Definitive guide

French Language

The French are not necessarily enthusiastic at the idea of having to speak English, so knowing how to ask for simple things in French can go a long way.

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While most people you will interact with in Paris will be able to at least understand some English (especially in hotels, restaurants, and shops), knowing - and trying! - a bit of French will be much appreciated.

So here is a list of words and expressions in French that you might find useful. Since French pronunciation can be a bit hard to guess if you don’t know the rules, we have included the pronunciation in slashes.

Hand holding a board with ‘Learn french’ written on it
No one expects you speak fluent French, but just trying will be much appreciated by the locals.


Sorry: Pardon /pahr-dohn/

Please: S’il vous plaît /seel vooh pleh/

Thank you: Merci /mehr-see/

Excuse me: Excusez-moi /eks-kew-zey-mwah/

Welcome: Bienvenue /biahn-ven-nhoo/

You’re welcome: De rien /duh ryahn/

Yes: Oui /hoo-ee/

No: Non

When: Quand /kuahnd/


Everything: Tout /toot/

What: Quoi /kuah/

Why: Pourquoi /puhr-kuah/

A lot: Beaucoup /boh-koo/

Too much: Trop

I don’t understand: Je ne comprends pas /juh neh kom-prandu-pah/

How much does … cost?: Combien coûte…? /kohn-byan kooht …?/

Do you speak English?: Parlez-vous anglais? /pahr-ley vooh ahn-gleh?/


Good morning/hello: Bonjour /bohn-jhoohr/

Good evening: Bon soir /bohn-swahr/

Good night: Bonne nuit /bohn-noo-eet/

Goodbye: Au revoir /ohr-vwahr/


0 zéro /zeh-roh/

1 un /uhN/

2 deux /duh/

3 trois /trwah/

4 quatre /kah-truh/

5 cinq /sank/

6 six /sees/

7 sept /seht/

8 huit /hweet/

9 neuf /nuhf/

10 dix /dees/

20 vingt /van/

30 trente /trahnt/

40 quarante /kah-rahnt/

50 cinquante /saN-kahnt/

60 soixante /swah-sahnt/

70 soixante-dix /swah-sahnt-dees/

80 quatre-vingts /kah-truh-van/

90 quatre-vingt-dix /kah-truh-van-dees/

100 cent /sahn/

Days of the week

Monday: lundi /luhn-dee/

Tuesday: mardi /mahr-dee/

Wednesday: mercredi /mehr-kruh-dee/

Thursday: jeudi /zhuh-dee/

Friday vendredi /vahn-druh-dee/

Saturday: samedi /sahm-dee/

Sunday: dimanche /dee-mahNsh/

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French Language