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Archive for the 'French Phrases' Category

Top 30 Useful French Phrases and Expressions You Must Know to Survive

Top 10 French Phrases

Learning a new language can be increasingly challenging—especially if you’re learning a language that dates all the way back to the Roman Empire and has multiple variations all over the world.

According to About-France.com, French is an official or second language in 55 countries worldwide and almost 300 million people speak French as their native or second language.

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My childhood friend’s grandfather was the French teacher at my high school, so instead of taking Spanish—which would have been a tad more useful in the United States—I chose French. (Not to mention my birthday is also Bastille Day, some would call it a sign.)

I started taking French when I was 14 years old. From there, I took French 1, French 2 and Honors French 3 in high school; I was French Club president my senior year of high school; and in college, I took Intensive Elementary French 121 and 221 (the difference is the courses counted for six credit hours instead of three, meaning two semesters were jammed into one).

I was very fortunate to get to travel to multiple European cities with my high school French teacher and some classmates the summer before my high school senior year, including Paris. And let me just say, without knowing some useful French phrases, I’m not sure how I would have made it.

Contrary to (the not-so) popular belief, showing up to Paris only knowing bonjour, merci, and oui will not get you very far à La Ville Lumière (“in the City of Lights”).

However, since not everyone has the ability to take three years of French before traveling to France, here are some tips to get you going with the French basics, or at least teach you some useful French phrases.

Table of Contents

  1. 4 Ways to Learn Useful French Phrases
  2. Top 30 Useful French Phrases and Expressions You Must Learn to Survive
  3. Bonus: Other Useful French Words

1. 4 Ways to Learn Useful French Phrases

Memorise

a. Create Flashcards on Memrise

One of the most traditional (and for many, most effective) studying tricks is creating flashcards. However, trying to create and organize hundreds of flashcards to help you learn a whole new language can be extremely frustrating. You have to subcategorize each word or phrase, make sure your handwriting is legible and also not break the bank with how many index cards you’ll need to buy.

This is why I recommend using Memrise. Memrise is a virtual flashcard website specifically designed to help you learn a new language! Just go to the website and select which language you want to learn!

For example, to help you learn useful French words or phrases, you would need to select “French” and then “Beginner.” From there it will let you either create a Memrise account or sign in through your Facebook or Google account, and you’re ready to start learning!

Instead of you deciding what useful French words and phrases you need to know, Memrise has already done that for you! This will save you a lot of time and effort, and will give you more time to study.

Online Lesson

b. Book a One-on-One Online Lesson

For those who need a little more help than what flashcards can offer, booking an interactive online lesson with a native-speaking teacher (or a teacher who is completely fluent) would prove to be extremely beneficial!

Especially with French, pronunciation is really important. Practicing the pronunciation of any useful French phrases you have memorized with someone completely fluent will serve as a stronger learning tool than you can imagine.

There are words in French that are pretty similar sounding if you don’t know the proper pronunciation, so you could spend all this time memorizing the phrase, but when you try saying it to a francophone (French-speaking) person they won’t have a clue what you’re trying to say.

While online translators (especially Google Translate) have stepped up their game in the past few years, they are certainly not as trustworthy as coaching from someone who is fluent in French.

Watching Movies

c. Watch French movies or television shows and listen to French music

Familiarizing yourself with French entertainment is another great way to help you master pronunciation. Plus with the amazing inventions of Netflix and Hulu, or Spotify and Pandora, this is even easier to do!

For films or television shows, I highly encourage watching with subtitles turned on. This way, you’re not only hearing the pronunciation but you could also pick up on even more helpful phrases!

Since the film industry was historically heavily influenced by France, the United States Netflix honors that with a subcategory called “French films.” If the idea of looking over an entire subcategory of French films overwhelms you, here is a list of the top 20 French films on Netflix.

Likewise, for music I would search for famous French musicians, look up their music and then look up the lyrics while listening. That way you can hear it as you read along!

Two of my favorite French musicians are Stromae, a Belgian-French singer-songwriter-composer; and Carla Bruni, a French-Italian singer-songwriter who also happens to be married to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Especially if you’re as big into music as I am, being able to listen to music to help you learn a foreign language is way more exciting than textbooks!

Trip to France

d. Take a Trip to France

If your ultimate goal is to become fully fluent in French, I would highly suggest taking a trip to France! I know for me, one thing that really helped was asking for help from French natives while in Paris.

It’s important to acknowledge at first that you aren’t fluent in French. For example, I would start out any conversation with, Bonjour! Je ne sais pas beaucoup de français, mais… (“Hello! I don’t know a lot of French, but (…)”). Instead of just directly asking if the other person speaks English, I attempted to speak their language first, and if I failed miserably at least they knew why.

