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There is a common history of misery among language learners.
Maybe you've heard that before.
Or have you even experienced it yourself!
It starts when you decide to learn a language because you want to travel to a specific country like France.
you are doing your bestAcquire as much vocabulary as possibleto avoid communication problems.
But as soon as your plane lands, you realize that you don't understand anything!
There's a reason for that, and it's not because you haven't learned enough vocabulary.
people in real lifetend to speak very differentlyfrom the way they do it in books or in school and there are some things you need to dolearn by yourselfand fromto find local friends. And maybe knowDating a French native speaker!
But don't worry, you too can learn from my experience!
Today I want to give you a list of 15 popular expressions that you will come acrossin everyday French. These and other expressions can help you travel and study in a more spontaneous and relaxed manner.
Pick up:This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere.Click here for a copy. (Bring)
If you don't know how to pronounce any of these words or phrases, just click on one of them and you will be takenForvo.com, a website where you can hear words pronounced by native speakers.
Now let's start our list!
This dialogue is a perfect example of why you shouldn't try to translate literally, since the same phrase can mean something different when presented as a question or an affirmation.
When someone starts a conversation with you with this phrase, they mean “How are you?” But when they sayIt's good and you?They're like, "I'm fine, and you?"
Another thing to pay attention to is the tone of the other person. If you hear something likeHow are you doing…this probably means "not very well, but I don't want to talk about it." Don't take it personally and don't insist. The French generally don't like to talk about their problems with someone they barely know!
2. But yes !
This expression means "yes"or "natural". It is a synonym forNaturally !It's very informal so be careful. You wouldn't tell your boss that!
If someone raises their tone with this expression, don't worry! The French tend to be very expressive and tone makes all the difference in many cases.
3. And tricks
The French seem to love that word. It's perfect for everything! It means 'one thing' but has no real meaning as it changes depending on the context. And that's why you'll learn to love it! You can use ambiguity to your advantage, just like a wildcard. Have you forgotten how to say a word? just sayand tricks!With? Flight!
You'll probably hear this a lot, especially from teenagers, so don't say we didn't warn you! It means "It's cute" and is an abbreviation ofThat's cute.It goes with everything: a dress, a pet, a baby. You can tell by the fact that girls often say it in the same tone as "Oh, so cute!" in English.
This term is extremely offensive, so I would advise you not to use it unless someone is making you angry and you actually want to express it at length. It means "shut up!" but the French language has many other phrases you can use instead (like"keep your mouth shut!")it doesn't sound difficult.
If you want to look up more synonyms for this or other terms, or are not sure what a term means, I suggest you take a look atLarousse, one of the greatest references in the French language, orThe internet user, a handy site where you can find definitions and related expressions.
6. an officer
This term is used by colloquial users to refer to a police officer. note thatflicis a colloquial term that is equivalent to the word “cop” in English.
AccordinglyPourquois.com,There are various theories as to why people use this word to refer to police officers. The information in this link is in French only, so test your skills and try to understand!
For those whose reading skills are not yet at that level, there is a theoryflicis from a word of German origin,flick, which refers to young people causing trouble. Another reason is that it is a word of Latin origin.Fly-it means "to hit" - and refers to times when police officers were allowed to hit people.
This term is mainly used by young people living in the suburbs of larger cities, possibly because there have been many instances where officials have responded to violence with even more violence.
This phrase means "What is this mess?" or "What the hell is this?" People use it when a situation is messy for some reason.
The term dates back to the 19th century and refers to the chaos in brothels.
Brothel,In case you are wondering, means brothel or house of prostitution.
8. The money
Like any Romance language, French has a wide variety of synonyms for each word, used in different situationsdependent on the registry, the region and the age of the speakers.
The moneyis an everyday synonym for money. The standard term and most recommended usage when you start learning the language isMoney. Sohas moneywould mean having money or being rich.
It is by far one of the most used phrases among young people.Bringis the slang term forami(ven)or "buddy"in English.„I go out with my friends"(I go out with my friends) is a very common expression. But if you're not comfortable with that and prefer to say soAmisInstead, it's also perfectly fine.
10. I don't care
You should know something about the French: They are very expressive. You are the Mediterranean, after all!
Sure, they can be polite, but if they get angry or upset, run away! This expression is a clear example of how language changes depending on the situation. It means "I don't care," but you don't want anyone to tell you that directly.
French people use it when they want to emphasize that they don't care about the argument or excuse someone is trying to give them - and definitely to indicate that they won't listen to it any further.
This is equivalent to "sh**" in English, but it's used so often that it's not as strong anymore. They use it when they're angry, surprised, or just plain bored.
How do you know which one it is? You have to judge by context and tone! And if you're still not sure, ask!
The French love abbreviations. You just can't help it!
Alreadyis the short form ofThere are,which means "there is". Our advice is don't be afraid to ask your new friends if you don't understand something.
Additionally, if you feel like words are missing from a sentence, just remind them that you're still learning. You might just think that if you know a few slang words, you know everything!
As we mentioned earlier, French people can be very expressive and this is another example.
Chopmeans "thin" or "not very important", but can also mean "damn" or "shit". Again, if you're not sure, context and tone are key to knowing the exact meaning.
Dris not necessarily considered slang, but is mainly used by young people. That's what it stands forGrineror "dying of laughter" - or roughly equivalent to the English "LOL". The French use it a lot in texts and informal messages, so you better get used to dying of laughter!
Contrary to appearancesProfessionmeans far from "to be bossy". Instead, it means to work (for someone).
However, like many other countries, France and Belgium have adopted many words from British and American English, and boss is one of them.
Although they also usekok,It's becoming more and more common to hear someone sayman, bossthan a few years ago.
