Most Common Phrases in French (English Translations)

Most Common Phrases in French (English Translations)

Are you ready to improve your French language skills and have meaningful conversations with native speakers? Learning the most common phrases in French will help you navigate everyday interactions and make a lasting impression. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced learner, this article will provide you with a comprehensive list of essential French phrases translated into English. From greetings to emergency scenarios, we’ve got you covered.

Key Takeaways

  • Mastering common French phrases will enhance your language skills.
  • Knowing everyday French phrases will enable you to communicate effectively.
  • Understanding basic French phrases with English translations is essential for beginners.
  • Popular French phrases in English will help you navigate cultural interactions.
  • Useful French phrases translated into English will open doors to new opportunities.


When it comes to French greetings, there are a variety of expressions that you can use depending on the time of day and level of formality. Here are some common French greetings with their English translations:

“Bonjour” (Hello/Good day)

“Salut” (Hi/Bye)

“Bon soir” (Good evening)

“Au revoir” (Goodbye)

These basic French greetings are suitable for most situations, whether you’re meeting someone for the first time or bidding farewell. However, there are also informal greetings that you might encounter:

  • “Coucou” (Hey there)
  • “Allô” (Hello?)

These informal greetings are more commonly used among friends and family. If you’re unsure about the level of formality, it’s best to stick with the standard greetings.

Additionally, here are a couple of phrases for saying goodbye:

  1. “À plus” (See you later)
  2. “À tout à l’heure” (See you soon/See you in a while)

These phrases can be used when you expect to see the person again within a relatively short period of time.

French Greetings Examples:

Français English Translation
“Bonjour” Hello/Good day
“Salut” Hi/Bye
“Bon soir” Good evening
“Au revoir” Goodbye
“Coucou” Hey there
“Allô” Hello?
“À plus” See you later
“À tout à l’heure” See you soon/See you in a while

Mastering these basic French greetings will help you start conversations with confidence and show respect for French culture. So, next time you meet a French speaker, don’t forget to say “Bonjour!”

General Phrases & Pleasantries

In order to navigate everyday conversations in French, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some common general phrases and pleasantries. These phrases will not only help you communicate effectively but also make a positive impression on native French speakers. Whether you’re greeting someone, introducing yourself, showing gratitude, or seeking forgiveness, mastering these basic French phrases will enhance your language skills and cultural interactions.


  • Bonjour: Hello/Good day
  • Salut: Hi/Bye
  • Bon soir: Good evening
  • Au revoir: Goodbye
  • Coucou: Hey there
  • Allô: Hello?
  • À plus: See you later
  • À tout à l’heure: See you soon/See you in a while


  • Je m’appelle _____: My name is _____


  • S’il vous plait: Please
  • Merci: Thank you
  • De rien: You’re welcome
  • Pardon/Excusez-moi: Excuse me
  • Enchanté: Pleased to meet you

Whether you’re ordering at a restaurant, shopping, or simply having a conversation, incorporating these common French phrases into your language repertoire will give you the confidence to engage with native speakers. Practice these phrases regularly and watch as your ability to communicate and connect with French speakers grows.

Keep in mind that while these common phrases in French are a great starting point, immersing yourself in the language and culture will further enhance your language skills and enable you to have more meaningful conversations with French speakers.


Asking questions is an essential part of communication in any language. Here are some common French questions along with their English translations:

Basic French Questions with English Translations

  • “Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?” – Do you speak English?
  • “Comment allez-vous?” – How are you?
  • “Où est…?” – Where is…?
  • “Où sont les toilettes?” – Where are the bathrooms?
  • “Avez-vous ____?” – Do you have _____?

Whether you’re a tourist navigating a new city or engaging in a conversation with a French speaker, these basic questions will help you communicate effectively.

“Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?”

“Do you speak English?”

Asking if someone speaks English is a useful question, especially when you’re in a foreign country and need assistance.

“Comment allez-vous?”

“How are you?”

Showing interest in someone’s well-being is a polite way to initiate a conversation. Remember to use the appropriate formal or informal form based on the context.

“Où est…?”

“Where is…?”

If you’re looking for a specific location or place, using this question will help you get the necessary directions.

“Où sont les toilettes?”

“Where are the bathrooms?”

When nature calls, asking for the location of the nearest restroom is a fundamental question wherever you are.

“Avez-vous ____?”

“Do you have _____?”

Whether you’re in a restaurant, a store, or a hotel, this question allows you to inquire about the availability of specific items or services.