While it might sound scary to just pick up and head to a country where you aren’t fluent in the language, you don’t understand the culture and you don’t know anyone there, it’s a great way to make yourself vulnerable enough to adapt.

Of course, this isn’t always the easiest (or most financially painless) choice, but if the opportunity ever arises you should consider taking it!

2. Top 30 Useful French Phrases and Expressions You Must Learn to Survive

I mentioned earlier one phrase that definitely saved me while I was in France. Below is a list of 30 other useful French phrases I believe will help you out:

Traveling to France

1.Bonjour, ça va?
“Hello, how’s it going?” This is a friendly, informal way to greet someone. If you’re meeting this person for the first time, it might be helpful to include your name before asking “how’s it going?” Further, if someone says this to you, kindly respond with, Très bien, merci! (“Very well, thank you!”)

2. Comment allez-vous?
“How are you?” If you’re looking to be more formal with someone, you can simply ask them how they’re doing. You can also respond to this question with Très bien, merci! or Pas mal, merci. (“Not bad, thank you.”)

3. Je m’appelle (name).
“My name is (name).” This is extremely important to know when greeting someone for the first time. Especially if you’re asking someone for help, you should at least let them know who you are!

4. Comment t’appelles-tu ?
“What is your name?” If you happen to recall a name, but are not absolutely sure that name belongs to that person, you could even say, Tu es (name), n’est-ce pas? (“You are (name), aren’t you?”)

5. Enchanté(e)!
“Nice to meet you!” After asking someone who they are and what their name is, it is polite to let them know that it is nice to meet them! If you are a woman, it’s important to include that second “e,” or the feminine form.

6. Je vais bien.
“I am fine.” Here is another phrase you can use if someone has asked you how you are or how’s it going, but there are plenty of other situations where letting someone know you’re fine will prove to be important.

7. Très bien, merci. Et vous?
“Very well, thank you. And you?” As I demonstrated earlier, this is a happy, upbeat response when someone asks how you are. However, if someone else asks you first, make sure to always counter with how they are doing! Saying et vous is the easiest way to do that!

8. A bientôt/demain!
“See you soon/tomorrow!” This is a friendlier way to say goodbye to someone.

9. Au revoir!
“Goodbye!” Hello and goodbye are always core phrases someone should know. Instead of saying goodbye, one might even say, Bonne journée! (“Have a nice day!”) or even, Bonne chance! (“Good luck!”)

10. Quelle heure est-il?
“What time is it?” This phrase will always come in handy, especially because most businesses close for a couple hours during lunch time. If you know what the time is, you’ll know when a store will open back up, for example.

11. Est-ce que vous pourriez m’indiquer le chemin pour aller à (…)?
“Could you show me the way to (…)?” If you can at least say this, you can simply follow with the name of the street, business, tourist attraction or restaurant you are trying to get to. Knowing how to ask for directions is very important.

12. Je ne sais pas.
“I don’t know.” This is what I used in my previous example, saying “I don’t know a lot of French.” Below I’ve also included other negatives that could come in handy!

  • ne … pas du tout (“not at all”)
  • ne … pas encore (“not yet”)
  • ne … plus (“not anymore”)
  • ne … jamais (“never”)

13. Je ne crois pas que je connais l’adresse.
“I don’t believe I know the address.” In today’s world, we are a lot luckier and can plug addresses into our smartphones. One useful French phrase to know how to ask is what that address is!

14. Je ne sais pas quoi faire.
“I don’t know what to do.” If you’re just completely unsure about where you are, where you’re going or what you need to do, this could prove to be an incredibly useful French phrase.

15. Que voulez-vous dire?
“What do you mean?” This is a great French phrase to know when you’re trying to keep up with the dialogue but somewhere along the way got lost.

16. De quoi parlez-vous?
“What are you talking about?” This is another great French phrase to know if you’re finding yourself completely confused in a conversation!

17. Que fais-tu?
“What are you doing?” If you’re trying to have more of a friendly conversation with someone, or you see someone doing something you’ve never seen before, this is a useful phrase to ask someone!

18. Quel temps fait-il?
“How’s the weather?” If you’re about to go outside but you’re not sure what the weather currently is, or even how it’s going to be, this is a great phrase to know. Below I’ve also included how to say “It is (…)” in case someone asks you!

  • Il fait (…)
  • chaud (“hot”)
  • beau (“beautiful”)
  • doux (“mild”)
  • du soleil (“sunny”)
  • mauvais (“bad”)
  • Il + pleut (“raining”)
  • il y a du vent (“windy”)

There, of course, are other weather related responses out there, but these phrases are going to be the most useful for you to start with.

19. Où se trouve (…)?
“Where is (…) located?” There’s no better way to ask someone for directions than with this phrase. A person might even respond with, Voilà! which means “Here/There is/are” when pointing something out; they could also responds with (…) dans la rue (street name) (“(…) on (street name.)”)

