Do You Know These Basic French Phrases?

Becky Stigall

S'il vous plaît

"S'il vous plaît" means "please." It is pronounced "seel voo play."

Non, merci

"Non, merci" means "no, thank you." It is pronounced "nong, mair-see."

Oui, s'il vous plaît

"Oui, s'il vous plaît" means "yes, please." Literally translated, it means "yes, if you please."


"Merci" means "thank you." It is pronounced "mair-see."

Il n'y a pas de quoi

"Il n'y a pas de quoi means "you're welcome." Literally translated, it means "it was nothing."


"Bonjour" means "hello." It can be used any time of day.


"Bonsoir" means "good evening." Unlike "bonjour," this should be used only in the evening.

Au revoir

"Au revoir" means "goodbye." This phrase can be used any time of day.

Bonne nuit

"Bonne nuit" means "good night." Unlike "au revior," "bonne nuit" should only be used at night.

Comment allez-vous?

"Comment allez-vous?" means "how are you?" "Vous" means "you."

Très bien, merci

"Très bien, merci" means "very well, thank you." Say this in response to "Comment allez-vous?"


"Excusez-moi" means "excuse me." You could also say "pardon moi" or simply "pardon."

Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?

"Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?" means "Do you speak English?" "Parlez" means "to speak."

Est-ce que vous pouvez m'aider?

"Est-ce que vous pouvez m'aider?" means "Can you help me?" Use the word "aider" as a clue.

Je ne comprends pas.

'Je ne comprends pas" means "I do not understand." The word "pas" means "not."

Est-ce que vous pouvez l'écrire?

"Est-ce que vous pouvez l'écrire?" means "Can you write it down?" The verb "ecrire" means "to write."

Où est...?

"Où est...?" means "where is...?" "Où est le chat?" means "where is the cat?"


"Combien?" means "How much?" This is a handy phrase to know if you are traveling to France.

Qu'est-ce que c'est?

"Qu'est-ce que c'est?" means "What is that?" You might want to know this phrase if you are traveling to France.

Je voudrais...

"Je voudrais..." means "I would like..." The word "je" means "I."


"D'accord" means "OK." This is a good phrase to know.

C'est bien.

"C'est bien" means "it is good." This can also be used to say "fine."

Je t'aime

"Je t'aime" means "I love you." French is, after all, the language of love.

Je suis de...

"Je suis de..." means "I am from..." You'll need to know this phrase if you're traveling to France.

La carte, s’il vous plaît.

"La carte, s’il vous plaît" means "the menu, please." In French, "s’il vous plaît" means "please."

Je dois aller à ...

"Je dois aller à..." means "I need to go to..." Remember, in French, "je" means "I."

Je ne peux pas manger...

"Je ne peux pas manger..." means "I can't eat..." This would come in handy if you have a food allergy.

Café au lait

"Café au lait" means "coffee with milk." Order this next time you're at Starbucks.

J’ai besoin d’un médecin.

"J’ai besoin d’un médecin" means "I need a doctor." You may have guessed this from the word "médecin."

Je suis vraiment desolé

"Je suis vraiment desolé" means "I am very sorry." You'll need this phrase on your trip to France.

Excusez-moi de vous déranger.

"Excusez-moi de vous déranger" means "excuse me for disturbing you." Mind your manners!

Parlez-vous anglais?

"Parlez-vous anglais?" means "do you speak English?" If your French is not good, you'll want to use this phrase a lot.

Ou sont les toilettes?

"Ou sont les toilettes?" is how you would ask for the bathroom. Literally translated, this means "Where are the toilets?"


"Allons-y" means "let's go!" If you're a "Dr. Who" fan, you may have guesses this one even if you dont't speak French.

Je ne sais pas.

"Je ne sais pas" means "I do not know." "Je" means "I," and "pas" means "not."

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About This Quiz

If you are traveling to France, or if you just want to impress your friends, there are some basics you should probably know. Follow along with us to see if you know these simple French phrases.

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