve learned, which can set you back. Make the most of your money by committing yourself to at least 15 minutes every day. At your next lesson, your tutor will review your progress — and you’ll get direct feedback and corrections so you stay on track.

3. Make that practice time efficient.

Many students balance language lessons with work and other responsibilities — so the trick is to make sure the time you are spending on practice is efficient! For vocabulary in particular, the best way to learn is through rote memorization. Flashcards are a great way to do this: each week, create new flashcards using the new vocabulary words you’ve learned, with a picture on one side and the word on the other side. With this method, it’s best to not write out the English translation on the card, so that you’re training yourself to recognize your target language. Here’s an example for a French vocabulary word:

Apple Flashcard - French vocab

4. Talk out loud.

Another one of the biggest benefits to working with a tutor is having someone to talk to in your target language, who can also correct any mistakes you’re making. Staring at vocabulary words alone isn’t going to make you fluent. Instead, you need real-time conversation practice, and that’s what your language lessons and classes are for.

However, you should also be talking out loud when you’re practicing on your own. Pronounce each word as you review your flashcards, and with longer words, tap each syllable out. The more you actually speak the language, the better progress you’ll make.

Also, try to start conversations in your target language when you’re out and about! Here are 20 conversational Spanish phrases, and 25 conversational French phrases to get you started. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also find a local or online language learning group to practice with!

5. Review and prepare for your lessons.

Lastly, to really make the most of your language lessons, make a habit of properly preparing for them. During the week as you’re reviewing what you’ve learned, note items that you have difficulty mastering (pronunciation, grammar rules, translations, etc.). This way, you’ll have a list handy to go over with your tutor during the next lesson — which is exactly what they’re there for!

Your tutor will prepare lesson plans with your objectives and goals in mind, however, it’s important to communicate any obstacles that may be hindering the learning process. In the end, you’re the one in charge.


So there you have it: five tips for NOT wasting your time and money on language lessons. And in the future when you’re speaking in your target language with others — whether you’re on vacation, at your job, or meeting with new friends and family — you’ll realize that was money well-spent!

Make the move and commit to learning with a trained and experienced tutor who not only speaks another language, but wants to share their love for languages. Good luck!

Photo by Luka Knezevic – Strika

Post Author: Jinky B.
Jinky B. teaches French and ESL in Jacksonville, FL. She has her Bachelor’s of Arts in French, French Literature and Psychology from Florida State University and has over five years of teaching experience. Learn more about Jinky B. here!

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conversational french

25 Conversational French Phrases Every Beginner Should Know [Audio]

conversational french

Are you ready to hold a conversation in French? Below, French teacher Carol Beth L. shares 25 conversational French phrases every beginner should know…

When learning a new language, not all vocabulary or phrases are equal. As a beginner French student, it is most beneficial to learn popular phrases you will use most frequently.

Below are 25 conversational French phrases that are used most often. Memorizing these useful French phrases will help you hold a basic conversation in French.

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You’ll notice the distinctions in some cases between informal and formal. The informal versions can be used with close friends and family.

For new acquaintances and people you don’t know very well, however, use the formal version. If you’re unsure, use the formal version, as it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Note: Each conversational French phrase is followed by an audio clip. Be sure to listen to the audio and practice the proper French pronunciation.

25 Conversational French Phrases Every Beginner Should Know


 Greetings

French greetings are one of the first things most people learn as beginner students. After all, it can be difficult to interact with people if you don’t know how to say hello or ask how they are. Check out the simple French greetings below.

1. Bonjour! (Good day!)

2. Bonsoir! (Good evening!)

3. Bonne nuit! (Good night!)

4. Au revoir! (Goodbye!)

5. A bientôt! (See you soon!)

6. Comment allez-vous? (formal / plural) Comment va-tu? (informal) (How are you?)

7. Très bien, merci! (Very well, thank you!)

8. Question: Ca va? Response: Oui, ca va (très bien, merci)! Question: How’s it going? Response: Fine/very well, thanks!

Tip: This is an informal greeting. Only use it with people you know well and who are established on an approximately equal social status as you, such as close friends and family.


Personal Information

Once you meet someone, chances are you will want to find out a little bit more about them as well as tell them some things about yourself. After all, having a conversation is all about sharing and exchanging information. Check out the useful French phrases below.

9. Comment vous appelez-vous? (formal / plural) Comment tu t’appelles? (informal) (What is your name?)

10. Je m’appelle _______. Il / elle s’appelle ______. (My name is _______. His / her name is ______.)

11. Vous êtes de quelle nationalité? (formal / plural) Tu es de quelle nationalité? (informal) (What is your nationality?)

12. Je suis américain(e). (I am American.)

Tip: If you’re a female, add the -e in parenthesis and pronounce the final “n.” If you’re not American, you can replace “américain(e)” with any other nationality. For example, chinois(e) (Chinese), japonais(e) (Japanese), australien(ne) (Australian), mexicain(e) (Mexican).