20. Avez-vous de l’argent/l’eau?
“Do you have some money/water?” While I would hope you would never be in a situation where you need to ask somebody for money or water, I included this phrase just in case you have an emergency. Further, I included this phrase so you will know in case someone asks you.

21. J’ai un peu d’argent.
“I have a little money.” You just never know when this phrase will come in handy. Again, hopefully you’re never in a situation where you have to know this, but it’s one of those I find smart to hold onto.

22. Répondez à ma question!
“Answer my question!” You don’t have to say this in a yelling manner, it’s just how you’d phrase a command. You could follow the phrase with “please,” or s’il vous plait. Similarly, one might say Réponds-moi! (“Answer me!”)

23. Bien sûr!
“Of course!” This is also one of those staple phrases you should always have under your belt. It’s a more polite way to say “no problem,” which makes you look friendlier. If you wanted to show more excitement, you could even say Bien sûr que oui! (“Yes, of course!”)

24. C’est vrai/faux
“That is true/false.” You just never know when you’re going to need to know how to say this. C’est alone is how you would say “this/that is,” you’re welcome to follow with almost any useful French vocabulary word.

25. Je voudrais (…)
“I would like (…)” Use this French phrase when making a request. When ordering food, you can use this or you could simply say, Je veux (…) (“I want …”).

26. Oui, j’en veux.
“Yes, I’d like some.” Especially when it comes to restaurant etiquette, this is a very useful French phrase.

27. C’était dèlicieux!
“It was delicious!” While customers don’t leave tips for waiters and waitresses in most European countries, it is extremely polite to let the employee or chef know that what they prepared for you was delicious!

28. Restes-y.
“Stay there.” This is a useful phrase to say to someone if you’re asking for help with your group of friends. If you have to step away for a second, letting them know to stay will help not confuse the other person!

29. Combien est-ce que ça coûte?
“How much does it cost?” If you’re struggling to understand what the price of something is, and you only have a certain amount of money, this is a very useful French phrase to know!

30. Voulez-vous venir?
“Do you want to come?” Hopefully by using these useful French phrases you’ll be able to make a couple new French friends! Using this phrase could help expand the friendship by inviting them to hang out with you!

3. Bonus: Other Useful French Words

Similar to the useful French phrases, I have compiled a list of useful French words that everyone should know before traveling to France:

Useful French Words

1. Aujourd’hui - “Today.”

2. Maintenant - “Now.”

3. Régardez! - “Look (at)!”

4. Ceux-là! - “Those!”

5. Les langues (étrangères) - “(Foreign) languages.” From here, you might need to know how to say some of the languages in French:

  • Allemand(e): “German”
  • Anglais(e): “English”
  • Espagnol(e): “Spanish”

6. D’accord - “Okay!”

7. Il y a - “There is/are.”

8. C’est ça? - “Right, is that so?”

9. Alors - “So/Therefore.”

10. Quand - “When?”

11. Comment - “How?”

12. Combien de - “How much/many?”

13. Parce que. - “Because.”

14. Pourquoi? - “Why?”

15. Où est (…)? - “Where is (…)?”

16. Oui - “Yes.”

17. Non - “No.”

18. Pas mal - “Not bad.”

19. Francophone - “French-speaking.” (I mentioned this earlier but I wanted to reiterate.)

20. Américain(e) - “American.”

Inevitably, one of the best ways to start learning a foreign language is by learning useful phrases.

While it’s not necessarily learning the basics, learning useful French phrases allows you to learn some pronunciation, along with verb structure and sentence structure.

If you take the time to use these helpful tips, you’ll be ready for a trip to France in no time.

There you’ll find yourself surrounded in French culture, getting to see the country and experience their completely different lifestyle can also help you master the language!

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Now there’s an even more effective way…

Believe it or not, at FrenchPod101, you can find more than 1,370 free audio and video lessons covering almost every day-to-day conversation and topic you might think of.

And that’s not all!

You’ll get personalized help from top native French teachers who correct your assignments and answer your questions.

Join the hundreds of thousands of people already learning French the 21st century way.

Bonne chance !

How to Celebrate April Fools’ Day in French

How to Celebrate April Fools' Day in French!

Most everyone is familiar with this day, as it is celebrated nearly everywhere the world. Yet, when exactly is April Fools’ Day? And where did April Fools come from? April Fools’ Day is observed on April 1st every year. This day of jokes and pranks is believed to have stemmed from the 16th-century calendar change in France, when New Year’s Day was moved from April 1 to January 1. This action was taken due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

However, a few people were resistant to the calendar change, so they continued to observe New Year’s Day on April 1st, rather than the new date. They were referred to as the “April Fools”, and others started playing mocking tricks on them. This custom endured, and is practiced to this day around the world!

