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As a learner myself, I totally understand how starting a conversation in French as a beginner can be both exciting and daunting.

Excting because of the prospect of opening a new door, meeting someone new, start something new…

Daunting because you’re not sure you’ll be understood, you’ll make mistakes and embarrass yourself… 

I’m very passionate about getting learners to start conversing before they feel totally ready so I thought that writing about how to start a French conversation for beginners would be a great way to help you as you embark on your French speaking journey.

Keep reading to understand some essential greetings and conversation starters that I’ve kept nice and simple for beginners whether their speaking with native French speakers or fellow learners in a practise setting.

French conversation for beginners

Part 1: Mastering the Greetings Confidently (French conversation for beginners)

First impressions are important but remember that speaking French will take practise so don’t wait until you are advanced to engage in a conversation and use these greetings depending on the situation you find yourself in. Here are essential greetings to begin your conversations, ranging from formal to informal:


  • Bonjour – Standard formal greeting, suitable for most situations.
  • Bonsoir – Formal way to say hello in the evening.
  • Bienvenue (Welcome) – To greet someone in a warm and inviting manner.
  • Vous allez bien? – To check someone is feeling well

Informal (to be used mostly with friends and family)

  • Salut – More of a Hi than Hello so a common and neutral way to greet someone.
  • Coucou – Informal yet friendly, often used among friends.
  • Yo – Very informal and casual, typically used among close and young friends.
  • Quoi de neuf ? – Literally means “What’s new?” and is quite informal.
  • Ça va ? – A simple “How are you?” used in relaxed conversations.
  • Comment ça marche ? – Literally means “How’s it working (out)?” and it’s fairly informal.

Not sure how to say these? Press the play button to listen to the French pronunciation now.

French conversation for beginners

Part 2: Introducing Yourself
(French conversation for beginners)

Then it’s time to introduce yourself.

One of the common mistakes that I see beginner learners make when they Start learning French is that they know how to give details about themselves with skip the part where they ask the other person those same questions.

This often brings their first attempts at conversing in French to hold because they don’t have the skills to ask questions spontaneously. Below I will share both examples of you sharing some basic information and introducing yourself as well as the questions you can ask of the other person.
A handy structure is a simple “Et vous?” (And you?).

Here are a few phrases to help you introduce yourself:

  1. Je m’appelle […] (My name is […]).
  2. Je viens de […] (I’m or I come from [place]).
  3. J’ai […] enfants / petits-enfants (I have […] children/grandchildren).
  4. Nous avons un chien/chat/oiseau/lapin. (I have a dog/cat/bird/rabbit).
  5. J’apprends le francais depuis 2 ans/mois (I’ve been learning French for 2 years/months).

The question you will want to ask them in return:

  1. Comment vous appelez-vous? (What’s your name ?)
  2. D’où venez-vous ? (Where do you come from?)
  3. Avez-vous des enfants / petits-enfants? (Do you have any children/grandchildren?)
  4. Avez-vous des animaux de compagnie? (Do you have any pets?)
  5. Est-ce que vous apprenez l’anglais/le français depuis longtemps ? (Have you been learning English/French for a long time?

Once you’ve share you can add: Enchantée de faire votre connaissance (Nice to meet you) –

Not sure how to say these? Press the play button to listen to the French pronunciation now.


French conversation for beginners

Part 3: Conversation Starters
(French conversation for beginners)

Starting a conversation can feel like unlocking a safe as you search for the code aka the common ground. Once you find it, the conversation can flow easily but it’s sometimes tricky to think of .conversation starters for various topics.

  • People usually love talking about their hobbies.

Qu’est-ce que vous aimez faire ? (What do you like to do?)
Qu’est-ce que vous faites d’habitude le week-end  ? (What do you usually do on weekends?)

  •  You can take an opportunity to share personal details.

Parlez-moi de votre famille (Tell me about your family) – An opportunity to share personal stories.
Parlez-moi de votre travail (Tell me about your work) – An opportunity to share personal stories.

  •  You can try to find some common ground and share likes and dislikes.

Quel est votre plat/acteur/groupe préféré ? (What is your favourite dish/actor/band?)
Avez-vous déjà visité la France/les Etats-Unis ? (Have you ever been to France? The US?)
Quel type de musique écoutez-vous ? (What type of music do you listen to?)
Quel genre de film regardez-vous ? (What type of movies do you watch?)
Quel genre de livre aimez-vous ? (What genre of books do you like?)


Not sure how to say these? Press the play button to listen to the French pronunciation now.

French conversation for beginners

Part 4: Sharing Interests (French conversation for beginners)

Sharing your interests is a great way to have a deeper conversation. Here are six phrases to talk about what you enjoy:

  • J’adore danser/cuisiner/jardiner (I love dancing/cooking/gardening).
  • La lecture, c’est ma passion (Reading is my passion).
  • Je ne suis pas fan de sport (I’m not a sports enthusiast).
  • La psychology me fascine (Psychology fascinates me).
  • Voyager est ma grande passion (Traveling is my great passion).
  • En ce moment, je regarde une série comique qui s’appelle […] (Right now, I’m watching a comedy series called …).

Not sure how to say these? Press the play button to listen to the French pronunciation now.

French conversation for beginners

Part 5: Wrapping Up Politely (French conversation for beginners)

Now it’s time to end the conversation and here are a few polite ways to wrap up:

  • Enchanté.e de vous avoir rencontrer (It was nice meeting you)
  • C’était vraiment agréable de discuter avec vous (It was really nice chatting with you).
  • À la prochaine fois j’espère (Until next time I hope)
  • Prenez soin de vous (Take care of yourself) if that one makes sense in the situation
  • Bonne journée ! (Have a good day!)
  • Bonne soirée ! (Have a good evening!)
  • Au revoir ! (Goodbye!)
  • Merci pour cette belle conversation (Thank you for this lovely conversation)

Not sure how to say these? Press the play button to listen to the French pronunciation now.

My best tip is to take every opportunity to have simple conversations even if you are beginner because every time you’ll have the opportunity to improve by learning from your mistakes.

Remember that mistakes are proof of your progress no mistakes simply means no progress because it means you haven’t attempted to put together the words and grammar structures that you’ve learned.

By using these five parts, you’re getting ready to step into the world of French dialogues with newfound confidence.

Whether it’s casual chats or more in-depth discussions, these conversation basics will serve as guide posts that you can tweak to best fit your personality and situation. So, embrace every opportunity you get, keep practicing, and soon you’ll be conversing with ease and confidence.


Bonne chance! (Good luck!)

To help you with this, I hope you decide to join our “Beyond Beginner French” program whose unique format will have you conversing in French in no time. Together we will be covering the beginner French that truly matters to have the confidence to have conversations using the basic tenses such as present, past (passé composé) and future (futur proche) verb tenses.

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss by clicking here or click below to read more.