But visiting all these magnificent places without the slightest knowledge of French can be dull. Wouldn’t it be great to get more from your visit to the Louvre for example if you could exchange in French a little with another tourist or a guide about a particular work of art ?
In this part you will see some basic sentences and some simple dialogue routines that will help you learn and survive in the travel category context. I have added different categories that travel category can be divided to: à l'hotel, à l'aéroport, à la gare.
Travel to France
Où est-ce que vous allez Madame, Monsieur ?
/ Quelle est votre destination ?
Where are you going Madame / Sir? /
What is your destination ?
Of course, you can ask the same question by inverting the subject and the verb: "Où allez-vous Madame ?". It is interesting to note that when adressing both a man and a woman at the same time, the French will use "Monsieur-Dames" expression. Quelle means which / what and it must agree with the subject of the sentence, "(la) destination" in this case. If the subject were masculine, you would have to write quel.
Nous allons en France. / Nous allons à Paris
We are going to France.
/ We are going to Paris
In general, you need to use the "en" preposition when speaking about
going to a country (en France, en Angleterre, en Allemagne) and "à"
when speaking about cities (à Paris, à Berlin, à Londres). There is also
"chez" used when speaking about going at somebody's place
(chez Monsieur Dupont, chez Vous, chez moi).
Etes-vous en vacances ?
Oui, nous sommes en vacances.
Are you on holidays ?
Yes, we are.
Je voudrais réserver une chambre double pour deux nuits,
I would like to book a double room
for two nights, please.
Combien coûte une chambre double pour une nuit ?
Cela coûte 55 euros par nuit.
How much is it for a double room for one night ?
It is 55 euros per night.
Cela is a formal way of saying ça. At the reception desk the people will use "cela" but in everyday speech it is normal to use "ça".
Excuse-me, I have lost my luggage.
Can you help me ?
"ai perdu" ("avoir" conjugated + past participle of the verb "perdre") isLe passé composé in French and corresponds to the present perfect and simple past tenses in English. Eg. J'ai perdu / Tu as perdu / Il, elle a perdu, etc. So you can say "J'ai perdu mon bagage." (I have lost my luggage.) and "J'ai perdu mon bagage la semaine dernière." (I lost my luggage last week.).
Bonjour. Puis-je avoir votre passeport et votre billet, s'il-vous-plaît ?
Bien sûr, les voici.
Hello. May I have your passport and your ticket, please ?
Of course, here they are.
"Puis-je..." is a very formal and amore polite way of saying
"Est-ce que je peux …" (Can I / May I …). You will only see it in this kind of situation, almost never in real, everyday life situations. "Les voici" is used when showing or handing sometihng to somebody. "Les" here stands for both the passeport and the ticket. If you only had the passport, you would say "Le voici". If it was feminine, like "une pièce d'intentité" (proof of ID),you would have to say "La voici".
Voici votre carte d'embarquement. L'embarquement
aura lieu à la porte 3.
Here is your boarding pass. You will board the
place at gate 3.
"aura lieu" means "will take place", aura is the future 3rd person (boarding
is the 3rd person) of the "avoir" (to have) verb.
Excusez-moi, où est la gare ?
Excuse-me, where is the train station ?
A la gare
Excuse-moi, où est la station de métro la plus proche ?
This part contains 13 sentences, from number 11 to 23. That's the end of the Speaking About Yourself category, where you can find some basic sentences that allow you to introduce yourself, meet other people, tell your name, your age and where you are from. In this part you will also see how to form the French negative sentences. The next category you will see is the travel category.
Speaking About Yourself 2
Quel âge as-tu ?
How old are you ?
In French you say "to HAVE a number of years".
J'ai 25 ans.
I'm 25 years old.
Literally: I have 25 years.
Parlez-vous français ?
Do you speak French ?
Another way to ask the same questions is:
“Est-ce que vous parlez français ?” or
“Vous parlez français ?” (rising intonation)
Oui, je parle un peu.