13. Est-ce que vous parlez anglais? Or Parlez-vous anglais? (Do you speak English?)

Tip: Just as in the previous question, you can replace “anglais” with any other language. For example, espagnol (Spanish), chinois (Chinese), allemand (German), italien (Italian).


Significations

For someone learning French, it’s rather useful to know how to ask what things mean when you don’t know, as well as how to say and write certain words and phrases. Check out these French phrases to know.

14. Comment dit-on _____ (en français)? (How do you say _____ (in French)?)

15. Comment écrire _____? (How do you write _____?)

16. Qu’est-ce que ça veut dire? (What does that mean?)


Activities

Once you’ve met people, you’ll probably want to do something with them. Perhaps share a meal, for example, or tour a museum. While you’re at it, you might also need to spend a little money. Here are some conversational French phrases to help you.

17. Allons-y (Let’s go!)

18. Je voudrais _______. (I would like _______.)

19. Ça coûte combien? (How much does that cost?)

20. Qu’est-ce que vous voudriez faire? (formal) Qu’est-ce que tu voudrais faire? (informal) (What would you like to do?)

21. Est-ce que vous voudrez prendre un verre? (Would you like to get something to drink?)


Location

Are you learning French because you’re planning a trip abroad? When visiting or adjusting to a new area, it may take some time to learn how to get around.

In the conversational French phrases below, fill in the blank with any location you’d like to visit. For example,  l’hôtel (the hotel); un bon restaurant (a good restaurant), le metro (the subway), le parc (the park).

22. Je voudrais aller à ______. (I would like to go to ______.)

23. Comment aller à ______? (How do you get to ______?)

24. Où sont les toilettes? (Where is the restroom?)

25. Où est ______? (Where is ______?)


Try it Yourself!

Studying these conversational French phrases will help you on your way to being fluent in French. But don’t stop there! Learning how to speak French takes time and persistence.

As you learn, speak French as much as you can with those around you, because learning a language is also easier in the company of those who speak it or are, like you, learning it.

Even if they don’t speak it at first, your enthusiasm will be contagious!

Photo by Jonas Foyn Therkelsen

CarolPost Author: Carol Beth L.
Carol Beth L. teaches French lessons in San Francisco, CA. She has her Masters in French language education from the Sorbonne University in Paris and has been teaching since 2009. Learn more about Carol Beth here!

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The Do’s and Don’ts of French Conversation

Dos and Donts of French Conversation

Learning French takes time.

However, that time can be shortened by understanding the best methods, tips, and tricks to use on your language journey. When mastering a foreign language, practice, vocabulary, and pronunciation are going to be keys to your success—and like most things, when you adopt bad habits it may take longer to do it correctly and with clarity.

You’ll also want to avoid certain faux pas when using your newly acquired language skills with native speakers.

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When spoken correctly and respectfully, French can benefit you in many ways. It can open up career opportunities, assist you on your travels, and allow you to meet new, interesting people.

If you’re ready to get started, it’s helpful to know some of the do’s and don’ts of French conversation.

DO Practice French Conversation Whenever You Can, Even if you’re on a Budget

1

Lessons and classrooms aren’t the only place to practice your French.

Many cities and towns around the nation have meet-ups and community groups centralized around practicing and conversing in a foreign language. Use your Google skills to find French conversation meet-ups in your area, and make them a part of your weekly routine.

If you aren’t able to find a group nearby or travel to a French-speaking country, there is always the option to do live online conversations with native French speakers. Explore the multitude of free, innovative websites and other fun ways to learn and speak French—and remember you may have to reciprocate by helping someone with English.

The more you practice the closer you’ll be to mastering French.

DON’T Feel Weird about Reading French Books Out Loud

2

Books are a wonderful option for practicing French conversation without having an additional person in the room. Find a book with plenty of dialogue, pull out your handy pronunciation app, and start reading out loud.

At first it may be slow going, but if you do it often enough, you’ll be spewing out French phrases left and right.

Highlight areas of interest, or spots where you felt your comprehension was weak. Revisit those areas after you’ve read a chapter and look up words and phrases.

Feel free to repeat them a few times to commit them to memory.

Hint: If adult literature seems a little too challenging, start with children’s books. The illustrations provide a colorful translator.

DO Use the Internet as a Practice Tool

3

The internet is the ultimate free tool when you’re tired of hitting the books.

Flashcards and textbooks can only take you so far—sometimes you need real-world experience.

When you’re tired of studying, go ahead and surf the net. The trick? Do it all in French. You can change language settings to French and use Google translator to change a website’s text to a specific language (like French).

Visit French sites, interact in French on social media, peruse French language blogs, Twitter and Facebook pages, and more.