Table of Contents

  1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day
  2. French Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day
  3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody
  4. How Can FrenchPod101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?
  5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in French - Testing New Technology

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1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day

Do you want to know how to say April Fools’ Day in French? Well, there are millions of ways and words, but here are the top one million French words you really need to know! Simply click this link. Here are some of them you will find useful:

  1. funny - drôle
  2. joke - plaisanter
  3. surprise - surprendre
  4. sneaky - sournois
  5. prankster - farceur
  6. prank - farce
  7. lie - mentir
  8. humor - humour
  9. fool - idiot
  10. deceptive - trompeur
  11. April 1st - premier avril
  12. play a joke - faire une blague

2. French Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day

French Phrases for April Fools' Day

Don’t limit yourself to practical jokes - use these April Fools’ phrases in French to prank your favorite French friend or colleague!

  1. I learned French in 1 month.
    • J’ai appris le français en un mois.
  2. All classes for today got canceled.
    • Tous les cours d’aujourd’hui ont été annulés.
  3. I’m sorry, but I’ve just broken your favorite pair of glasses.
    • Je suis désolé, mais je viens de casser votre paire de lunettes préférée.
  4. Someone has just hit your car.
    • Quelqu’un vient de heurter votre voiture.
  5. I’m getting married.
    • Je vais me marier.
  6. You won a free ticket.
    • Vous avez gagné un billet gratuit.
  7. I saw your car being towed.
    • J’ai vu votre voiture se faire remorquer.
  8. They’re giving away free gift cards in front of the building.
    • Ils sont en train de donner des cartes-cadeaux gratuites devant l’immeuble.
  9. A handsome guy is waiting for you outside.
    • Un beau mec vous attend dehors.
  10. A beautiful lady asked me to give this phone number to you.
    • Une jolie femme m’a demandé de vous donner ce numéro de téléphone.
  11. Can you come downstairs? I have something special for you.
    • Pouvez-vous descendre? J’ai quelque chose de spécial pour vous.
  12. Thank you for your love letter this morning. I never could have guessed your feelings.
    • Merci pour votre lettre d’amour de ce matin. Je n’aurais jamais deviné vos sentiments.

Choose your victims carefully, though; the idea is to get them to laugh with you, not to hurt their feelings or humiliate them in front of others. Be extra careful if you choose to play a prank on your boss - you don’t want to antagonize them with an inappropriate joke.

3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody

Choose Bad or Good

Right, now that you know the top million April Fools’ words in French, let’s look at some super pranks and tricks to play on friends, colleagues and family. Some April Fools ideas never grow old, while new ones are born every year.

Never joke in such a way that it hurts anyone, or humiliates them badly in front of others - the idea is for everybody to laugh and enjoy the fun! Respect is still key, no matter what day of the year it is.

Cockroach prank

1- Infestation

This trick is so simple, yet so creepy, it’s almost unbelievable. Take black paper, cut out the silhouette of a giant cockroach, a spider or another insect, and stick it inside the lampshade of a table lamp. When the lamp is switched on, it will look like a monstrous insect is sitting inside the lampshade. Or, get a whole lot of realistic-looking plastic insects, and spread them over a colleague’s desk and chair, or, at home, over the kids’ beds etc. Creep-factor: stellar.

2- Which One Doesn’t Fit?

Put the photo of a celebrity or a notorious politician in a frame, and take it to work on April Fools’ Day. Hang the photo on the staff picture wall, and wait. You’ll be surprised how long it can take for people to notice that one picture doesn’t fit.

3- Something Weird in the Restroom

At work, replace the air freshener in the restroom with something noxious like insect killer, oven cleaner or your own odious mixture in a spray bottle. Be sure to cover the bottle’s body so no one suspects a swap.

Or paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish, and leave it at the hand wash basin. It will not lather.

Or, if your workplace’s restroom has partitioned toilets with short doors, arrange jeans or trousers and shoes on all but one of the toilet covers, so it looks like every stall is occupied. Now wait for complaints, and see how long it takes for someone to figure out the April Fools’ Day prank. You’ll probably wish you had a camera inside the restroom. But, unless you don’t mind getting fired, don’t put your own recording device in there!

Funny Face

4- Call Me Funny

Prepare and print out a few posters with the following instructions: Lion Roar Challenge! Call this number - XXX XXXXXXX - and leave your best lion’s roar as voicemail! Best roarer will be announced April 10 in the cafeteria. Prize: $100. (Lion’s roar is just an example; you can use any animal call, or even a movie character’s unique sound, such as Chewbacca from Star Wars. The weirder, the funnier. Obviously!) Put the posters up in the office where most of the staff is likely to see them. Now wait for the owner of the number to visit you with murderous intent. Have a conciliatory gift ready that’s not a prank.