French Question English Translation
“Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?” Do you speak English?
“Comment allez-vous?” How are you?
“Où est…?” Where is…?
“Où sont les toilettes?” Where are the bathrooms?
“Avez-vous ____?” Do you have _____?

By familiarizing yourself with these commonly used French questions and their English translations, you’ll be equipped to engage in conversations and navigate various situations with ease.

Days and Months

Knowing the days of the week and months of the year in French is essential for daily communication. Here are some key French words for days and months, along with their English translations:

Days of the Week in French and English

  • Lundi – Monday
  • Mardi – Tuesday
  • Mercredi – Wednesday
  • Jeudi – Thursday
  • Vendredi – Friday
  • Samedi – Saturday
  • Dimanche – Sunday

Months of the Year in French and English

  1. Janvier – January
  2. Février – February
  3. Mars – March
  4. Avril – April
  5. Mai – May
  6. Juin – June
  7. Juillet – July
  8. Août – August
  9. Septembre – September
  10. Octobre – October
  11. Novembre – November
  12. Décembre – December

This image illustrates the French days of the week and months of the year. Memorizing these words will not only help you communicate effectively but also enhance your overall understanding of the French language.


In French, numbers are an essential part of daily communication. Whether you’re counting, telling time, or giving your phone number, it’s important to know the basic numbers. Here are the French numbers from zero to ten:

  1. Zéro – zero
  2. Un – one
  3. Deux – two
  4. Trois – three
  5. Quatre – four
  6. Cinq – five
  7. Six – six
  8. Sept – seven
  9. Huit – eight
  10. Neuf – nine
  11. Dix – ten

Now that you know the basic French numbers, you can start using them in your conversations. Whether you’re asking for directions or ordering at a restaurant, numbers are an essential part of communication.


When it comes to greetings in French, saying “hello” is just the beginning. French greetings can change based on the time of day and level of formality. Here are some common French greetings and their English translations:

Bonjour – Hello/Good day

Salut – Hi/Bye

Bonsoir – Good evening

Au revoir – Goodbye

It’s important to note that bonjour is the most commonly used greeting, regardless of the time of day. However, if it’s later in the day, you can switch to bonsoir. Salut is more informal and is typically used among friends and acquaintances. And of course, au revoir is used when saying goodbye.

Ordering Food & Drink

When dining in a French-speaking country, it’s helpful to know some common phrases for ordering food and drink. Being able to communicate your preferences and ask for recommendations can enhance your dining experience. Here are a few basic French phrases with English translations that you can use:

1. Qu’est-ce que vous recommandez/suggérez?

Translation: What would you suggest?

Use this phrase to ask for recommendations from the waiter or waitress. It shows that you’re open to trying new dishes or flavors, and they can provide you with their top picks from the menu.

2. Le menu, s’il vous plait

Translation: The menu, please

If you’re unsure about what to order, you can ask for the menu to explore the available options. The waiter or waitress will provide you with the menu, and you can take your time to make a selection.

3. Je voudrais _____

Translation: I’d like _____

Use this phrase to express your specific order. Insert the name of the dish or drink you want to order in the blank. For example, “Je voudrais un croissant” (I’d like a croissant) or “Je voudrais un café” (I’d like a coffee).

4. Un reçu, s’il vous plait

Translation: A receipt, please

If you need a receipt for your meal, you can ask for it using this phrase. It’s useful if you’re on a business trip or need to keep track of your expenses.

Remember to use polite phrases like “s’il vous plait” (please) and “merci” (thank you) when interacting with the staff. These gestures of politeness will be appreciated and can contribute to a positive dining experience.

Now let’s take a look at a practical example of ordering food and drink in French:

English French
Waiter: Good evening, how can I assist you? Serveur: Bonsoir, comment puis-je vous aider?
You: Good evening. What do you recommend for the main course? Vous: Bonsoir. Qu’est-ce que vous recommandez comme plat principal?
Waiter: Our specialty tonight is the Coq au Vin. It’s a classic French dish. Serveur: Notre spécialité ce soir est le Coq au Vin. C’est un plat classique français.
You: That sounds delicious. I’d like to try it, please. Vous: Ça a l’air délicieux. Je voudrais l’essayer, s’il vous plait.
Waiter: Excellent choice. And for drinks? Serveur: Excellent choix. Et pour les boissons?
You: I’ll have a glass of red wine, please. Vous: Je prendrai un verre de vin rouge, s’il vous plait.
Waiter: Of course. Anything else? Serveur: Bien sûr. Autre chose?
You: No, that will be all. Can I have the bill, please? Vous: Non, ce sera tout. Puis-je avoir l’addition, s’il vous plait?
Waiter: Certainly. Here is your bill. Enjoy your meal! Serveur: Certainement. Voici votre addition. Bon appétit!