Watch French YouTube videos and even window shop on French websites. See if you can read the descriptions of items accurately. There is a whole world of French internet out there to explore.

DON’T Forget Games, TV, Music, and Movies

4

Reading and speaking are two methods for learning French conversation, but listening is another excellent tool.

Search for online games in French, watch French TV, or stream French movies and music. Before you know it, you’ll start to identify words. Even more important, you can see what context they’re used in.

Body language and tone of voice are two powerful ways to absorb a language on multiple levels.

DO Keep a Vocabulary Book

5

Many writers look and listen for new words. They keep a notebook with them (or use a note-taking app if they’re a technology fan), and jot down words that they are unfamiliar with. Once near a dictionary, they will look up these words so they can make them a part of their own vocabulary.

The same principles work for foreign language. If you haven’t heard or seen a word or phrase before, write it down and look it up later. Before you know it you’ll be using it in your own French conversations.

DON’T Practice Bad Words in French

6

Chances are, somewhere along your language adventure someone has given you the gift of French curse words or insulting phrases.

A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t say it on the job, to your grandmother or in an educational setting, it’s probably not a great idea to practice it in conversations with others—especially if you’re traveling abroad and are unsure of the cultural customs.

In many countries, bad or disrespectful words and phrases come with more consequences than they do in the US.

DO Work on How to Pronounce French Words Correctly

7

It’s better to have it correct the first time than to continuously use incorrect pronunciation. Technology makes it easier than ever to learn correct pronunciation.

If you aren’t in your lessons or with a native speaker, pull out a book, app, or check a language program on your computer. There are a variety of resources available, and each will appeal to an array of learning styles.

Try a few methods to find the one that fits you best.

Tip: Great apps include Lingodiction, (How to) Pronounce, and Pronunciation King. Excellent books are French Phonetics and The Sounds of French.

DON’T Resort to Using English when French Conversation Gets Hard

8

Understanding only a small fraction of a conversation can feel overwhelming and isolating. You feel lost and confused, and it’s easy for your confidence to suffer.

When you were a toddler, it was second nature to simply sit and absorb, even if you didn’t fully understand what was going on around you. Try and put that incredible ability back in your learning toolbox and apply it when you start to feel unnerved.

You may want to resort to using English to get a point across or ask someone to explain something in English—but don’t. Each time you persevere through an entire conversation as a listener or speaker, the closer you’ll be to understanding and speaking French fluently.

It’s easy to give up, but far more rewarding to keep going, even when it’s hard.

DON’T Ignore Common Cultural Cues

9

One of the most important things you’ll learn to do is read and respect cultural cues. This is a skill that can take you far in life, whether you’re in your own country or abroad.

Depending on the French speaker you’re talking to and where they’re from you’ll have a different set of customs to honor. For example, in France it’s not customary to be informal about names with people you don’t know well. It’s common to be more formal and direct. The warmth and familiarity will emerge as you get to know someone.

If you plan on traveling or staying abroad for a period of time, do a quick search on common etiquette guidelines. It will enhance your conversations as well as your overall learning experience.

DO Work Hard on Learning the Basics of French Grammar

10

No matter what language it is, the word ‘grammar’ strikes fear into the heart of learners of all ages. Nothing is more daunting than conjugation, modifiers, tenses, and the endless rules.

The good news is if you were able to learn the basics of English grammar you can learn the basics of French grammar. The rules tend to be more straightforward, and as you put them into play, speaking and interpreting French will get easier.

While French conversation is indeed essential to mastering the language, so is basic grammar.

DON’T Lose Hope

11

In learning, we hit walls and roadblocks.

Let’s say you’ve figured out greetings and can recognize a good amount of vocabulary. You may even understand basic grammar. Sometimes stringing all of those things together takes time.

They say practice makes perfect, and it’s a common phrase for a reason. One day, all that hard work will give you the ability to put everything together and you’ll be able to have a fluent French conversation.

Don’t lose hope before the transformation occurs.

DO Travel Abroad and Accept French Conversation Opportunities

12

France is not the only travel option for those looking to practice their French. If you feel like going off the beaten path or somewhere closer to home, try places like Quebec (and other parts of Canada), Belgium, Haiti, Madagascar, Monaco, Luxembourg, and Benin.

Look into immersion programs, foreign exchange living situations, adventure travel, and volunteerism in French-speaking areas.

If an opportunity to host a French foreign exchange student arises, or to have a French au pair, take advantage. Foreign language students talk about how much easier it is to learn a language when you are surrounded by it—so practice whenever and wherever you can.

DON’T Be Afraid to Initiate French Conversation

13

If you’re standing in line at the museum and hear tourists speaking in French, go ahead and say, “Bonjour.” The worst thing that can happen is that they’ll ignore you.

