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Basic French words
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.
Use this page to quickly learn some basic French words and common French phrases. If you are serious about learning French then start at The French Language page where you will find free language videos for learning the alphabet, numbers, French greatings, apologizing and French listening skills for absolute beginners.
When you are more confident, you can move onto English to French grammar where we have listed useful French videos and information to get you started. You will learn about diacritical marks, French pronunciation, nouns, masculine and feminine and the rules of stress.
Three French words for saying hello
- Salut - is the informal way of saying "Hi" or "Hello".
- Bonjour - is the formal way of saying "Hello" or "Good morning".
- Bonsoir - is the formal way of saying "Good evening".
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.
Oui, s'il vous plaît
wee, seel voo play
|No, thank you||
S'il vous plaît
seel voo play
Il n'y a pas de quoi
eel nyah pah der kwah
|How are you? / How are you feeling?||
kommahng tahlay voo
|Very well, thanks||
Très bien, merci
tray byang mair-see
|Do you speak English?||
Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?
essker voo pahrlay ahng-glay
|Can you help me?||
Est-ce que vous pouvez m'aider?
essker voo poovay may-day
|I don't understand.||
Je ne comprends pas.
zher ner kong-prahng pah
|I don't know.||
Je ne sais pas.
zher ner say pah
|Could you please write it down||
Est-ce que vous pouvez l'écrire?
essker voo poovay lay-kreer
|Leave me alone!||
lay-say mwah trahng-keel
Qu'est-ce que c'est?
|I like it.||
Ça me plaît.
|I don't like it.||
Ça ne me plaît pas.
sah ner mer play pah
|I love you (singular)||
|I love you! (plural)||
Je vous aime
zhuh voo zem
French words for Valentines Day
- Je t'aime (zhuh tem) - I love you.
- 14 février - 14th February.
Pronouncing French words
French = La Prononciation
The following examples show you how to pronounce French letter combinations. The italic examples are the English equivalents.
French = English equivalent
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
For more information about French pronunciation and the rules of stress, view our English to French pronunciation page.
French words for measurement
French = La Mesure
Centimeter = le centimètre (0.39 in.)
Meter = le mètre (3.28 feet)
Kilometer = le kilomètre (0.621 mile)
Liter = le litre (1.75 pints)
Gram = le gramme (0.0352 oz.)
Kilogram = le kilo(gramme) (2.20 lbs)
Color (US) / Colour (UK) in French
French = La Couleur
The below English French translations show 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.
Beige = beige
Black = noir/e
Blue = bleu/e
Brown = marron
Green = vert/e
Grey = gris
Orange = orange
Pink = rose
Purple = violet/te
Red = rouge
Yellow = jaune
White = blanc/-che
Dark = foncé
Light = clair/e
Here's a 2 minute video by Lya (weekly French words with Lya - colors), how to say colors in French.
FrenchPod101 have also created this great French colors vocabulary video (Learn French - French Color Vocabulary) which shows you how to say 17 colors with pictures.
French words for saying the time
French = l'heure
What time is it? = Quelle heure est-il?
It is a quarter to two = Il est 2 heures moins le quart
1am = une heure du matin
1:05 = une heure du matin
2:10 = deux heures dix
3:15 = trois heures et quart
4:30 = quatre heures et demie
5:35 = six heures moins vingt-cinq
11:25 am = onze heures quarante cinq or midi moins le quart
Join Alexa in "What Time Is It? - part 1 (French Essentials Lesson 15)". Alexa will teach you the basics about how to tell time in French.
Once you have learnt the basics you can move on a more difficult lesson "What Time Is It? - part 2 (French Essentials Lesson 16)". Alexa will now show you how to build a sentence for telling the time.
noon = midi
midnight = minuit
today = aujourd'hui
morning = le matin
afternoon = l'après midi(m)
evening = le soir/la soirée
night = la nuit
tonight = ce soir
an hour ago = il y a une heure
a long time ago = il y a longtemps
not so long ago = il n'y a pas si longtemps
next month = le mois prochain
next summer = l'été prochain
next year = l'année prochaine
this weekend = cette fin de semaine
soon = bientôt
yesterday = hier
the day before yesterday = avant hier
that day = ce jour là
at that moment = à ce moment là
tomorrow = demain
the day after tomorrow = aprés-demain
Now that you have learnt some vocabulary, how about testing yourself with this listening exercise: Choosing a Delivery Time in France.
All of the French language lessons, which teach you to tell the time, can be found in our French Time | Tutorial Videos page.
French words for expressing the weather
Weather = Météo
What's the weather like? = Quel temps fait-il?
The weather is nice = il fait beau
It's warm = il fait chaud
It is foggy = il fait du brouillard
It is sunny = il fait du soleil
It is windy = il fait du vent
It's cold = il fait froid
The weather is bad = il fait mauvais
It rains / It's raining = il pleut
It snows / It's snowing = il neige
It is cloudy = le temps est nuageux
Alexa teaches you the French words for weather and the seasons in The French Weather (French Essentials Lesson 6) tutorial.
Lya sums up the Weather with her "Weekly French Words with Lya - Weather".
If you are feeling up for a challenge, try FrenchPod101's Listening to a French Weather Forecast listening comprehension video.
For a complete list of English to French language tutorials which teach you how to talk about the weather, view our French Weather | Tutorial Videos page.
Learn French words with 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.
Build your French vocabulary with these language videos
Learning a language requires time to study and resources to learn. The time and effort will be entirely down to you. However, LanguageHelpers.com can certainly help with free French language lessons and vocabulary.
These videos are each about five minutes long and will provide you with hours of learning from beginners French to advanced French at no cost to you. The lessons are fun and very effective. This makes French language videos a great option for building your vocabulary. Each lesson concentrates on a single area so you get to grips with real life situations rather than random words. Having structure to your lessons will help you learn French words faster by building associations and memory patterns in your brain.
Common French words
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 concider, when you learn a word, how many 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!