5- Minty Cookies

This is another simple but hugely effective prank - simply separate iced cookies, scrape off the icing, and replace it with toothpaste. Serve during lunch or tea break at work, or put in your family’s lunch boxes. Be sure to take photos of your victim’s faces when they first bite into your April Fools’ cookies.

6- Wild Shopping

At your local grocer, place a realistic-looking plastic snake or spider among the fresh vegetables. Now wait around the corner for the first yell.

7- The Oldest Trick in the Book

Don’t forget probably the oldest, yet very effective April Fools’ joke in the book - smearing hand cream or Vaseline on a door handle that most staff, family or friends are likely to use. Yuck to the max!

8- Sneeze On Me

Another golden oldie is also gross, yet harmless and utterly satisfying as a prank. Fill a small spray bottle that you can easily conceal with water. Walk past a friend, colleague or one of your kids, and fake a sneeze while simultaneously spraying them with a bit of water. Expect to be called a totally disgusting person. Add a drop of lovely smelling essential oil to the water for extra confusion.

9- Word Play Repairs

Put a fresh leek in the hand wash basin at home or work, and then tell your housemates or colleagues this: “There’s a huge leak in the restroom/bathroom basin, it’s really serious. Please can someone go have a look?!” Expect exasperation and smiles all around. Note that this prank is only likely to work where people understand English well.

10- Scary Face

Print out a very scary face on an A4 sheet of paper, and place it in a colleague’s, or one of your kid’s drawers, so it’s the first thing they see when they open the drawer. You may not be very popular for a while.

11- Wake Up To Madness

Put foamy shaving cream, or real whipped cream on your hand, and wake your kid up by tickling their nose with it. As long as they get the joke, this could be a wonderful and fun way to start April Fools’ Day.

Computer Prank

12- Computer Prank

This one’s fabulous, if you have a bit of time to fiddle with a colleague, friend or your kid’s computer. It is most effective on a computer where most of the icons they use are on the desktop background itself (as opposed to on the bottom task bar).

Take and save a screenshot of their desktop with the icons. Set this screenshot as their background image. Now delete all the working icons. When they return to their computer, wait for the curses when no amount of clicking on the icons works.

13- Monster Under the Cup

This one will also work well anywhere people meet. Take a paper cup, and write the following on it in black pen: “Danger! Don’t lift, big spider underneath.” Place it upside-down on prominent flat surface, such as a kitchen counter, a colleague’s desk or a restaurant table. Expect some truly interesting responses.

Door Prank

14- Prank Door

Write in large letters on a large and noticeable piece of paper: PUSH. Tape this notice on a door that should be pulled to open, and watch the hilarious struggle of those clever souls who actually read signs.

4. How Can FrenchPod101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?

If you happen to visit France, or if you work for any French company, knowing the above French prankster phrases can really lighten up your day. Showing you have a sense of humor can go a long way to cement good relationships in any situation. These phrases are at your disposal for free, as well as are these 100 core French words, which you will learn how to pronounce perfectly.

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Also, don’t stop at learning April Fools’ phrases in French - bone up your French language skills with these FREE key phrases. Yes, FrenchPod101 doesn’t joke when it comes to effective, fun and easy learning.

Now, as a bonus, test our super-learning technology, and learn the Top 1000 most useful phrases in French below! But that’s not all. Read on to learn how you can be eligible for large enrollment discounts at FrenchPod101.

5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in French - testing new technology

Help us by being a language guinea pig! Listen to this video above with embedded cutting-edge, frequency-based learning technology that enables you to learn large amounts of data in record time.

  • Note: This technology is in beta-phase of development, and we invite your input for fine-tuning.
  • To participate: Watch the video for instructions, and leave a comment to rate it. Your comment will make you eligible for large enrollment-fee discounts. To watch the video, please click the play button.

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French Word of the Day - toilet paper (noun)

Learn a little French everyday with the free French Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

papier toilette toilet paper (noun)

J’ai acheté deux rouleaux de papier toilette.
I bought two rolls of toilet paper.

Sois sûr de toujours avoir du papier toilette en plus dans la salle de bain.
Make sure you keep extra toilet paper in the bathroom.

rouleau de papier toilette
roll of toilet paper

Own a blog or website? Share free language content with your readers with the French Word of the Day with Audio Widget. Click here for instructions on how to embed and customize this free widget!

4 Reasons Why French Slang Words Will Make You Fluent

Learn 4 honest reasons you need French slang words and why they are so vital to truly learning and mastering the language.