More likely, they’ll welcome the conversation and appreciate that someone made the effort. The same goes for traveling abroad. French speakers warm up quickly to those who attempt to use the native language—even if it’s a little shaky.

A smile and an attempt goes a long way to receiving patience, practice, and help in French conversation.

DO Put Theory into Practice Whenever You Can

14

Sit down one day and make a list of where you can practice French conversation. Look at adding meet-ups, French restaurants, online communities, travel destinations, lessons, and classes.

Brainstorm everything you can think of.

Some will be practical and some will be dreams that happen later on.

The purpose of your list is to put things into context. One of the most efficient ways to gain a skill is to use it in daily life in the proper setting.

If you’ve just learned about ordering in French, find the nearest French bakery. Hop onto Skype and use your newfound vocabulary to talk about the weather with someone in the Congo.

Head to your private tutor and practice telling them what you did the past weekend. The more frequently you use your French lessons in everyday life, the better your conversational skills will become.

Think of the do’s and don’ts of French conversation as a essential guide for your everyday language learning lessons. Each step of the way you’ll know which paths to choose to keep you moving toward fluency.

 

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17 Useful French Expressions for Talking About Your Feelings

Useful French Expressions for Talking About Your Feelings

Quick — how do you feel right now? Wouldn’t it be fun to say that in French? In this article by French tutor Roman N., you’ll learn how to express your feelings in French, no matter what the situation…

 

The French are very expressive people and they use a great number of interesting phrases to make their feelings known. I truly believe that learning them along with your regular French verbs and vocabulary will benefit you in many ways.

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Thus, I created a couple of very cute and funny characters, Jacques and Marie, whose dialogues will show you how they express some of their emotions. The dialogues will be in English so you can capture the essence of the context, but the expressions will be in French.

And just to prove you that learning French can be very fun and entertaining, I suggest you avoid translating those expressions as you read them, but instead try to figure out what they mean, or even better — write down their analogues in English.

After the dialogues, I’ll provide you with the most accurate translation possible and you’ll have a chance to compare it with your version.

 

Dialogues

Marie: Jacques, for the tenth time, please do the dishes! They’ve been sitting in the sink since yesterday!

Jacques: Don’t worry dear, just go to work and I’ll take care of it.

Marie comes home after work, tired and frustrated…. she looks in the kitchen and sees dirty plates in the sink, plus a few fresh ones piled on the top…

Mais c’est pas vrai?!” 


Marie: Hey Jacques, I think that waitress is really rude! I want to call her manager and talk to him. I mean what kind of service is it?!

Jacques: “Mais laisse tomber!” “C’est pas la peine.


Marie: Jacques, I failed my road test again! What am I gonna do?!

Jacques: Mais c’est pas grave.You’ll do better next time.


Jacques: Hey Marie, I went to a pet shop today.

Marie: Dis donc.What were you doing there?

Jacques: I got you a puppy — the one that you always wanted for your birthday, but I figured: why wait, so I got it today!

Marie: C’est pas vrai!” …….  “Ohh…C’est trop mignon Jacques!”

Jaques: So you wanna go pick him up?

Marie: Bien sûr!”

Jacques: On y va!”


Marie: Hey Jacques, can you pick me up after work today?

Jacques: Yeah, sure, around 8 PM?

Marie: “Ça marche!”

Jacques: But don’t be late!

Marie: D’accord!”


Marie: Hey Jacques, you won’t believe what happened to me at work today!

Jacques: What?

Marie: You know Stella, the new accountant? She made a mistake and it was totally her fault but she just kept blaming it on me in front of everyone! T’imagines?!”

Jacques: “Ça arrive.

Marie: Jacques, can you be more supportive?

Jacques: I am.

Marie: Then why are you taking her side?!

Jacques: N’importe quoi.I don’t even know her.

Marie: So you really think she is right? C’est ça?”

Jacques: Allez,” “Ça suffit!” I love you and I’m always on your side no matter what.

Marie: Bah voila!” That’s all you needed to hear.


Expressions Glossary

Please keep in mind that depending on the context and particular forms, these expressions may have various meanings. Here below, you’ll see what they mean in the dialogues you’ve just read. The pronunciation is written phonetically in brackets to make learning the phrases easier. Let’s take a look at the expressions…

Mais c’est pas vrai?!” 

Pronunciation:

[Mai se pa vrai]

Meaning:

No way! I don’t believe it! You’re kidding!

Literal translation:

But that’s not true.


Mais c’est pas grave”  

Pronunciation:

[Mai se pa grav]

Meaning:

It’s not a big deal. It’s not that serious. Not a problem.

Literal translation:

But it’s not serious (aggravated).


Dis donc”  


Pronunciation:

[Dee donk]

Meaning:

Wow. Goodness. Hey. By the way. Well. Listen.

