Study in France

45+ Useful French Sayings to Make You F…

45+ Useful French Sayings to Make You Feel Like a Pro

International Students in France

Traveling to France is an exciting trip where you learn about the local way of life and sample all the delicious cuisine. Even if you'll be in France for a short while, learning a few simple French words can be really helpful and improve your trip.

France has an impressive culture, the impact of which is evident around the world. In addition to the exceptional art, literature, and cuisine, France also has a beautiful language.

So, it’s fair to say that speaking a little bit of French can go a long way when it comes to experiencing French culture. Plus, speaking French can give you an extra edge in the job market.

Let’s start learning, shall we?

Here are some useful French sayings:


There are many different ways to say "Hello" in French, but Bonjour is certainly the most popular. Regardless of the formality or informality of the setting, it is always polite and kind. The word "Hello" is made up of the terms Bon (Good) and Jour (Day).

You might also say Bonsoir (French for "Good evening") in the evening. Salut, which can be used to say "Hi" or "Bye" is a more informal greeting. When entering a restaurant or store, it's also important to say bonjour. Make sure to memorize this word if you only have time to learn one French word before your trip.


Merci means “Thank you,” and it’s another essential French word that you need to know. Use this whenever you need to express gratitude. It would be appreciated at all times.

Merci is a simple approach to letting a French person know you're having fun and that you've taken an effort to learn a few words in their language.

S’il vous plaît

Meaning “Please.” This phrase is a helpful one to learn as part of basic French manners, just like "Excusez-moi" (Excuse me), "Pardon" (forgive me, I ask your pardon), and "Je suis désole" (I'm sorry).

Comment Allez-Vous?

The phrase "Comment allez-vous?" is the most common and polite approach for asking about someone's well-being, meaning “How are you?”. “Comment ça va?” is another informal choice or just "Ça va?".

Parlez-Vous Anglais?

You might have to try communicating with locals in English at some point if you speak little to no French. Try opening the conversation with one of the most useful French sayings, “Parlez-vous anglais?” meaning “Do you speak English?” to show that you've made an effort to speak French.

In Paris, most of the people employed in restaurants and other tourist destinations typically speak English. But sometimes, if you visit a smaller city outside of Paris, this could not be the case. This is why it's important to know a few basic French phrases beforehand.

French Greetings

Phrase Translation
Enchanté Nice to meet you
Comment ça va? How’s it going?
Vous allez bien? Are you well?
Quoi de neuf? What’s new? / What’s up?
Bienvenue. Welcome.
Au revoir Goodbye
À bientôt! See you soon!
De rien. You’re welcome.
Je m’appelle… My name is…

Famous French Sayings

French Saying Translation English Expression
C’est simple comme bonjour! It’s simple as hello! Easy peasy.
La nuit porte conseil. The night carries advice. Sleep on it.
Petit à petit, l’oiseau fait son nid. Little by little, the bird builds its nest. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Ce n’est pas la mer à boire. It’s not the sea to drink It’s not the end of the world.
Après la pluie, le beau temps. After the rain, good weather. After the rain, comes the rainbow.
Les chiens ne font pas des chats. Dogs don’t make cats. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Ah, la vache! Oh, my cow! Holy cow!
Comme on fait son lit, on se couche. You’ve made your bed, now lie on it. You reap what you sow.

Asking For Directions

Phrase Translation
Où? Where?
Où est… ? Where is… ?
Où est la gare? Where is the train station?
Pourriez-vous m’aider? Can you help me?
Où est un bon restaurant/un bon café? Where is a good restaurant/cafe?
Est-ce que c’est loin/proche? Is it far/close?


Phrase Translation
Ouvert Open
Fermé Closed
Je voudrais… I would like…
Combien ça coûte? How much is it?
Puis-je l’essayer May I try it on?
Je le prendrai I’ll take it
Est-ce que je peux payer avec une carte de crédit? Can I pay with a credit card?
Le magasin Store
La robe A dress
La jupe A skirt
La chemise A shirt

Eating Out

Phrase Translation
Monsieur/Madame Waiter
Je prendrai… I’ll have…
Avez-vous.. ? Do you have.. ?
Qu’est-ce que vous conseillez? What do you recommend?
J’aimerais voir le menu. I would like to see the menu.
L’addition The check
Une tasse A cup
Les plats Main courses
Les desserts Desserts
Les entrées Appetizers

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