Whether you’re relocating to France, going into business with French partners or even just preparing to travel, this guide is jam packed with simple and functional everyday phrases that are sure to come in useful. Keep reading to find out more about conversational French, and discover our 63 easy conversational French examples.
Why Learn a Second Language?
Many people are now adding another language to their repertoire. This is because there are numerous benefits to learning a second or third language, including that learning a foreign language can add 10-15% to your salary and boost bonuses!
Learning a second language also improves your chances of getting hired, as only 38% of Brits speak a foreign language, putting you ahead of the majority and the competition. Other reasons to learn another language vary, from permanent relocation to temporary travel or business projects.
Why is Conversational French Important?
Studies show that conversational practice is key to learning a new language. Learning to speak a new language such as French fluently can be difficult, but it is much easier if you are familiar with the basic conversational phrases. This will allow you to communicate in an emergency or even when traveling. The more you learn and practice these phrases, the better your pronunciation will become and the more fluent your French speaking skills will become.
In an emergency, the phrases that you learn will allow you to ask for help, translations or directions. You can’t expect someone to pull over and give them a map if they don’t understand what you are saying. In an emergency, time is of the essence and every second counts so it’s best if you get your point across as quickly and clearly as possible.
Furthermore, being familiar with conversational French phrases will allow you to have a better chance of understanding what native speakers are saying to you when you visit France. The more familiar you are with the language, phrases, and slang the easier it will be to communicate with others while traveling in France without having to resort to using English. You can even make new friends if you take some time before your trip to learn some of the most common phrases used by native speakers and brush up on top communication tips for travellers!
Learning conversational French is only the first step in becoming fluent, but it makes an excellent starting point. This will allow you to speak with others even if you are not 100% confident in your pronunciation or ability to construct the correct sentence. You can also use these phrases when traveling or visiting France to avoid having to rely on English for simple conversations. The more you practice them, the easier it will become to understand and speak French.
Related Reading: Learning a Language in a Hurry? 5 Tips to Help You Get Started
Conversational French Examples
Basic Conversational French Phrases
- Oui — Yes
- Non —
- — Thank you.
- Merci beaucoup. — Thank you very much.
- Excusez-moi. — Excuse me.
- S’il vous plaît. — (Formal)
- S’il te plaît. — (Informal)
- Je vous en prie — You’re welcome. (Formal)
- Je t’en prie. — You’re welcome. (Informal)
- Il n’y a pas de quoi. — It’s nothing.
Useful French Phrases For Beginners
- Parlez-vous anglais? — Do you speak English?
- Oui, je parle anglais. — Yes, I speak English.
- Pouvez-vous répéter? — Can you repeat that?
- Je ne comprends pas. — I don’t understand.
- Répétez, s’il vous plaît. — Please repeat.
- Pouvez-vous traduire pour moi? — Can you translate for me?
- Pouvez-vous parler plus lentement? — Could you speak slower?
- Je ne parle pas bien français. — I don’t speak French very well.
- Est-ce que je peux vous aider? — May I help you?
- Non, merci. — No, thank you.
- Oui, merci. — Yes, thank you.
Travelling Conversational French Phrases
- De quoi avez-vous besoin? — What do you need?
- J’ai besoin de renseignements. — I need some information.
- Les toilettes sont à votre droite. — The toilets are on your right.
- Où allez-vous? — Where are you going?
- Où est l’hôtel? — Where is the hotel?
- Je ne sais pas. — I don’t know.
- Je suis perdu. — I’m lost.
- Il fait chaud. — It’s hot.
- Je rentre. — I’m going home.
- Avec plaisir. — With pleasure.
- Quel temps fait-il? — What’s the weather like?
- Je voudrais du café. — I would like some coffee.
- Ces places-là sont prises. — Those seats are taken.
Social French Phrases
- Comment va le travail? — How is work going?
- Tu veux prendre un verre? — Do you want to get a drink?
- Comment va votre famille? — How’s your family? (Formal)
- Comment va ta famille? — How’s your family? (Informal)
- Tu peux me donner ton numéro? — Can you give me your number?
- Passe-moi un coup de fil plus tard. — Give me a call later.
- J’aimerais te revoir. — I would like to see you again.
Popular French Greetings
- Bonjour! – Hello!
- Coucou! – Hey there!
- Salut! – Hi!
- Allô? – Hello?
- Quoi de neuf? – What’s up?
French Phrases to Say Goodbye
- Au revoir — Goodbye (Slightly formal)
- Salut — Goodbye (Informal)
- À ce soir — See you tonight.
- À demain — See you tomorrow.
- À tout à l’heure / À plus tard — See you later.
- À bientôt — See you soon.
- Bonne journée — Have a nice day.
- Bonne soirée — Have a good evening.
- À la prochaine — Until next time.
- Adieu — (Forever)
Conversational French Slang
- Un type / un mec — A guy.
- Une meuf — A woman, a chick.
- Un mail — An email.
- C’est nul! — That sucks!
- Nickel! — Perfect!
- C’est top! — That’s great!
How to Use French Conversation Examples
You should spend some time utilising practice conversation before diving into your travel plans. Practice these sayings and phrases one by one, then start to create scripts with French conversation examples so you get an idea of how these phrases flow in a conversation. You can practice this alone or with others. This works especially well with native French speakers!
When learning French, immersing yourself in French conversation is vital, whether that’s via your own scripts, movies or books. Keep an eye out for these useful phrases and their pronunciation. Top tip: turning on French subtitles to English movies/TV can help you pick up natural fluctuations in casual conversation and the phrases you might commonly use.
Interested in Learning Fluent French?
If you’re interested in learning fluent French, rather than just the conversational basics, our Expert French Language Training Course could be perfect for you. With both in-person, in-office or remote options available, there is a language course to suit anyone. We specialise in providing professional and comprehensive language training that will help you to achieve your goals, whatever they might be!