Introduction to the French Word "Mairie"

City hall Paris, France
Bernard Jaubert/Photolibrary/Getty Images

The French word mairie, pronounced "may-ee," means "town/city hall," but it can also be used to refer to a city council, mayor's office, or the city as a political entity. If you're in France, you might use this word to ask for directions in town or to refer to the actions of a local government when you're talking politics with friends.


C'est à côté de la mairie. > It's next to the town hall .
La mairie a décidé de fermer le théâtre. > The city council decided to close the theater.
J'aime bien la publicité de la Mairie de Toulouse. > I really like the City of Toulouse's ad. 

You will also see mairie used in conjunction with other related words. For example: 

La mairie d'arrondissement > town hall of an arrondissement

Le secretaire de mairie > town clerk