When you want to say, “How are you?” in French, most of the time you’d say, “Comment allez-vous ?” (formal singular / informal plural) or “Comment vas-tu ?” (informal singular). Among friends and family, you could instead ask, “Ça va ?” While it literally translates to, “It goes?” it’s simply the French version of the English, “How’s it going ?”
There are hundreds of French expressions that make up the core of the language. Getting comfortable with these will give you a great foundation. And it’s not just the usual merci, au revoir, or s’il vous plaît that you’ll need. Those are crucial, but it’s also key to get comfortable with the words and phrases that the French use time-and-again, like ça marche (that works/ok), je voudrais… (I would like…), de rien (it’s nothing / you’re welcome), and even trickier full sentences like, “Combien est-ce que je vous dois ?” (How much do I owe you?)
To build towards fluency in French, you should start your French lessons with the basics of common words and pronunciations. Then you can scale naturally towards a much more complex understanding of the French language. That’s why Rosetta Stone’s French language program has an immersive approach that introduces words alongside both visual and audio cues that help you learn vocab in the context of true-to-life conversations. The bite-sized lessons are grouped into units that highlight common French conversational phrases you will need for everyday interactions, coupled with practical review that helps learners solidify their French language skills.
Your approach to learning the French language will likely vary depending on your personal experience with the language and your individual goals for learning it. Many French language learners are just beginning their journey, having picked up a few common French words and phrases they hear sprinkled into conversation, and attempting to reproduce the famous French accent. These beginning French learners may know just a few words, such as au revoir, baguette, and amour. Other French learners may have more past experience with the language, perhaps from exposure to the language throughout academic careers. These more experienced learners may want to brush up on their French speaking skills and learn more French vocabulary. Whatever your individual experience and personal goals for learning the French language, it will be important that you carefully consider choosing a language learning program designed with your schedule and goals in mind.
One of the most recognizable aspects of the French language is its je ne sais quoi, which is a somewhat indefinable quality that makes the French accent sound so very appealing and alluring. But what may at first seem to be an elusively alluring aspect of spoken French is actually just the subtle nuance of French pronunciation. Some of the unique sounds of spoken French can be challenging to learn, because the sounds are much more nasal than other languages, including English. That’s why it’s so valuable to learn proper French pronunciation early on.
You can develop your French language skills and build your comfort and confidence by first learning some basic French words and phrases:
- Bonjour = Hello, Good morning
- Au revoir = Goodbye
- Oui = Yes
- Non = No
- Merci = Thank you
- Merci beaucoup = Thank you very much
- Fille = Girl
- Garçon = Boy
- Femme = Woman
- Homme = Man
- Amour = Love
- Français = French
- S’il vous plaît = Please
- Bonsoir = Good evening
- Bonne Nuit = Good night
- Excusez-moi = Excuse me
- De Rien = You’re welcome (casual, informal way)
- Je vous en prie = You’re welcome (formal)
- Temps = Time
- Jour = Day
And here are more common French phrases:
- Je suis désolé(e) = I’m sorry
- Comment vous appelez-vous ? = What is your name?
- Parlez-vous anglais ? = Do you speak English?
- Je m’appelle = My name is
- Comment allez-vous? = How are you doing?
- Quelle heure est-il ? = What time is it?
- Pouvez-vous m’aider ? = Can you help me?
- Combien ça coûte ? = How much is this?
- Je t’aime = I love you
Rosetta Stone has extensive, unparalleled experience in developing language-learning programs that help learners develop the skills to comfortably understand and confidently speak in French. Whatever your language experience may be––a true beginner or a strong intermediate French speaker––Rosetta Stone French language lessons can help you advance further. Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion® method approach to language learning focuses on vocabulary and pronunciation needed for everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone offers an award-winning mobile app to deliver brief and bite-sized lessons that will help you learn French––with downloadable lessons and Extended Learning features, it’s legit anytime/anywhere.
Try Our Award-Winning App
Surround yourself with French whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.