Literal translation:

Say then.


“Ohh…C’est trop mignon!”      

Pronunciation:

[Oh se tro meenyon]

Meaning and Literal translation:

Aww, it’s so cute!


Bien sûr!” 

Pronunciation:

[Bjen sjur]

Meaning and Literal translation:

Of course. Sure.


On y va!”

Pronunciation:

[Onee va]

Meaning and Literal translation:

Let’s go!


Ça marche!”

Pronunciation:

[Sa marsh]

Meaning:

That works for me. Deal. It works. Ok.

Literal translation:

It works (runs, functions).


D’accord!”

Pronunciation:

[Dakkor]

Meaning:

Ok. Agreed. Got it/“Gotcha” (understood).

Literal translation:

Agreed.


T’imagines?!”

 

Pronunciation:

[Timajeen]

Meaning:

Can you believe this?

Literal translation:

Imagine it?


Ça arrive 

Pronunciation:

[Sa arriv]

Meaning and Literal translation:

It happens.


Allez

 
Pronunciation:

[A-le]

Meaning:

Come on.

Literal translation:

Go.


N’importe quoi

Pronunciation:

[Neh(n) puhr te kwa]

Meaning:

Nonsense.

Literal translation:

No matter what.


C’est ça?”

Pronunciation:

[Se sa]

Meaning and Literal translation:

Is that it? Is that what it is?


Ça suffit!”

Pronunciation:

[Sa sjufee]

Meaning:

Enough! Cut it out! Stop it!

Literal translation:

It suffices.


Bah voila!”

Pronunciation:

[Bah vo-a-lja]

Meaning:

There we go. That’s it.

Literal translation:

There.


Mais laisse tomber!”  

Pronunciation:

[Mai less tomb-e]

Meaning:

Let it go. Forget about it.

Literal translation:

Let it fall.


C’est pas la peine

Pronunciation:

[Se pas lja pehn]

Meaning:

It’s just not worth it. Don’t bother.

Literal translation:

It’s not the pain.

 

Now that you know how to share your feelings in French, make sure to practice often! Try having a conversation in French with someone and see how quickly you adapt to the language. If you need further help, find a French tutor and enjoy learning all they have to offer!

Roman N TakeLessons.com Teacher
Post Author:
 Roman N.
Roman teaches French in San Diego, CA. Teaching for over 5 years, Roman is a Russian and ESL instructor. Learn more about Roman here!

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Flirting in French: 25 Head-Turning Phrases You Need To Know

flirting in french 25 phrases

Want to learn how to flirt in French? Because the language is known for being beautiful, romantic, and poetic, there are plenty of French pick up lines and other cute French sayings to choose from.

However, before you learn these flirtatious phrases you should know a little bit about French culture – especially if you’re thinking of saying these phrases when you visit France.

25 Cute French Sayings & Pick Up Lines

French people don’t date or flirt the way Americans do. For example, a kiss in France means that you are now an exclusive couple. So don’t be surprised if you find it hard to flirt in France.

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The French are quite reserved, and while there are some pick up lines listed here, you will rarely hear them. In fact, some are simply funny sayings you’ll hear among your friends. Others are more like compliments that you can use with a partner or spouse.

Check out this video to learn more and then keep scrolling for more French pick up lines!


Remember: the French like to be respected and they want their partners to act natural. So if you find someone attractive, your best bet is to forget the cheesy pick up lines and be yourself. But enough about culture, here are our top 25 flirtatious phrases and sayings!

Est-ce que ton père a été un voleur? Parce qu’il a volé les étoiles du ciel pour les mettre dans tes yeux.

Julia Roberts Comedy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

This is a classic French pick up line that is rarely used, unless you want to make someone laugh! It translates to, “Is your father a thief? Because he stole the stars from the sky to put into your eyes.” 

T’as d’beaux yeux, tu sais?

Freddie Prinze Jr Eyes GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

This French pick up lines means, “You have pretty eyes, you know?” It’s actually a famous reference from the French film, “Le Quai des Brumes.” 

J’ai eu un coup de foudre!

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In French, “le coup de foudre” literally means a strike of lightning, but it can also mean, “love at first sight.” So this phrase is another way of saying, “I fell head over heels.” Romantic French phrases like this one are sure to melt hearts!

Tu veux sortir avec moi?

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This phrase means, “Do you want to go out with me?” But be careful, as it can be used romantically or simply among friends! 

Si on prenait un verre un de ces quatres?

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Use this phrase if you want to invite someone for a drink. It literally means, “What if we grabbed a drink one of these days?” 

Je t’apprécie.

James Cagney I Have A Crush On You GIF by Warner Archive - Find & Share on GIPHY

The verb apprécier generally means “to appreciate (someone or something).” However when you use it in this way, it means “I like you” or “I have a crush on you.” 

