What Are Some Basic French Phrases?


Quick Answer

Some basic French phrases are "bonjour," which means "Hello," "au revoir," which means "good-bye," "merci beaucoup," which means "thank you very much" and "de rien," which means "you're welcome." Other basic phrases are "allons y," which means "let's go" and "excusez-moi," which means "excuse me." These phrases are useful to anyone who travels to a French-speaking area and wants to know some basics of the language.

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Full Answer

Travelers who do not speak much French can use simple phrases to let the speaker know they are unfamiliar with the language. For example, "Je ne parle pas français" means "I don't speak French." English speakers can say "parlez-vous anglais?" to find out if the person speaks English. For those who want to try having a conversation in French, use "Je ne comprends pas," or "I don't understand," when something is not clear.

French also has several phrases that have a formal and informal form. One example is "Comment allez-vous?" This is the formal way to say "how are you?" When speaking informally, such as among friends, French speaker use "ça va" instead. French speakers also use "ca va" as an answer to the question, in which case it means "I'm fine." To say this in a formal setting, French speakers often use "Je vais bien" instead.

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