Beginners'Below are some of the most fundamental words in the French language to give you a basic foundation in French vocabulary.

French Pronouns

If the terms “subject” and “direct object” are a little hazy for you, you may want to brush up on your French pronouns grammar, because pronouns matter a lot in French. They go in different places in the sentence than they would in English, and the form of pronoun also changes depending on its role within the sentence.

Subject of the sentence (Example: He danced all night.)

I je
you (familiar) tu
he il
she elle
we nous
you (formal or plural) vous
they (masculine or mixed) ils
they (feminine) elles

Direct object of the sentence (Example: Mary brought him.)

me moi
you (familiar) toi
him lui
her elle
us nous
you (formal or plural) vous
them (masculine or feminine) eux

Notice that elle, vous and nous have not changed from their subject versions.

French Conjunctions, Prepositions and Exclamations

de from, of
à at, to
et and
oui yes
non no
alors then, so
mais but
dans in
pour for
comme like, as
puis next, then
tout all, every
parce que because
si if
sur on
ou or
aussi also, too
toujours always, still

Common French Verbs

Most common verbs in French (as in most languages) have irregular structures. This applies to most of the verbs listed below.

être to be
avoir to have
faire to make or do
aller to go
voir to see
dire to say
acheter to buy
vouloir to want
pouvoir to have the ability to
savoir to know
jouer to play or do
penser to think
parler to speak
trouver to find
mettre to put
prendre to take
travailler to work

Check out our French grammar guide or go directly to present tense conjugations to learn how to conjugate these verbs in sentences.

Common French Nouns

un garçon boy
une fille girl
un homme man
une femme woman
un enfant child
une maison house
un magasin store
la nourriture food
le temps weather/time
rien nothing
une chose a thing

Common French Adjectives

Below are some common French adjectives. Remember that the adjective almost always changes (usually by adding an e on the end if there isn’t already one) if the adjective is describing a female or a feminine noun. If the feminine form is formed differently, it is listed in parenthesis after the masculine form.

grand big
petit small
joli pretty
beau (belle) handsome
nouveau (nouvelle) new
vieux (vielle) old
jeune young
bon (bonne) good
mauvais bad
blanc (blanche) white
noir black
rouge red
vert green
jaune yellow
bleu blue
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