Teachers may normally cringe at the thought of their students learning French slang words. After all, slang words and phrases are typically defined as being grammatically incorrect. So why would your teacher want you to spend time learning the “wrong way” to speak French? Here are 4 of the top reasons why you should study slang words and expressions when learning French or any new language.

reasons to learn french slang words

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1. Native Speakers Use Slang Expressions in Everyday Conversation

If you are going to study a foreign language and plan to use it to speak with native speakers, then you have to learn slang words and expressions. Otherwise, just using formal expressions and grammar may alienate you from native speakers and make it more difficult to establish a real connection. So it is best to at least learn some common slang words and expressions if you’re planning to meet or speak socially with someone.

2. Slang Words Are Used All Throughout French Culture

If you turn on any popular French TV show, listen to any song, or watch any movie, you are quickly going to see the value of learning French slang phrases. Just like everyday conversations between native speakers, French culture is filled with slang phrases and expressions. Without at least some knowledge of the more common slang phrases, popular culture and most conversations will be very confusing and potentially alienating.

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3. Slang Expressions Help You Better Express Your True Thoughts and Feelings

Only relying on formal grammar and vocabulary is very limiting, especially in social situations. Just like in your native language, using the appropriate French slang words can help you express a broader range of emotions, thoughts, and feelings.

4. Proper Use of Slang Makes You Sound More Natural

We’ve all met foreigners who technically used formal language perfectly but still sounded odd and well….foreign. But when you use the right slang words and expressions, you will sound more natural and like a true native speaker. If you notice, even most politicians include a sprinkling of slang expressions and words throughout their speeches to help them sound more natural and to better connect with the audience.

The Dark Side of Slang Expressions

Learning French slang words can indeed help you sound more natural, better understand the people and culture, and make integration much easier. However, there is a dark side: using the wrong slang expressions can also make you look foolish, uneducated, and potentially disrespectful.

But how do you know which slang words or phrases to use and when?

The truth is that you can’t learn the most modern and appropriate slang words in textbooks or formal classroom settings. By the time the information gets incorporated into a formal curriculum, it’s already outdated and no longer in use by actual French people. And while you can learn current slang expressions from French TV shows, movies, songs, and games, you may not understand the context. If that happens, you may use the right French slang words but in the wrong situation and still look like a fool or possibly even offend someone.

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So where can you learn current slang expressions and the right context in which to use them?

At FrenchPod101, native speaking instructors create audio and video lessons that can include slang expressions and words. Our instructors provide context and examples for all the French slang words used in any lesson to make sure students understand the right time and place to use them.

French slang words and expressions may be grammatically incorrect but they are vital to truly understanding and immersing yourself in the culture. In fact, it will be very difficult to fully understand any movie, TV show, song, game, or even 1-on-1 conversation without knowing a few of the more common slang expressions.

However, it is important to learn the proper context and use of even popular slang expressions or you may come across as confusing, disrespectful, or uneducated.
At FrenchPod101, you’ll learn how to use slang phrases and words to draw the right attention and avoid these problems.

Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on FrenchPod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in French!

French Slang Part I

For French learners: You need to know that, unfortunately, the real world looks a bit different from what you learnt, more confusing and less structured with the use of slang. Here we will tell you why you must study slang, and you will learn 5 of the most used French slangs in everyday life and how to use them properly!

learn french slang expression for everydaylife free slangs

And if you didn’t start yet and want to learn French, click here to access our Absolute Beginner video course to master French basics in few hours for FREE!

Slang is an aspect of language that isn’t usually taught in the classroom but is an important part of becoming proficient in any language. A person learning French might attend daily classes. They might study the grammar and the formalities and might even produce complex and coherent sentences. But, take this student out of the classroom and away from the textbooks, and they will encounter a world of language that breaks the rules they learned.

Although studying proper French rules is important, slang is unavoidable, no matter what language you’re speaking. In drama and music, conversations and advertising, language becomes less formal and goes less and less “by the rules”. Real-life French is so different from the textbooks.

Taking the time to understand slang and informal speech will boost your communication and language skills, and save a whole lot of confusion. Slang will allow you to use language in a current, useful way. No amount of time in class can prepare you for the contemporary nuances you’ll be faced with when you put your language knowledge to practical use out in the real world.

Click here to discover 10 monthly goals that will help you reach fluency in French!

It’s time to cover common French slang expressions that are used every day in France!

1. Vachement - really

The word vachement is a slang expression meaning “really.” You can use this expression when you want to emphasize something. It can be both used with positive or negative words. It is stronger than très (”very”). This expression is often used by young people.

Ce gâteau est vachement bon!
This cake is really good!

2. Etre bourré(e) - to be drunk

The phrase être bourré(e) literally means “to be stuffed.” But when it’s used as a slang expression, it means “be drunk.” You can use this expression when you want to talk about being drunk. This phrase is less formal than ivre and is mostly used with family or friends. This expression is often used by young people.

