Languages › French Common French Phrases Essential French Phrases and Expressions to Continue the Conversation Share Flipboard Email Print Michael Blann / Getty Images French Vocabulary Pronunciation & Conversation Grammar Resources For Teachers By ThoughtCo Updated September 08, 2019 To keep up a conversation in any foreign language, it's important to familiarize yourself with common phrases and expressions. Odds are that they'll come up more often than not. In French, some of the most common phrases like pas de problème ("no problem") are similar if not identical to their English equivalent. These expressions are usually taught in class and tend to be relatively easy for students to grasp and recall. Not all common French phrases are simple. A good example of a more confusing expression is revenons à nos moutons, which directly translates to "let's get back to our sheep" but actually means "let's get back to the subject at hand." Expressions like these are often used conversationally among native French speakers but are often neglected in classrooms. Whether you're planning your first trip to a French-speaking country or you just want to improve your speaking skills, here is a list of common phrases (both simple and more elaborate) that are essential to keeping the conversation going. Affirmatives and Agreements en effet: indeed, that's rightpas de problème: no problemtant mieux: it's just as well, even bettertout à fait: absolutely, exactlybien entendu: of course, obviouslybien sûr: of courseça marche: that worksça m'est égal: it's all the same to me Courtesies and Salutations à la vôtre!: cheers!à tes souhaits: bless youBon anniversaire!: Happy birthday!Bon appétit!: Enjoy your meal!ça va (?): how's it going?, I'm finede rien: you're welcomegrâce à: thanks tosi ce n'est pas indiscret: if it's not too personal a questionsi tu veux: if you willtiens: here you go, there you are Causality, Comparison, and Condition à cause de: because of, due toà la fois: at the same timeau fur et à mesure: as, whileau lieu de: instead of, rather thanavoir l'air (de): to look (like)du coup: as a resultà la limite: at most, in a pinch à la rigueur: or even, if need be à peine: hardlyau cas où: just in caseau fait: by the wayvis-à-vis (de): facing, in relation to Debate and Discussion à mon avis: in my opinionah bon (?): oh really? I seeau contraire: on the contrary d'ailleurs: moreover, might I adda priori: at first glance, in principleen fait: in factentendre dire que: to hear (it said) thatentendre parler de: to hear (someone talk) aboutpar contre: whereas, on the other handpar exemple: for example, such as; oh my, well really!revenons à nos moutons: let's get back to the subject at hand Duration and Time à peu près: about, approximately, nearlydu jour au lendemain: overnighten retard: lateentre chien et loup: at dusk, twilightfaire le pont: to make it a long weekend tout à l'heure: in a moment, a moment agotout à coup: all of a suddentout de suite: right away, immediately Exclamations and Expressions allons-y!: let's go!à la française: in the French style or mannerà la une: front-page newsça alors: how about that, my goodnessc'est-à-dire: that is, i.e., I meanc'est parti: here we go, and we're off ce n'est pas grave: it doesn't matter, no problemdis donc / dites donc: wow, by the wayenfin: well, I meanet j'en passe: and that's not allet patati et patata: and so on and so forthfais gaffe: watch out, be carefulfais voir: let me seefigure-toi: guess what, get this'fin: well, I mean il y a quelque chose qui cloche: something's amissJ'arrive!: I'm on my way!je t'aime: I love youon ne sait jamais: you never know Vive la France!: Long live France!plus ça change...: the more things change...métro, boulot, dodo: the rat racetu connais la musique: you know the routinetu m'étonnes: tell me something I don't knowdu loup: speak of the devilvoilà: there is, that's it Negatives and Disagreements ça ne fait rien: never mind, it doesn't matterc'est pas vrai!: no way! J'en peux plus: I can't take (it) anymore Je n'en reviens pas: I can't believe it Je n'y peux rien: There's nothing I can do about it. Je n'y suis pour rien: It's got nothing to do with men'importe quoi: whateveroh là là: oh dear, oh nopas du tout: not at all pas terrible: not that great, nothing specialrien à voir: nothing to do withtant pis: oh well, too bad, tough tu connais la musique: you know the routinetu m'étonnes: tell me something I don't know Quantity/Amount de trop: too much/manydu tout: not/none at all il y a: there is, there are Questions n'est-ce pas?: right? isn't that so?On y va?: Shall we go? Ready?tu te rends compte?: can you imagine?ah bon?: oh really?ça va?: how's it going?