Food and drink

Giving your opinions of food and drink

To ask someone what they like or don’t like eating and drinking, you can use the ‎following questions:‎

  • Qu'est-ce que tu aimes manger/boire? - What do you like to eat/drink?‎
  • Qu'est-ce que tu n'aimes pas manger/boire? - What don’t you like to eat/drink?‎

For many food items, you need to use a plural when you are giving your opinion of them, ‎as you would in English. For example, you would say ‘I like carrots’ or ‘I don’t like ‎hamburgers’.‎

To form a plural in French, you usually (but not always) add an ‘s’, like you would do in ‎English. For example, carrot is carotte and carrots is carottes in French.‎

  • J’aime les carottes - I like carrots.‎
  • Je n’aime pas les hamburgers - I don’t like hamburgers.‎

To reply, you can use j’aime (I like) or je n’aime pas (I don’t like), followed by the food ‎item.

After j’aime or je n’aime pas, you need to have a definite article (le, la or les).‎

  • J’aime le poulet - I like chicken.‎
  • Je n’aime pas la limonade - I don’t like lemonade.‎

Saying 'because'

You can explain why you like or dislike things ‎by using parce que or car - both mean because.

To say because it is... say parce que c'est or car c'est + the masculine form of the adjective.

  • J’aime le poulet parce que c’est délicieux - I like chicken because it’s delicious.‎
  • Je n’aime pas la limonade car c’est trop sucré - I don’t like lemonade ‎because it is too sweet.‎

For more opinion phrases, food and drink items and reasons why you might ‎like or dislike them, click on the downloadable phrase builder below:

Food and drink phrase builder

Explaining dietary requirements

Sometimes, it is important to explain that you can’t eat certain foods.
Here are some useful phrases to help you talk about allergies and dietary requirements:‎

Je suis végétarien (male) / Je ‎suis végétarienne (female)‎I am (a) vegetarian
Je suis végétalien / je suis ‎végan (male) / Je suis ‎végétalienne / végane ‎‎(female) ‎I am (a) vegan
Je suis allergique aux noix / ‎J’ai une allergie aux noixI am allergic to nuts
J’ai une intolérance au lactoseI am lactose intolerant
J’ai une intolérance au glutenI have gluten intolerance
J’ai la maladie cœliaqueI have coeliac disease

Saying what you eat for different meals

To talk about what you eat for different meals, you can use the following expressions:‎

  • Au petit déjeuner, je mange des céréales et je bois du thé - For breakfast, I eat ‎cereal and I drink tea.‎
  • À midi, j’aime manger des sandwichs - For lunch, I like eating sandwiches.‎
  • Le soir, je préfère manger une salade - For dinner, I prefer eating a salad.‎

Talking about meals in different tenses

Present tense

To say what you usually drink and eat, or what you are drinking and eating right now, use ‎the present tense of the verbs boire (to drink) and manger (to eat) :‎

  • Je bois - I drink / I am drinking
  • Je mange - I eat / I am eating

Click here to find out more about the present tense

Perfect tense

To talk about what you had in the past, you need to use the passé composé (perfect ‎tense) of the verbs boire (to drink) and/or manger (to eat) :‎

  • J'ai bu - I drank
  • J'ai mangé - I ate

Click here to find out more about the perfect tense

Future tense

If you want to say what you are going to have in the future, you use the correct form of ‎aller (to go) + boire (to drink) and/or manger (to eat) :‎

  • Je vais boire - I am going to drink
  • Je vais manger - I am going to eat zcvk3j6

Click here to find out more about the simple future tense


Watch the video and find out how much you know about food in French with this short quiz.