45 French Adverbs

45 French Adverbs

ADVERBS

Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs, and generally answer one of the following questions: who, what, when, where or why? Consult our post on adverbs if you need to review the grammar concepts behind French adverbs.

Many have familiar adjective beginnings in the feminine form, followed by –ment, which is the traditional suffix for French adverbs (and corresponds to the -ly ending that most English adverbs have).

However, there are other adverbs that do not have a single word translation like they do in English and are instead described with a preposition + an adjective to convey the same meaning, and there are other adverbs that do not take the -ment ending.

Finally, be careful when selecting which specific adverb to use in your communications and look up exact definitions to make sure that how you are applying the word matches with what you mean. Many adverbs, both in French and English, have several meanings depending on exactly the context (for example, “roughly” in English can mean both “abrasive, not smooth” and “approximately”, among others). Double check your translations whenever possible.

Below is a list of 45 common French adverbs.

slowly lentement
quickly rapidement
happily gaiement
sadly tristement
unfortunately malheureusement
gracefully avec grâce
clumsily maladroitement
generally généralement
specifically spécifiquement, précisément
accidentally accidentellement
intentionally intentionnellement
annually annuellement
weekly hebdomadaire
daily quotidiennement
badly mal
well bien
boldly audacieusement
luckily heureusement
cruelly sans pitié, cruellement
kindly gentiment
carefully prudemment
carelessly négligemment
gently doucement
forcefully brutalement
weakly faiblement
strongly vivement
more plus
soon bientôt
really vraiment
sometimes parfois
suspiciously avec suspicion
thoughtfully pensivement
tightly fermement
loosely lâchement
still/yet encore
truthfully honnêtement
unexpectedly à l’improviste
violently violemment
sleepily à moitié endormi
wearily avec lassitude
willingly volontiers
quietly en silence
loudly fort
mysteriously mystérieusement
successfully avec succès
Common French Phrases

Common French Phrases

ADVERBS (1)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
Good evening Bonsoir
Goodnight Bon nuit
Goodbye Au revoir / adieu
How are you? Comment ça va? / Comment allez-vous?
Please S’il vous plaît
Thank you Merci
I am well. Ça va bien. (literally, “it goes well”)
My name is… Je m’appelle… (literally, “I call myself…”)

French phrases for traveling

  • I would like… “Je voudrais…”
  • I am looking for… “Je cherche…
  • Where is…”Où est…”

Other French phrases to know

  • I have… “J’ai…
  • I am going… “Je vais…
  • I am from… “Je suis de...”
  • I went… “Je suis allé…
  • How much (does this cost)? “Combien coûte?
  • It is… “C’est…”
  • Do you have… “Avez-vous…”
  • What time is it? “Quelle heure est-t-il?”
  • I need… “J’ai besoin de…”
  • Do you speak English? “Parlez-vous anglais?”
  • I don’t understand. “Je ne comprends pas.”
  • I don’t speak French. “Je ne parle pas français”
  • Can you help me? “Pouvez-vous m’aider?”
a taxi un taxi
the airport l’aéroport
the car la voiture
the train le train
the hotel l’hôtel
a restaurant un restaurant
a grocery store/market un marché
the museum le musée
a suitcase une valise
breakfast le petit déjeuner
lunch le déjeuner
dinner le dîner
a meal un répas
French Vocabulary: Numbers

French Vocabulary: Numbers

NumbersFrench numbers are not very difficult to learn: they follow a similar pattern to naming numbers in English.

However, there are a few little quirks to French numbering that you should be aware of.

