All About Me

Greetings

Please note: There is a short delay when playing the audio clips.

When French people greet their friends, or are being introduced to new people, they faire la bise - lightly kiss one another on the cheek - and say:

Salut! - Hello!

Bonjour! - Good morning / good day!

Bonsoir! - Good afternoon / evening! (After about 6pm)

For someone you don't know (and who is older than twelve), you say:

Comment allez-vous? - How are you?

They might respond:

Bien, merci. - Fine, thanks.

Bien, et vous? - Fine, what about you?

If you are talking to a friend, you can say:

(Comment) ça va? - How's it going?

You might hear the following in reply:

Ça va. - Fine.

Ça va bien. - Well.

Pas mal. - Not bad.

Bof! - So so!

When it's time to leave, you would normally say:

Au revoir! - Goodbye!

You can also say:

À tout à l’heure! - See you later!

À demain! - See you tomorrow!

À bientôt! - See you soon!

It’s polite to say Madame or Monsieur to all grown-ups and teachers. Listen to how you pronounce Monsieur – it might surprise you!

Monsieur/Madame - Sir/Madam, Mr/Mrs

There are two ways to say please:

s’il te plaît - please (to a friend)

If you're talking to a grown-up or someone you don't know, you say:

s’il vous plaît - please

merci - thanks

DID YOU KNOW... It depends where you live as to how many times you kiss when you meet. In Paris, they kiss twice - once on each cheek, in the north and in Brittany it’s three times and in the south, FOUR times - left right left right!

 

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.