Tout le monde était bourré à la soirée d’hier.
Everyone was drunk at yesterday’s party.

3. Faire un tabac - to be a hit

The phrase faire un tabac literally means “make a tobacco.” But when it’s used as a slang expression, it means “to be a hit.” You can use this expression when you are talking about something that is a major success.This expression is used often by everyone.

Ce film a fait un tabac chez les jeunes.
This movie was a hit among young people.

For you French Learners, The 15 Best Tips to Remember French Words For FREE

4. Ne pas faire long feu - to not last long

The expression ne pas faire long feu literally means “not make long fire.” But when it’s used as a slang expression, it means “to not last long.”
You can use this expression when you talk about something that doesn’t last very long, or something that ends rapidly. It is often used when someone is about to go to bed, to insist that this person is so tired that she won’t make it much longer if she doesn’t go to bed ASAP. This expression is used often by everyone.

Mon appareil photo n’a plus de batterie, il ne va pas faire long feu.
My camera don’t have battery anymore; it won’t last much longer.

5. Piger - get

The word piger literally means “understand.” But when it’s used as a slang expression, it means “get.” You can use this expression when you are with your friends or family. It is stronger than the neutral word comprendre (”to understand” ) and has a negative connotation.
This expression is often used by young people.

Je n’ai rien pigé à ce qu’il a dit.
I didn’t get anything from what he said.

Check out this list to learn more French vocabulary to be a good lover and sounds like a native speaker!

Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on FrenchPod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in French!

Top 20 French Words and Phrases you need to survive the Apocalypse

Zombies are coming, and they speak French! Do you have what it takes to survive? No?
How lucky you are, we have exactly what you need. Here is the Top 20 Words and Phrases you need to survive this Apocalypse!

top French words and phrases to survive zombies apocalypse

Click here to listen how to pronounce those phrases!

-infection (n) fem
infection

-peur (n) fem
scary

-crâne (n) masc
skull

-tombe (n) fem
grave

-chair de poule fem
goose bumps

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Click here to access this lesson for free!

-apocalypse (n) fem
apocalypse

-sortir du tombeau
rise from the grave

-Des zombies! Cours!
Zombies! Run!

-S’il y avait une attaque de zombies, où iriez-vous?
If there was a zombie attack, where would you go?

-surnaturel (adj)
supernatural

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-provisions (n) fem
food supply

-mort-vivant (n) masc
walking dead

-Quel est votre film de zombies préféré?
What’s your favorite zombie movie?

-imagination (n) fem
imagination

-culture populaire fem
pop culture

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-eau fraîche fem
fresh water

-cadavre (n) masc
corpse

-horrible (adj)
gruesome

-cacher (v)
hide

-cimetière (n) masc
graveyard

Want to amaze zombies? Become their friends? Learn French with our vocabulary lists!

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How to Learn French in Your Car?

How to Learn French in Your Car? Learn language in car

Stuck in traffic? Losing time in your car? Have you ever felt that in all this wasted time, you could have watched the 750 episodes of One Piece, finished the last Super Mario ten times, or even better…you could have learned French? Between family, friends and work, in addition to this time-consuming commute, it can become difficult to find time to properly learn French.

Fortunately, every problem has a solution, and what could be a better solution than turning that commute time into learning time? Stop passing the time mindlessly listening to the radio and try some of our best tips for mastering French in your car!

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Click Here To Start Learning French Right Now!

You can learn French in your car, hands free
While driving, it’s important that you keep your focus on the road, so this is why our top tips won’t require you to use your hands!

Listening to French audio content in the car is a good way to learn
This is because it is a fun and efficient way to learn. With FrenchPod101.com podcasts, you will be able to discover French culture through topics about everyday life. Instead of the radio, listen to a French podcast adapted to your level, from Absolute Beginner to Advanced, and you will make progress sooner that you would expect!

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You can listen to French music in the car
Did you know that you can learn French by singing while driving? Listen to songs from cartoon or drama and try to identify some words you learned.

Challenge yourself! Use the French you’ve studied up to this point and see how much you understand! Making the jump to real-life French is a scary one, but friendly children’s songs are a great place to start!

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You can learn alone in your car
When you’re driving alone, you can be as loud as you want – there is nothing better for remembering your French lessons than repeating loudly, again and again. Next time you see a driver who seems to be talking alone, you will know he or she is just learning French!

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You can learn through repetition with your passengers
If there are passengers in the car, it can be more stimulating to learn together. You can set a role play with French dialogues. With FrenchPod101.com, you can download all the lessons transcript including the dialogues, as a PDF. Print it out and have some fun speaking in French!

One of the passengers can answer the quiz available on each of our lessons, while another can correct that person. Listening to someone at a more advanced level of French or a better accent is positive and helps you improve.

