Basic French Phrases


Do you want to learn a few basic French words or phrases that will serve you well during your trip to France or to any French speaking country? Here are just a few of the top ones that will definitely serve you well.


Bonjour! (Hello!)


This is perhaps the most important word in the French language as it is what you will be using most of the time to greet people. You say bonjour to the people you meet on the street, to a friendly neighbor, a shopkeeper, a fellow tourist and so on. You can also add  S’il vous plaît… to bonjour. This phrase translates to please.


Comment allez-vous (How are you?)


This is always a good conversation starter. Immediately after saying bonjour, you can say comment allez-vous to ask about the welfare of the person you are talking to.


Oui/Non (Yes/No)


Of course learning to say yes and no is very important if you are in a French speaking country. This will enable you to interact in a very basic way. It will also allow French people to take charge of the conversation and help you out in the best way possible.


Je suis… (I am)


Saying Je suis followed by your name is the best way to introduce yourself. This enables you to tell a French speaking person your name and start a basic French conversation.


Où est…? (Where is…?)


If you are looking for directions, this phrase is very handy. You can ask for the direction to the nearest shop, a church, the park, the nearest museum or even to the Eiffel Tower.


Merci (Thank you)


This is another very important word to learn in French. It is always good to end a conversation with a Merci especially after asking for directions or after being served a wonderful French meal.