Basic French words and phrases

From please and thank you to good morning and good night you'll have what you need to be polite and win a smile for trying.

French Words

French word list for everyday conversation

Here's a list of common French phrases that will help you communicate whilst travelling in France. Your trip will be much more enjoyable if you have a basic French vocabulary and the locals will appreciate your efforts.

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Letter Combinations

How to pronounce letter combinations

The following examples show you how to pronounce French letter combinations. The italic examples are the English equivalents.

French English
a ah
ai eh
au oh
eau oh
e ee
eu uh
ei eh
i ee
in eh
ien yeh
o oh
ou oo
on aw
om aw
oi wah
u uu
un eh


Measurement Translations

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Colors & Colours

Colors (US) / Colours (UK)

The below English French translations show a list of colors and there pronunciation with links to French lessons by Lya and FrenchPod101. You can watch all the French videos here: French Colors | Tutorial Videos.

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French Time

Time to talk

At some point you will need to know the time or will be asked for the time. These words & phrases will teach you the basics and the lessons below will have you conversing in no time!

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  • What Time Is It? - part 1
    What Time Is It? - part 1

    10 minutes 31 seconds tutorial

    Words & phrases for telling the time

    Join Alexa in "What Time Is It? - part 1". Alexa will teach you the basics about how to tell time in French.

  • What Time Is It? - part 2
    What Time Is It? - part 2

    14 minutes 5 second tutorial

    Time Pronunciation

    Once you have learnt the basics you can move on a more difficult lesson "What Time Is It? - part 2". Alexa will now show you how to build a sentence for telling the time.

  • Choosing a Delivery Time in France
    Choosing a Delivery Time in France

    2 minutes 14 second listening exercise

    French Listening Exercise

    Now that you have learnt some vocabulary, how about testing yourself with this listening exercise.

French Weather

Words you may use when talking about the weather

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French Word List

Listen to native speakers

You will learn French words faster when you listen to native speakers. These videos and lessons have been developed by French speaking teachers in a fun and friendly way. You will find your ability to remember essential words improves with every lesson and your pronunciation will being to flow much more naturally. We have included speaking exercises were ever possible. Listening to conversations in real life situations that you will expect to find whilst travelling around French speaking countries will be your greatest asset.

French Word List

Learn common words first

The advantage of learning the most common French words first is that you will have a better chance of understanding parts of the conversations going on around you, helping you to pick up more French word patterns.

To become fluent in French you will need to learn around 5% of all available words which equates to 10,000 words. We can break this down into smaller steps: Learning just 100 of the most common words will enable you to understand half of the words you can expect to read in a book or online in a blog. Learn 1000 words and you will start to understand 75% of what you read.

Now consider, when you learn a word, how many other words which sound similar are related?

On average, for every word you learn you will be able to work out 50 other words. Suddenly the world is a smaller place!


Translate Online

If you are looking for a specific word or need to know how to say a certain phrase, translate English to French with the free translation service.

Free French Lessons

Here are 30 French language lessons that teach you basic french words & phrases.