What Are the Most Important French Phrases for Beginners to Learn?


Quick Answer

The most important French phrases for beginners to learn are "Ça va?" for asking "How are you?" and "Excusez-moi" for "Excuse me." "Je ne comprends pas," meaning, "I don't understand," is another essential phrase for beginners.

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Full Answer

In general, beginners should tailor their education based on the reasons they are learning French. For example, if they are learning in anticipation of visiting France, phrases should center around vocabulary that has airport terminology and requests for assistance. "Où sont les toilettes?" means "Where are the restrooms?" "Pouvez-vous m'aider?" means "Can you help?"

If the French is for conversational purposes with a new friend or neighbor, phrases should center around greetings, numbers, pleasantries and family terms. At the next level, phrases should focus on interests and jobs. "Au revoir" means "goodbye," and "Bon appétit!" means to enjoy a meal.

One way to learn more French phrases is to write them on index cards and use them as flash cards for practice. Vocabulary lists, children's books in French and labeling household objects in French can also be helpful. One possibility is to label medication "J'ai mal à la tête" for "I have an headache." "C'est trop cher!" means "It's too expensive!" and could be placed on a particularly pricey item.

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