By using these phrases, you’ll be able to confidently order food and drink in French, ensuring a pleasant dining experience during your travels.

Emergency Scenarios

In unpredictable situations, knowing how to communicate emergency phrases in French can be crucial. Whether you find yourself in need of immediate assistance or witnessing an emergency, these basic French phrases with English translations will help you navigate these high-stress scenarios with ease.

Acknowledging an Emergency:

“Au secours!” – Help!

“Au feu!” – Fire!

Seeking Medical Help:

“Je suis malade.” – I am sick.

“Cherchez un docteur/un médecin!” – Get a doctor!

“Appelle une ambulance.” – Call an ambulance.

Requesting Police Assistance:

“Police!” – Police!

It’s important to remain calm and clearly communicate your situation when using these emergency phrases. Knowing these basic French phrases for emergencies in English will ensure that you can seek the help you need or assist others when time is of the essence.

Useful Expressions and Idioms

Learning idiomatic expressions in a foreign language adds depth and richness to your conversations. Here are some useful French idioms with their English translations:

  1. Au contraire! – On the contrary!
    Example: “I thought he was French, but au contraire, he’s Belgian!”
  2. C’est la vie! – That’s life!
    Example: “I didn’t get the job, but c’est la vie, there will be other opportunities.”
  3. Bon appétit! – Enjoy your meal!
    Example: “As we sit down for dinner, let’s say bon appétit to everyone.”
  4. C’est la vie! – Such is life.
    Example: “We didn’t win the lottery, but c’est la vie, we’ll keep trying.”

Idioms are a window into a culture’s mindset. Understanding and using these expressions will make you sound more fluent and add a touch of authenticity to your conversations.

Explore more idiomatic expressions to expand your French language skills and deepen your cultural understanding. These phrases add color and flair to everyday conversations, allowing you to connect with native speakers on a more personal level.

With these idioms in your repertoire, you’ll be able to express yourself more naturally, conveying your thoughts and emotions with finesse. Enjoy incorporating these everyday French expressions into your conversations!

Travel Phrases

Planning a trip to a French-speaking country? Whether you’re exploring the romantic streets of Paris or basking in the sun on the French Riviera, it’s always helpful to have some basic French travel phrases at your fingertips. These common phrases will bridge the language barrier and enhance your travel experience. Take a look!


Start your trip by mastering a few basic greetings:

French Phrase English Translation
Bonjour Hello/Good day
Au revoir Goodbye
Salut Hi/Bye

Asking for Directions

When exploring a new city, it’s common to get lost. Use these phrases to find your way:

“Excusez-moi, pouvez-vous m’indiquer le chemin vers _____?” (Excuse me, can you tell me the way to _____?)

“Où est la station de métro la plus proche?” (Where is the nearest subway station?)

“Comment puis-je arriver à _____?” (How can I get to _____?)

Ordering Food and Drink

Trying local cuisine is a must during your trip. Here are some phrases to use when ordering:

  1. “Qu’est-ce que vous recommandez?” (What do you recommend?)
  2. “Je voudrais un café, s’il vous plaît.” (I would like a coffee, please.)
  3. “Est-ce que vous avez un menu en anglais?” (Do you have a menu in English?)


While we hope you won’t encounter any emergencies, it’s essential to be prepared. Here are a few phrases to use in case of an emergency:

“Au secours!” (Help!)

“Où est l’hôpital le plus proche?” (Where is the nearest hospital?)

“Appelez la police!” (Call the police!)

Cultural Interactions

Immerse yourself in the local culture with these phrases:

  1. “Merci beaucoup!” (Thank you very much!)
  2. “Je suis désolé(e)” (I’m sorry)
  3. “Enchanté(e)” (Nice to meet you)
  4. “Pardon, je ne parle pas bien français.” (Sorry, I don’t speak French very well.)

With these common French travel phrases in your arsenal, you’ll feel more confident navigating the streets, ordering food, and immersing yourself in the local culture. Bon voyage!

Cultural Phrases

Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of French culture with these common phrases that reflect the essence of French life. From celebrating diversity to embracing the joy of living, these cultural expressions capture the unique spirit of the French people.

Vive la Différence!

“Vive la différence!” is a popular French phrase that translates to “Long live the difference!” This expression celebrates diversity and individuality, emphasizing the importance of embracing what makes each person unique. It encourages acceptance and respect for others, highlighting the beauty of our differences.