Yes, I speak a bit.
Non, Je ne parle pas français.
No, I don't speak French.
To make a negative French sentence, you must follow the "ne + verb
+ pas" structure. In spoken French you can omit the "ne" word. Eg.
Je parle pas français. J'ai pas mes clés (I don't have my keys).
Tu parles bien anglais.
You speak well English .
The "s" you must add while conjugating (the second person singular, that is you (tu) ). This "s" in "parles" is silent, so you don't pronounce it.
Je te présente Marie. C'est une amie.
Let me introduce you to Marie.
She is a friend of mine.
Lit: I introduce you to Marie. It is a friend.
Nice to meet you !
Lit: Delighted (by meeting you). You may also hear: "Ravi." or "Ravi de faire votre connaissance."
Comment allez-vous ?
How do you do ?
A polite way of asking how someone is.
Ca va, merci.
I'm fine, thank you.
Lit: It goes. You can also say "Je vais bien." (I'm going (doing) well.)
100 Most Important French Phrases is a perfect way to start your French language learning.
100 sentences doesn't mean 100 words ! It is more than that. Some of the words will repeat though and some of them won't belong to the 100 most important words list that you may find on the Internet. (I will publish an article about that soon). What I wanted was to create 100 simple, ready to use sentences that you will need as a beginner and which will form a base and a support for futher learning.
If you have no previous experience with the French language, this is the place to start.
Almost of the sentences concern the first person (I) to help you express the most important things concerning YOU. These can be easily transformed to ask for information about your speaker.
The sentences are divided into categories. Starting from the given examples you may create even more than 100 sentences by changing the personal pronoun and the verb conjugation or by forming questions and answers.
Here is the first 10 sentences from the category: speaking about yourself.
Speaking About Yourself 1
Je suis américain. (man)
Je suis américaine. (woman)
I am American.
In general, you need to add “e” to an adjective to get the feminine form. There are two genders in French: masculine and feminine. Thus: "un américain" but "une américaine", "un ami anglais" but "une amie française".
Vous êtes français
Vous êtes française.
You are French.
In formal speech to be polite with people you don’t know (adults), you need to use “Vous”, the plural form of the personal pronoun, instead of the informal "tu" reserved for the people you know, your friends and the people younger than you in general.
Tu es américain et elle est anglaise.
You are French.
Between friends, kids and people you know you use “tu” (you).
J’habite à New York.
I live in New York.
Verb “habiter” means “to live”. Je + habite becomes
“J’habite”, the “h” is silent here.
Où habitez-vous ?
Where do you live ?
The formal way of asking questions in French is to
switch the verb and the subject. But there are other
more common ways to ask questions: by adding "est-ce que"
or simply raising your intonation ?
On habite aux Etats-Unis.
Nous habitons aux Etas-Unis.
We live in the United States.
“On” is the common ways of saying “we” or “nous” in French.
In spoken French you will hear "on" instead of "nous" 99% of
Je m’appelle John.
My name is John.
Literally “I call myself John”. “s’appeler” (se appeler) is one of the “pronominal verbs” which are very common in Romance languages.
“S’appeler" is also the verb with the “er” ending, the simplest and the most common type of verb to conjugate. Look at the difference between this sentence (7) and the next one (8) in terms of conjugation. You need to add "s" in the second person singular. The pronunciationstays the same however.
Comment t’appelles-tu ?
Comment tu t'appelles ? (intonation)
What's your name ?
Literally “How do you call yourself ?” te + appelles = t'appelles. There can't be two vowels next to each other. It makes the pronunciation easier.
D’où viens-tu ?
Where do you come from ? /
Where are you from ?
“Tu viens” comes from the verb “venir”, to come.
Je viens du Royaume Uni.
I come from the United Kingdom.
“venir de” (to come from) + le Royaume Uni = venir du
Royaume Uni. So, "de + le" = du.