Whether you’re travelling for pleasure or business, or preparing to meet some new friends from France, these phrases are some of the most useful ones you will learn. Once you’ve mastered the essentials, like basic greetings, some numbers and how to ask parlez-vous anglais? It is time to learn some new phrases.
I’ve split these new phrases into useful groups centred around the places and situations you may find yourself needing to use them. This way of learning by association helps to stronger connections in your brain, making it even easier to remember.
Shopping and Dining
This list of useful French phrases will be handy when it comes to shopping or dining. By learning these new phrases, you’ll be shopping for souvenirs or ordering lunch in no time!
- Qu’est-ce que c’est ? What is it?
- Ça ouvre quand ? When does it open?
- On dirait/ Ça a l’air … It looks like / it seems …
- Ça me plait. I like it.
- Ça se prononce comment? How do you say/pronounce that?
- Vous pouvez m’aider s’il vous plait Can you help me please?
Hotels and Travelling
Travelling to France? Use this list to help prepare you for some common conversations. You’ll want to ask about nearby attractions, how to get somewhere or find more information. Before asking parlez-vous anglais ? try one of these phrases instead:
- J’ai une réservation. I have a booking.
- Ça me tarde/J’ai hâte! I look forward to / I can’t wait to …
- C’est à qui ? Whose turn is it? (au guichet de la gare par exemple) (at a ticket counter)
- Je ne retrouve pas mes clefs I can’t find my keys.
- Je voudrais des renseignements sur… I would like information about …
- C’est près d’ici ? Is it nearby?
- C’est loin à pied ? Is it far on foot?
- J’ai beaucoup de choses à faire/ à voir. I have lots of things to do / see.
When speaking in French, particularly when travelling to France, you’ll be likely to come across or need these common phrases. Try practicing these phrases with your tutor, and really wow your French companions:
- Qu’est-ce que ça veut dire? What does it mean?
- Désolé(-e), je suis en retard. Sorry, I am late.
- Je ne me sens pas bien. I don’t feel well.
- Il fait chaud/froid ici. It’s hot / cold here
- Ça ne me regarde pas It’s none of my business.
- Ça ne marche pas. It’s not working.
- Où est mon appareil photo? Where is my camera?
- Qu’est-ce que vous faites ce week-end? What are you going to do this weekend?
- Vous avez des projets? Do you have plans?
Practice, practice, practice
Practice these phrases, paying close attention to correct pronunciation. If you’re unsure about pronunciation, reach out and I’ll help you get it right.
When trying out these new sentences, try imagining the things you’re talking about – a street sign (Ça se prononce comment ?) a yummy looking dessert (Qu’est-ce que c’est ?). Create a dialogue around these phrases and practice them with a friend or family member.
Want to really nail it? Use a voice recorder (an app on your smart phone will do in a pinch!) and listen to yourself.
- How’s your pronunciation?
Does it sound natural? Keep practicing until you can get it just right!
- Do you have a French buddy, or a tutor?
Ask them to listen to your pronunciation and correct you. This will help you sound more natural, while also giving you extra practice at speaking.
Better yet, try having practice conversations all in French!
This will enhance not only your pronunciation, but your listening comprehension as well.
With these new phrases in your repertoire, you’re bound to impress everyone you meet along the way!
As always, the team at French Speak here to help if you need a one-off lesson, an intensive course or a regular teacher.
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