Tu me manques.

Audrey Hepburn GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Contrary to what you might think, this phrase actually means, “I miss you”! It literally translates to, “You are missing from me.” 

Embrasse-moi!

Simple, straightforward and to-the-point, this French phrase means, “Kiss me!” 

Je t’aime.

Love GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The verb aimer can mean either “to like” or “to love.” But if you want to say “I love you” to your special someone, you’d use this phrase. 

Je suis tombé amoureux.

Black And White Love GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Someone swept you off your feet? This phrase is how you say, “I fell in love,” if you’re a man. 

Je suis tombée amoureuse. 

If you’re a woman who’s fallen in love, use this version of the above phrase.

Un beau gosse. 

“Un beau gosse” is one of the cute French sayings you’d use to describe a good-looking guy, or “a hunk.” The French use this all the time with their partners, or jokingly among friends.

Tu es beau. 

Simply put, “Tu es beau” or “T’es beau” means, “You are handsome.” Saying compliments in French is an easy way to get someone’s attention!

Une belle gosse.  

Similar to “Un beau gosse,” this is a phrase to describe a good-looking girl.

Tu es très jolie.   

This is a phrase that can be said to a woman to tell her that she looks pretty.

Je te trouve belle.  

This phrase literally translates to, “I find you beautiful,” and it’s interchangeable with the one above.

T’es canon, toi! 

You can never go wrong with compliments in French. This expression means, “You’re hot!” You can say it as a joke or when you really mean it, and it can be used for either a male or female. 

Mon amour. 

Use this phrase as a pet name for a partner, meaning “My love.” This one can also be used for both men and women.

Mon chéri.  

This is a cute saying for your male partner that means, “My dear.”

Ma chérie. 

This version of the above pet name can be used for the special lady in your life.

Ma belle. 

Another adorable name to call your girlfriend or wife, this phrase means, “My beautiful one.”

RELATED: 15 French Greetings

French Pick Up Lines to Avoid

Now, in France it’s common also to hear the phrases below. However, be forewarned: these are some of the worst ways to flirt in French.

These phrases are quite rude and not very well accepted. You should avoid using these catcalls, but be aware of their meanings!

Ma’moiselle!

This is like saying “Hey miss!” Oftentimes, it’s yelled out while a woman is walking on the street, and it’s not generally acknowledged.

Tu as un 06?

In France, cell phone numbers begin with 06 (and now 07). So when someone asks this question, they’re asking if you have a phone number and hoping you’ll give it to them.

Souris un peu.

Another common catcall meaning “Smile a bit,” this is something French women generally don’t like to hear.

T’es charmante.

“You’re charming” is perfectly fine if you’re on a date, but it’s often something that is called out on the street, which women typically walk right past.

Do you know any other cute French sayings, or phrases for flirting in French? Share them with us in the comments below! To work on your French accent so you can really nail these phrases like a native, check out the French classes online at TakeLessons Live.

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L’automne en France – French Vocabulary for Fall

French Vocabulary for Fall

Are you surrounded by dead leaves and pumpkin spice lattes yet? If so, that means it’s fall! Here, French teacher Mikayla S. is ready to spice up your fall with some wonderful French vocabulary…

The End of Summer

La rentrée (the start of the school year, which takes place September 1st each year) in France is a big deal. It signifies the end of summer and the return to work and school.

The French are very lucky in that they usually have five weeks of paid vacation. Most French take the entire month of August off for what is called les grandes vacances (the big vacation).

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If you ever find yourself traveling to France during this period, it might seem like the country is empty and shut down. That’s because this month is used to travel far away, or even just a few hundred kilometers to the south of France, where one can relax and unwind from the stress of work, school, and everyday life.

One of the benefits of learning French is to be able to move to France and experience this for yourself!

A Bountiful Harvest

The end of summer and the beginning of fall in France also brings about a very beautiful and bountiful time. Between the end of August and the end of September, vineyards all over the country are loaded with grapes ripe for the picking.

During this time, you can see tractors and trucks rolling through the small villages of the beautiful French countryside. They’re full of freshly-picked grapes which are then carted off to be fermented and turned into wine.

This period of time is called les vendanges (the grape harvest) and it can be a very stressful time for winemakers as they try their best to pick grapes at their peak (thus, resulting in great wines).

The Beginning of Fall

But like all good things, les grandes vacances have to end. September 1st has come and gone and everyone is back to school or work; the daily grind.

Les fermiers (farmers) go back to their fields for harvest, les travailleurs (workers) go back to work, and les enseignants et les écoliers (teachers and students) go back to school.

Est-ce que vous avez le cafard (are you feeling down – literally translated as, “Do you have the cockroach?”) because it’s the end of summer? If so, here’s some fun fall vocabulary to get you through la rentrée. Don’t worry about mastering pronunciation yet – just try them out!