When I first moved to France, I had been studying French for ten years, but it wasn't enough. Cultural immersion was required! I quickly became aware of when expressions were extremely inappropriate, such askeep your mouth shut!I also realized that I had to learn when to use them and when not to. For this reason I encourage you to travel, make mistakes and learn.
Hope this guide will help you get it done faster!
Pick up:This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere.Click here for a copy. (Bring)
This expression means “yes” or “obviously.” It is a synonym of bien sûr ! It is very informal, so beware. You would not say this to your boss! If someone raises their tone of voice with this expression, don't worry!What are some basic French phrases? ›
- Bonjour. = Good morning. ...
- Bonne après-midi. = Good afternoon. ...
- Je m'appelle Mondly. = My name is Mondly. ...
- Je suis ravi de vous rencontrer. = I'm pleased to meet you. ...
- Comment ça va ? = How are you? ...
- Bien, merci. Et vous-même ? ...
- J'aimerais une bière. = I'd like a beer. ...
- Je suis désolé. = I'm sorry.
- #1 Bonjour ! – Hello! ( the standard greeting in French) ...
- #2 Bonsoir ! – Good evening! ( replaces bonjour in the evening) ...
- #3 Salut ! – Hi! ( a more informal greeting) ...
- #4 Enchanté(e) ! – Nice to meet you! ( a standard expression when meeting someone for the first time)
The Double French Yes
It's common in French to repeat the yes twice: “oui, oui…” Of course this cracks up our English friends, but it's common to double the yes to answer in a casual way in French. It doesn't have a specific meaning: it's just a way to speak and it's not like we say “oui, oui” all the time either.
Translation of "Oui, ça va" in English. Yes, I'm fine. Yes, it will.What is a famous French saying? ›
Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup.
Literal translation: “Eat well, laugh often, love a lot.” Actual meaning: “Live life to the fullest” or carpe diem (“seize the day”).
- Bonjour: Good morning/ Hello. ...
- Salut: Hello (casual way of saying hello)
- Bonsoir: Good evening.
- Monsieur/ Madame/ mademoiselle: Mister/ Madam/ Miss.
- S'il vous plaît: Please.
- Merci/ Merci beaucoup: Thank you/ Thank you very much.
- Excusez-moi/ Pardon: Excuse me. ...
- Au revoir: Goodbye.
- suite (noun [f. ]) result, follow-up, rest.
- bon (adj., adv.) good; (noun [m. ]) coupon, voucher.
- comprendre (verb) to understand.
- depuis (prep., adv.) since.
- point (adv.) at all; (noun [m. ]) point.
- ainsi (adv.) thus.
- heure (noun [f. ]) hour.
- rester (verb) to stay.
A legacy of the Age of Enlightenment, the motto "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" first appeared during the French Revolution. Although it was often called into question, it finally established itself under the Third Republic.
The most common French words are: Oui (yes), non (no), merci (thank you), je (I), tu/vous (you), le/la/les (the), un, une des (a, an and some), le/la/les (it, them), et (and) and mais (but).What is a common French greeting? ›
The most common greeting in French is the very useful “bonjour”, and “bonsoir”. The first can be used throughout the day, and the second in the evening. “Salut” is also widely used in a more informal setting. These are the most basic greetings that will commonly be learned in lessons for French for kids.Is Ooh là là a compliment? ›
Oh là là can express positive surprise or appreciation
(Wow, it's so beautiful !)
In a wedding ceremony in France, you will also hear Oui, je le veux (Yes, I want that) in place of the English phrase, "I do.” To sum it up: it's simple, it's basic, it's straightforward. But even though it might be a typical way of saying yes in French, that doesn't mean you should use "oui" all the time.What is the oui bonsoir? ›
Translation of "Oui, bonsoir" in English. Good evening.How do you respond to Bonjour Cava? ›
As with English, French people tend to reply to Ça va? with a positive response – Bien, or Bien, merci – much the same way as we would use fine in English. The following responses are polite enough for a new acquaintance, but general enough for a good friend, too: Très bien, merci. Very well, thank you.How do you respond to Cava et toi? ›
include, “Très bien, et vous ?” or in a more casual setting, “Ça va bien, et toi ?” But you can also respond with a simple “ça va,” which means you're doing fine.How do you say goodbye in Paris? ›
(Oh reh-vwah) This is the most common ways of saying goodbye in French, and it's acceptable for the vast majority of situations, formal and informal.
Wondering how to say Cheers in French? You can say “Santé” which translates to “to your health”. A more polite way is to say “À votre santé!”, which is another common way to say cheers in French.What does Belle Ame mean? ›
French Words on Instagram: “Belle âme (feminine words) • Beautiful soul • /bɛ.
One of the most important things to do when you start learning French is to understand basic vocabulary, phrases, and numbers. Beginners usually start practicing words that will help them when meeting French people, ask basic questions, and introduce themselves.What is the hardest word to learn in French? ›
- Final Thoughts on Difficult French Words.
The first two irregular verbs you should learn are avoir and être, 'to have' and 'to be' respectively. Once you have mastered these, move on to verbs like aller and venir, ('to go' and 'to come') and so on.What does mais mean? ›
noun. corn [noun] the plants themselves; grain(American) maize [noun] (British) an important cereal, grown especially in America; corn(American)What does mais mean in Louisiana? ›
"mais" is used to mean "well," like "Well, it's right there!" So it's used all the time.What does mais translate to in French? ›
If you speak even a little French, you've probably learned that the word mais means “but”.Why do French say oui oui? ›
Oui means Yes - the affirmative answer to a question. If you're asking for a translation of the English word “we” - the first person plural pronoun - that would be “nous”.