You can learn French offline
Do you have a poor connection or are unable to use the Internet? It’s not a problem for learning French! Before you start your commute, use our App to download the lessons you want to study and the podcast you want to listen to in your car, and you will be able to enjoy your lessons offline. Entering a tunnel won’t be a problem anymore. What a pleasure to listen to audio content without having the host freezing every 5 seconds!

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Click here to download the App and learn offline!

You can learn every day at your own pace
One of the best approaches for learning a language is little by little and often. It’s not efficient to take in a huge amount of information at one time. What you need is to study on a regular basis – a little bit of French every day. You commute several days a week, and that is all time you can take advantage of!

You have the freedom to choose the lessons and podcasts you want to focus on, at your own rhythm. You may want to do a little revision or discover how to talk about a new topic. And if you’re wondering what to learn next, you can use the new Learning Paths, which is our customized pathway feature that gives you a step-by-step way to learn French without getting lost!

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Click here to access Learning Paths at FrenchPod101!

If you don’t have a car and commute by another method, these tips are still valid! Learning French is no longer limited to the classroom or your house; there are so many benefits to learning in your car or elsewhere. Reaching a conversational level will take you less time than you could ever have imagined! Don’t forget to sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and enjoy our content!

Top 10 Lines You Need for Introducing Yourself in French

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Click here to listen how to pronounce those phrases!

  • Je m’appelle Jacqueline.
    My name is Jacqueline.

  • Je viens de France.
    I’m from France.

  • J’habite à Paris.
    I live in Paris.

  • J’apprends le français depuis un an.
    I’ve been learning French for a year.

  • J’apprends le français sur FrenchPod101.com.
    I’m learning French at FrenchPod101.com.

  • Bonjour, enchanté(e) de faire votre connaissance.
    Hello, it’s nice to meet you.

  • J’ai 27 ans.
    I’m 27 years old.

  • Je suis enseignant(e).
    I’m a teacher.

  • Un de mes passe-temps est la lecture.
    One of my hobbies is reading.

  • J’aime écouter de la musique.
    I enjoy listening to music.

    Make friends? Want to impress native speakers?
    Learn French with our other vocabulary lists!

  • 10 Monthly Goals to become fluent in French

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    Hey French Learner!

    Shortcuts for learning and tips to remember French words are useful but it’s even also important to fix objectives to reach every month! What Is Your Language Learning Goal for the Month?
    In your journey to become fluent and conversational here are 10 monthly goals you can go after!

    Click Here To Start Learning French Right Now!

    1) I’ll finish Survival Phrases series on FrenchPod101.com by listening to two lesson a day.

    2) I’ll give a 3 minute introductory speech in French to my French friends.

    3) I’ll finish reading one French book by reading 10 pages a day.

    4) I’ll pass my French test.

    5) I’ll write 10 postcards in French to my French friends.

    6) I’ll memorize 5 French songs.

    7) I’ll finish memorizing 350 words with Flashcards on FrenchPod101.com.

    8 ) I’ll fully understand one French movie by watching it every day.

    9) I’ll learn how to talk about past, present and future events.

    10) I’ll master 150 words by memorizing 5 words a day.

    No money, no credit card required, just you and the ton of lessons!

    If you follow those monthly goals, you will be sure to make some amazing progress. And remember, if you’re really interested in getting on the fast-track to fluency, sign up for a FREE lifetime account at FrenchPod101.com!

    How to be a Good Lover in France

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    Click here to listen how to pronounce those lovely words!

    - Je vous aime.
    I love you.

    - Tu comptes tant pour moi.
    You mean so much to me.

    - Veux-tu sortir avec moi?
    Will you be my Valentine?

    - Tu es si belle.
    You’re so beautiful.

    - Je vois en toi plus qu’un(e) ami(e).
    I think of you as more than a friend.

    - Une centaine de coeurs seraient trop peu nombreux pour transporter tout mon amour pour toi.
    A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

    - L’amour est simplement l’amour. Il ne pourra jamais être expliqué.
    Love is just love. It can never be explained.

    - Tu es si beau/belle.
    You’re so handsome.

    - J’ai le béguin pour toi.
    I’ve got a crush on you.

    - Tu me donnes envie d’être un homme meilleur.
    You make me want to be a better man.

    - Que tout ce que tu fais se fasse dans l’amour.
    Let all that you do be done in love.

    - Tu es mon soleil, mon amour.
    You are my sunshine, my love.

    - Les mots ne peuvent pas décrire mon amour pour toi.
    Words can’t describe my love for you.

    - Nous sommes faits pour être ensemble.
    We were meant to be together.

    - Si vous pensiez à quelqu’un en lisant ceci, vous êtes certainement amoureux/amoureuse.
    If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

    Break up? Want to impress friends? Learn French with our other vocabulary lists!