Noblesse Oblige

“Noblesse oblige” is a French phrase that signifies the responsibility of privileged individuals to act in a generous and noble way towards those who are less fortunate. It reflects the belief that with privilege comes a moral obligation to help others and contribute to the betterment of society. This notion of social responsibility is deeply ingrained in French culture.

Joie de Vivre

“Joie de vivre” translates to “the joy of living” in English. This phrase epitomizes the French approach to life, emphasizing the pursuit of enjoyment and embracing the pleasures of everyday existence. It encapsulates the French love for good food, art, music, and the simple pleasures that make life fulfilling. Embrace the “joie de vivre” and savor every moment!

Experience the rich cultural tapestry of France through these evocative phrases. They not only provide a glimpse into the French way of life but also offer valuable insights into the values and attitudes that shape this vibrant culture.

Phrase Translation
Vive la Différence! Long live the difference!
Noblesse Oblige the responsibility of privileged people to act in a generous and noble way towards less privileged people
Joie de Vivre a full and healthy enjoyment of life


In conclusion, this article has provided a comprehensive list of the most common phrases in French along with their English translations. Whether you’re a beginner learning French or a traveler looking to communicate effectively, these phrases will help you navigate everyday conversations and cultural interactions in French-speaking countries. Mastering these common phrases will enhance your language skills and open doors to new opportunities.

By familiarizing yourself with greetings, general phrases, questions, days and months, numbers, ordering food and drink, emergency scenarios, useful expressions and idioms, travel phrases, and cultural phrases, you’ll be equipped to engage in meaningful conversations and make connections with native French speakers.

Remember that language learning is a journey, and practice is key to becoming fluent. So, don’t be afraid to start using these phrases in your everyday life, whether it’s with French-speaking friends, colleagues, or even during your travels. Immerse yourself in the language and culture, and you’ll soon find yourself speaking French with confidence. Bonne chance!


What are some common French greetings?

Some common French greetings include “Bonjour” (Hello/Good day), “Salut” (Hi/Bye), “Bon soir” (Good evening), and “Au revoir” (Goodbye). Informal greetings like “Coucou” (Hey there) and “Allô” (Hello?) are also commonly used.

What are some general French phrases and pleasantries?

Some general French phrases and pleasantries include “Je m’appelle _____” (My name is _____), “S’il vous plait” (Please), “Merci” (Thank you), “De rien” (You’re welcome), “Pardon/Excusez-moi” (Excuse me), and “Enchanté” (Pleased to meet you).

What are some common questions in French?

Some common questions in French include “Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?” (Do you speak English?), “Comment allez-vous?” (How are you?), “Où est…?” (Where is…?), “Où sont les toilettes?” (Where are the bathrooms?), and “Avez-vous ____?” (Do you have _____?).

Can you provide the days and months in French along with their English translations?

Sure! Some days of the week in French include “lundi” (Monday), “mardi” (Tuesday), and “mercredi” (Wednesday). Some months of the year in French include “janvier” (January), “février” (February), and “décembre” (December).

How do you say basic numbers in French?

In French, you can count from zero (zéro) to ten (dix). For example, one is “un,” two is “deux,” and three is “trois.”

What are some common phrases for ordering food and drink in French?

Some common phrases for ordering food and drink in French include “Qu’est-ce que vous recommandez/suggérez?” (What would you suggest?), “Le menu, s’il vous plait” (The menu, please), “Je voudrais _____” (I’d like _____), and “Un reçu, s’il vous plait” (A receipt, please).

What are some essential phrases for emergency scenarios in French?

Some essential phrases for emergency scenarios in French include “Au secours!” (Help!), “Au feu!” (Fire!), “Je suis malade” (I am sick), “Police!” (Police!), “Cherchez un docteur/un médecin!” (Get a doctor!), and “Appelle une ambulance” (Call an ambulance!).

Can you provide some useful expressions and idioms in French?

Sure! Some useful expressions and idioms in French include “Au contraire!” (On the contrary!), “C’est la vie!” (That’s life!), “Bon appétit!” (Enjoy your meal), and “C’est la vie!” (Such is life).

What are some common phrases for travelers in French?

Some common phrases for travelers in French include “Qu’est-ce que c’est?” (What is that?), “Je n’ai aucune idée.” (I have no idea), “Je veux aller à…” (I want to go to…), and “Où est…?” (Where is…?).

Can you provide some phrases related to French culture?

Sure! Some phrases related to French culture include “Vive la différence!” (Long live the difference!), “noblesse oblige” (the responsibility of privileged people to act in a generous and noble way towards less privileged people), and “joie de vivre” (a full and healthy enjoyment of life).

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