  • 21, 31, 41, etc: numbers like these that end in 1 (excluding 81, probably because it’s so many words already) are said with an et-un at the end, not just un. All the other numbers are just like how we say them in English, such as vingt-trois (twenty-three) not “vingt-et-trois” (twenty-and-three).
  • 70: Poor seventy doesn’t get its own word in traditional French (though other French-speaking nations use the word “septante“); instead, it’s called, literally, sixty-ten. From 71-79, the numbers follow this same pattern: soixante-onze for 71, soixante-douze for 72, etc.
  • 80-99: Again, the numbers 80 and 90 both get neglected and don’t get their own words in French. 80, quatre-vingts, is literally “four-twenties” and 90, quatre-vingt-dix is “four-twenties-ten.” (Other French-speaking nations may use “huitante” for 80 and “nonante” for 90.)
  • Be careful with the numbers for “billion” and “trillion” in French. For American English, where one billion is 1,000,000,000 and one trillion is 1,000,000,000,000, these need to be thought of in reverse: one “billion” is un milliard, and one “trillion” is un billion. (In UK English this is switched around, so the French words make sense if you speak British English. )
0 zéro 22 vingt-deux
1 un 23 vingt-trois
2 deux 24 vingt-quatre
3 trois 25 vingt-cinq
4 quatre 26 vingt-six
5 cinq 27 vingt-sept
6 six 28 vingt-huit
7 sept 29 vingt-neuf
8 huit 30 trente
9 neuf 40 quarante
10 dix 50 cinquante
11 onze 60 soixante
12 douze 70 soixante-dix
13 treize 80 quatre-vingts
14 quatorze 90 quatre-vingts-dix
15 quinze 95 quatre-vingts-quinze
16 seize 100 cent
17 dix-sept 200 deux cent
18 dix-huit 1,000 une mille
19 dix-neuf 1,000,000 un million
20 vingt 1,000,000,000 un milliard
21 vingt-et-un 1,000,000,000,000 un billion
French Vocabulary: 36 French Colors

French Vocabulary: 36 French Colors

ColorsLearning French colors is not difficult, since many of the French words for colors are identical to or similar to the English words, having evolved from the same root word form.

Grammar Rules with French Colors

Colors in French are adjectives that go after the noun they are modifying.

Une robe dorée (“A golden robe”)

Les yeux bleu aciers (“Steel blue eyes”)

Remember that when colors are used as adjectives, they need to agree with the gender and number of the noun they are modifying. Notice that the first example above has an extra e on the end, because une robe is feminine, and the second example above has an s on the end since les yeux is plural.

Modifying the Color

  • Dark: foncé (for example: vert foncé means “dark green”)
  • Light: clair (for example: bleu clair means “light blue”)
  • Colors that are halfway between two major colors, such as “red-orange” or “yellow-green” are described in the same way in French (rouge – orange or jaune – vert) and are not listed out separately in the colors list below.
English/French Color Vocabulary List
white blanc
silver argent
beige beige
pink rose
red rouge
orange orange
yellow jaune
green vert
turquoise (blue green) turquoise
cyan cyan
blue bleu
purple violet
mauve mauve
gray gris
black noir
gold doré
brown marron
navy blue bleu marine
fuchsia fuchsia
maroon bordeaux
olive green vert olive
chartreuse vert chartreuse
hot pink rose fluo
tan fauve
lime green vert citron
sky blue bleu ciel
lavender bleu lavande
slate gray gris ardoise
ivory ivoire
off-white blanc cassé
chocolate brown marron chocolat
salmon pink rose saumon
indigo blue bleu indigo
khaki kaki
mint green menthe a l’eau
steel blue bleu acier
French Vocabulary: French Food Word List

French Vocabulary: French Food Word List

FOODHaving a fairly extensive French vocabulary for food will come in handy for those visiting restaurants, especially typically French restaurants, which often have many varied ingredients that would serve you well to know.

French grammar rules with food

In general, food is referred to by its partitive article, meaning that in most instances you’re referring to an undefined amount of the food item – “some”, in other words.

This means that you use du for masculine foods, de la for feminine foods, de l’ for ones that start with a vowel sound, and des for plural foods.

For example:

Je mange de la viande. (Notice it’s NOT “je mange la viande”, as a native English speaker might assume.)

Only use le/la/les if you are referring to a specific food item.

Je voudrais du gâteau (“I would like (some) cake”) VERSUS Le gâteau que j’ai acheté (“The (specific) cake that I bought”)

French Food Words

These are some of the most common French words for food. They are based on general translations that would be appropriate in most scenarios from buying or ordering the end product. Sometimes French foods have different forms for their unprepared, “cooking” forms.

Vegetables (les légumes)

asparagus de l’asperge (f)
avocado du avocat (m)
beets de la betterave
broccoli du brocoli
cabbage du chou
carrot de la carotte
celery du céleri
corn du mais
eggplant (aubergine) de l’aubergine(f)
green (string) beans des haricots verts
green peas des pois
lettuce de la laitue
mushrooms du champignon
olive de l’olive (f)
onions de l’oignon (m)
potato de la pomme de terre
pumpkin de la citrouille
radish du radis
spinach des épinards
squash de la courge
sweet pepper du poivron
tomato de la tomate
turnip du navet