French Vocabulary for Fall

 

French Vocab for Fall list

1) La rentrée
The start of the school year.

2) Un pull
That comfy, cozy thing you wrap yourself up in during fall – a sweater!

3) L’automne
Whether you call it autumn or call it fall, it’s the season after summer (l’été).

4) Une feuille
A leaf.

5) Changement de couleur des feuilles
The changing colors of leaves from vertes (green) to rouges (red), marrons (brown), oranges (orange), et jaunes (yellow).

6) Les feuilles sèches/ les feuilles mortes
After the leaves turn colors and fall off the tree they become dead leaves (which are always fun to crunch).

7) La récolte, la moisson
These are the harvests of fruits, vegetables, and grains.

8) Un ratêau
A rake for all those falling leaves. The verb, “to rake,” is ratisser.

9) Le potiron, la citrouille
Used in pies, Jack-o-Lanterns, and Cinderella’s carriage – this would be a pumpkin!

10) L’épouvantail
This is a scarecrow – for scaring crows, of course!

There you have it – lots of French vocab to practice and master! Having a conversation in French and throwing in these words is another great way to practice.

If you struggle with the pronunciation or general understanding of the language, I recommend taking lessons with an excellent French teacher. Having private instruction is the quickest way you can improve your French skills. Be sure to try some of these words out this fall!

Post Author: Mikayla S.
Mikayla teaches many subjects, inlcuding French, European History, and World History. She has been speaking French for over a decade and recently earned her bachelors degree of French and Francophone Studies at San Diego State University.  Learn more about Mikayla here!

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15 French Idioms & Funny Phrases (+ What They Really Mean)

Just like in English, there are a lot of French idioms and phrases that don’t quite translate. Some are fairly easy to figure out (for example, someone who “drinks like a hole,” is drinking a great deal).

Others are less obvious, especially when you are just starting to learn French. Here are some of the strangest French idioms and phrases you’re likely to come across in an otherwise normal conversation.

15 French Idioms & Funny Phrases

1. Coup de foudre

Only in French is it a good thing to be hit by a “strike of lightning” – it means “love at first sight,” which is known to have some of the same symptoms, though you can usually tell them apart!

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2. Avoir le cafard

While “having a cockroach” is certainly not most people’s idea of a good time, this phrase goes a little further than that. It means “to be downright depressed.”

3. Avoir une peur bleue

Some French idioms simply don’t make sense. Being ordinarily frightened is just “avoir peur,” but when you need to express serious pop-quiz-level terror, you have a blue fear in French.

4. Avoir un poil dans la main

“To have a hair in one’s hand” means to be very lazy, as if you do so little with your hands that hair could start growing from the palm.

5. Donner la langue au chat

If you “give your tongue to the cat” when presented with a riddle or other tricky question, you’ve given up and admitted defeat. What the cat does with it then is anybody’s guess.

6. Être sorti de l’auberge

Where English-speakers say “out of the woods” to mean “having handled your problems,” French-speakers say “out of the inn.” Are the inns in France really so bad that the woods are preferable?

7. Faire la tête

Literally “to make the head,” this phrase means “to pout.” It can be a slightly cute or affectionate way of asking if someone’s upset with you.

8. La fin des haricots

When something is “the end of the beans,” it’s the equivalent of saying “the last straw.” Either way, the frustrated person might say the next phrase on this list of French idioms…

RELATED VIDEO: Must-Know French Slang Words & Phrases

9. La moutarde me monte au nez

“Mustard rising to your nose” means that you’re getting angry, as a result – making a face like someone who’s just eaten strong mustard. Steam coming out of your ears is optional.

10. Les carrottes sont cuites

In English, your “goose is cooked” when you’re done for; in French, it’s carrots. In either case, you can’t take it back now.

11. Les doigts dans le nez

This is one of the funniest phrases on this list of French idioms. If something’s so easy you could do it “with your fingers in your nose,” you could probably also do it with one hand behind your back, possibly even both at once!

12. Mettre son grain de sel

Someone who insists on “putting in their grain of salt” can’t let a topic go without offering their opinion, whether it’s asked for or not.

13. Poser un lapin

If you’ve been “left a rabbit,” that means you’ve been stood up for a date or meeting. If it helps, the connection between rabbits and poor date etiquette isn’t clear in French either.

14. Sauter du cog à l’âne

Literally “to jump from rooster to donkey,” this phrase means jumping from topic to an unrelated topic. Cruelty to barn animals is not necessary.

15. More French Idioms and Sayings!

Can’t get enough? Check out the video below for even more funny French idioms and expressions.


Want to learn more French idioms and work on your language learning skills? Taking private lessons with a French tutor is the best way to improve your skills and reach your goals. Study with a tutor in-person or take online lessons. Find your French tutor today!

