If you’re traveling to France or another French speaking country soon and only have time to learn basic French phrases, see the below list for some of the most useful phrases to know while to have very simple conversations in French. Almost any native French speaker will be pleased that you have taken the time to learn French phrases before you visit their country.
Manners and polite greetings
In most urban areas natives will recognize that you are an English speaker by your accent and may even respond in English, but most will appreciate that you have taken the time to address them politely in their native language. In more remote areas of French-speaking countries you may need to interact with someone who knows little to no English, and you will have to communicate with simple French phrases. Politeness goes a long way toward encouraging them to help you.
French phrases: greetings and goodbyes
Always, always be polite. Greet people with the appropriate French phrase. Greetings are much more important in France as a measure of politeness than they are in English. Never just walk up to someone and start asking a question.
|Hello||Bonjour (literally, “good day”)|
|Good morning||Bon matin|
|Goodbye||Au revoir / adieu|
|How are you?||Comment ça va? / Comment allez-vous?|
|Please||S’il vous plaît|
|I am well.||Ça va bien. (literally, “it goes well”)|
|My name is…||Je m’appelle… (literally, “I call myself…”)|
French phrases for traveling
Other French phrases to know