Fruits (les Fruits)

apple de la pomme
banana de la banane
blackberry de la mure
blueberry de la myrtille
cantaloupe de la cantaloup
cherry de la cerise
clementine de la clémentine
coconut de la noix de coco
cranberry de la canneberge
date de la datte
fig de la figue
grape du raisin
grapefruit du pamplemousse
kiwi du kiwi
lemon du limon
lime du citron vert
melon du melon
orange de l’orange
peach de la pêche
pear de la poire
pineapple de l’ananas (m)
plum de la prune
pomegranate de la grenade
raspberry de la framboise
strawberry de la fraise
tangerine de la mandarine
watermelon de la pastèque

Dairy Products (les Produits Laitières)

milk du lait
cheese du fromage
eggs des œufs
buttermilk du babeurre
butter du beurre

Beverages (les Boissons)

tea du thé
iced tea du thé glacé
coke du coca, un soda
juice du jus de… + fruit
water de l’eau
sparkling water de l’eau gazeuse
coffee du café
beer du bière
wine du vin
cocktail du cocktail

Beans, Nuts and Grains (les Haricots, les Noix et les Céréales)

peanuts de la cacahuète
wheat du blé
barley de l’orge (f)
rice du riz
beans du haricot (m)
almonds de l’amande (f)
walnuts de la noix
hazelnut de la noisette

Condiments (les Condiments)

salt du sel
pepper du poivre
mustard de la moutarde
mayonnaise de la mayonnaise
ketchup du ketchup
honey du miel
cinnamon de la cannelle
nutmeg de la muscade
ginger du gingembre
garlic cloves de la gousse
oil de l’huile

Meats and Seafood (des Viandes et des Fruits de la Mer)

steak du bifteck
pork du porc
lamb de l’agneau (m)
duck du canard
rabbit du lapin
goat du chèvre
fish du poisson
shrimp de la crevette
oysters de l’huître (f)
bacon du bacon
sausage du saucisson
ham du jambon
chicken du poulet
veal du veau
venison du chevreuil
hen de la poule
snails de l’escargot (m)
cod du cabillaud
salmon du saumon
tuna du thon
lobster du homard (m)

Prepared Food

pasta des pâtes
pizza du pizza
sandwich du sandwich
hot dog du hot-dog
hamburger du hamburger
casserole de la casserole
soup du soupe
french fries (chips) des frites (f)
potato chips (crisps) des chipes (f)
salad de la salade
ice cream de la glace
pie de la tourte
cake du gâteau
French Vocabulary: 87 Common French Verbs

French Vocabulary: 87 Common French Verbs

VerbsBelow are some of the most common verbs in the French language.

What to Know About French Verbs

Notice that verbs in French don’t always have a direct English counterpart: sometimes the equivalent “verb” is a multi word phrase, such as “J’ai besoin de + something” meaning “I need + something.”

Also, sometimes English verbs can be divided into several different verbs in French: for example, the word “call” could be translated to telephoner, appeler or crier, and sometimes the reverse happens: different verbs in English go by just one verb in French, such as faire meaning both “to make” and “to do.”

The pronoun se in front of a verb means that it is a reflexive verb, and the reflexive pronoun should take on the form of the subject: such as “Je me réveille,” or “Vous vous réveillez.”

agree with être d’accord avec
know savoir
read lire
suggest suggérer
allow permettre
eat manger
learn apprendre
remember se souvenir
take prendre
answer répondre
explain expliquer
leave partir
run courir
talk parler
ask demander
fall tomber
like aimer
tell/say dire
feel se sentir
listen écouter
see voir
think penser
become devenir
fill remplir
live habiter
seem avoir l’air de
travel voyager
find trouver
sell vendre
try essayer
finish finir
send envoyer
lose perdre
turn tourner
borrow emprunter
follow suivre
make or do faire
understand comprendre
want vouloir
carry porter
happen arriver
need avoir besoin de
speak parler/dire
watch/look regarder
change changer
have avoir
open ouvrir
spend dépenser
will aller + infinitve verb
close fermer
hear entendre
pay payer
stand (upright) se tenir debout
win gagner
come venir
help aider
play jouer
begin/start commencer
work travailler
decide décider
cut couper
hold tenir
promise promettre
stop arrêter
worry s’inquiéter
believe croire
bring apporter
forget oublier
wait attendre
break casser
fly voler
keep garder
put mettre
study etudier
write ecriver
buy acheter
meet rencontre
show montre
wake up se reveiller
call (on phone) telephoner
give donner
move bouger
sit s’asseoir
walk marcher (general) / se promener (for pleasure)
go aller
must devoir
sleep dormir