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useful french phrases

50 Common French Phrases to Know for Travel & Everyday Life

Traveling to France is a grand adventure where you’ll get to explore the local culture, including all the beautiful artwork and delicious cuisine! Getting around France however, isn’t always so glamorous.

As you prepare for your vacation, it’s important that you attempt to learn some basic French. There are a handful of phrases that you’ll find especially useful as you travel, such as the ones in this video-

50 French Phrases to Know

For even more essential French phrases for travelers, keep reading. These important French phrases will help you navigate your way throughout France with ease!

Common French Phrases for Conversation

useful french phrases to know

1. Bonjour! (Good morning, hello)

2. Bienvenue. (Welcome.)

3. Madame/Monsieur/Mademoiselle (Mrs. /Mr. /Miss)

4. Pardon, excusez-moi. (Pardon, excuse me.)

5. Parlez-vous anglais? (Do you speak English?)

6. Je ne parle pas français. (I do not speak French.)

7. À tout à l’heure! (See you later!)

8. Merci/Merci beaucoup. (Thank you/Thank you very much.)

9. Au revoir! (Goodbye!)

10. De rien. (You’re welcome.)

Common French Phrases for Getting Information

common french phrases to know

11. Pourriez-vous m’aider? (Can you help me?)

12. Je ne comprends pas. (I do not understand.)

13. Parlez lentement, s’il vous plaît. (Speak slowly, please.)

14. Répétez, s’il vous plait. (Repeat, please.)

15. Où sont des toilettes? (Where are the toilets?)

16. Où est un bon restaurant/un bon café? (Where is a good restaurant/a good café?)

17. Où est la plage/le centre-ville? (Where is the beach/city center?)

18. Je cherche le métro/le gare/l’aéroport. (I am searching for the metro/train station/airport.)

19. Je cherche l’hôtel/l’hôpital/la banque. (I am searching for the hotel/hospital/bank.)

20. Pourriez-vous prendre ma photo/notre photo? (Are you able to take my photo/our photo?)

Useful French Phrases for Directions

french for travelers

21. Où sommes-nous? (Where are we?)

22. C’est à gauche. (It’s to the left.)

23. C’est à droite. (It’s to the right.)

24. C’est tout droit. (It’s straight ahead.)

25. Est-ce que c’est loin/proche? (Is it far/close?)

Useful French Phrases for Transportation

French phrases for travel

26. Où est le guichet? (Where is the ticket window?)

27. Je voudrais regarder l’horaire. (I would like to look at the schedule.)

28. Je voudrais réserver un billet. (I would like to reserve a ticket.)

29. Je voudrais acheter un billet aller simple/aller-retour pour Paris. (I would like to purchase a one-way ticket/a round-trip ticket.)

30. À quelle heure faut-il arriver? (What time should it arrive?)

Useful French Phrases for Accommodations

important french phrases for travelers

31. Quelles chambres avez-vous de disponible? (What rooms do you have available?)

32. Est-ce qu’il y a de climatisation? (Is there air conditioning?)

33. Je voudrais une chambre pour deux. (I would like a double room.)

34. Je voudrais annuler ma réservation. (I would like to cancel my reservation.)

35. À quelle heure est-ce qu’il faut régler la note? (At what time should we check out?)

Common French Phrases for Shopping

essential French phrases

36. Où sont les magasins? (Where are the shops?)

37. Où est le centre-commercial? (Where is the mall?)

38. Est-ce que je peux payer avec une carte de crédit? (Can I pay with a credit card?)

39. À quelle heure est-ce que s’est ouvert? (At what time is it open?)

40. À quelle heure est-ce que s’est fermé? (At what time is it closed?)

41. Je cherche un sac/une carte postale/un livre. (I am searching for a bag/a postcard/a book.)

42. Combien ça coûte? (How much does it cost?)

43. C’est trop cher! (It’s too expensive!)

44. C’est bon marché! (It’s a great deal!)

45. C’est bon/mal/terrible. (It’s good/bad/terrible.)

Useful French Phrases for Dining

common phrases in French

46. La carte/le menu, s’il vous plaît. (The menu/fixed-price menu, please.)

47. Je voudrais un café. (I would like a coffee.)

48. Je voudrais un verre. (I would like a glass*.) *usually refers to a glass of beer

49. Je voudrais de l’eau. (I would like some water.)

50. L’addition, s’il vous plaît. (The bill, please.)

Familiarize yourself with these important French phrases before your next big trip to France.

The best way to experience all that France has to offer is to fully immerse yourself in conversation with the locals. Experienced travelers may even prefer to try an independent driving tour of France, while staying at B&B accommodations with friendly French hosts.

These options will give you plenty of opportunities to practice your French! Want to refine your accent and learn even more? Consider taking group classes, or lessons from a private French tutor.