7 Survival French Phrases You Need to Know

French Survival Phrases
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Learning French is quite a challenge. Here are my top 7 survival French phrases you need to know before going to France.

1 - Bonjour, Au revoir, Oui, Non, Merci, S'il vous plaît.

Strick essentials. Hi in French, bye in French, yes in French, no, thanks, please. Note that "merci" is pronounced "mair see". If you can remember to do so, it's much more polite to follow your polite expression with "Monsieur" (sir, pronounced meussieu) and "Madame" (Madam).

So you should try to say "bonjour madame, merci monsieur, au revoir madame..."

2 - Où sont les toilettes, s'il vous plaît. Where is the toilet please.

 Finding a public restroom is usually not difficult in France, and cafés and restaurants are quite gracious about the use of their facilities, unless you are in an extremely touristic area. In that case, pay for a coffee, and then ask if you can use the restroom. More about French restrooms.

3 - Je voudrais .... s'il vous plaît. I would like... please.
Je cherche... s'il vous plaît. I am looking for... please.

Then point to what you want. But at least you are being polite about it.

4 - Vous parlez anglais ? Do you speak English?

If you are reading this article, chances are that your French is minimal. So finding an English speaker can prove useful.

5 - J'ai besoin d'aide. I need help.

Did you know that "Mayday" came from "m'aidez" = a wrong way of saying "aidez-moi" = help me, come to my aid if you want.


6 - Stop.

Easy to remember, and to the point.

7 - Ça coûte combien?

How much is-it ? To which you may want to answer "ohhhh, c'est trop cher" - it's too expensive, if you are bargaining on an open air market. It's OK to bargain a little bit in France, but not everywhere. Read more about French open air markets etiquette.

Now, should you want to learn more French essentials, check out these articles:

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Good luck with your French studies,

Camille Chevalier Karfis