, ) is a Romance language
globally spoken by about
77 million people as a first language
(mother tongue), by 190 million as a second language
, and by about another 200
million people as an acquired foreign language
significant speakers in 57 countries. Most native speakers
of the language live in France, where the
language originated. The rest live essentially in Canada
(particularly Quebec, and to a
lesser extent Ontario, New Brunswick and Manitoba), Belgium, Switzerland, French-speaking
Africa (Cameroon, Gabon, CÃ´te
d'Ivoire), Luxembourg, Monaco, and certain
parts of the U.S. state of
Louisiana. Most second-language speakers of French live
in Francophonic Africa, arguably exceeding the number of native
speakers. La Francophonie dans le monde 2006â2007
published by the Organisation
internationale de la Francophonie. Nathan, Paris,
2007. The Democratic
Republic of the Congo is the Francophone country with the largest
French is a descendant of the Latin
of the Roman Empire
, as are national
languages such as Italian
and minority languages ranging
and many more. Its
development was also influenced by the native Celtic languages
of Roman Gaul
and by the Germanic
language of the post-Roman
It is an official language
, most of which form what is called, in French, La
, the community of
French-speaking nations. It is an official language of all United Nations
agencies and a
large number of international organizations
. According to the
, 129 million (26% of
the 497,198,740) people in 27 member states speak French, of which
65 million (12%) are native speakers and 69 million (14%) claim to
speak it either as a second language or as a foreign language,
which makes it the third most spoken second language in the Union,
(2nd rank) and
(1st rank). In addition,
prior to the mid 20th century, French served as the pre-eminent
language of diplomacy among European and colonial powers as well as
a lingua franca
among the educated
classes of Europe.
As a result of France's extensive colonial ambitions
between the 17th
and 20th centuries, French was introduced to America, Africa,
Polynesia, and the Caribbean. As a result, many creole languages
developed as a
result of the mixture of French and native languages.
Legal status in France
According to the Constitution of
, French has been the official language since 1992
(although previous legal texts have made it official since 1539,
see ordinance of
). France mandates the
use of French in official government publications, public education except in specific cases (though these
dispositions are often ignored) and legal contracts; advertisements must bear a translation of
In addition to French, there are also a variety of regional
languages and dialects. France has signed the European Charter for
Regional Languages, but has not ratified it since that would go
against the 1958 Constitution.
one of the four official languages of Switzerland (along with German,
Italian and Romansh) and is spoken in the part of
Switzerland called Romandie.
French is the native language
of about 20% of the Swiss population.
Most of Swiss French is mutually compatible with the standard
French spoken in France, but it is often used with small
differences, such as those involving some numbers.
Belgium, French is the official language of Wallonia (excluding the East
Cantons, which are German-speaking) and one of the two official
languages âalong with Dutchâ of the
Brussels-Capital Region where it is spoken by the majority of the
population, though often not as their primary language.
German are not official languages nor recognized minority languages
in the Flemish
Region, although along borders with the Walloon and
Brussels-Capital regions, there are a dozen municipalities with
language facilities for French speakers.
situation exists for the Walloon Region with respect to the Dutch
and German languages. In total, native French speakers make up
about 40% of the country's population, while the remaining 60%
speak Dutch as a first language. Of the latter, 59% claim to speak
French as a second language, meaning that about three quarters of
the Belgian population can speak French.
Monaco and Andorra
MonÃ©gasque is the national
language of the Principality of Monaco, French is the only official language, and French
nationals make up some 47% of the population.
Catalan is the only official language of
Andorra; however, French is commonly used because of the
proximity to France.
French nationals make up 7% of the
also an official language, along with Italian, in the province of Aosta Valley, Italy.
addition, a number of Franco-ProvenÃ§al
spoken in the province, although they do not have official
one of three official languages of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, alongsideGerman
, the natively spoken
language of Luxembourg. Luxembourg's education system is
trilingual: the first years of primary school are in Luxembourgish,
before changing to German; while in secondary school, the language
of instruction changes to French.
The United Kingdom and the Channel Islands
French is a large minority language and immigrant language in the UK
over 300,000 French-born people in the UK. It is also the most
popular foreign language. French is understood by 23% of the UK
A large portion of words of the English
(originating in Great Britain) are of French root or
origin. This is partly due to the Norman Invasion, which led to
becoming the language of
administration for a period in history and the use of French by
sections of the aristocracy and upper classes (while the peasants
and lower classes spoke an Anglo-Saxon language).
an official language in Jersey and Guernsey, the two bailiwicks collectively referred to as the
Channel Islands, although they are
Both use French to some degree, mostly in
an administrative or ceremonial capacity. Jersey Legal French
is the standardized
variety used in Jersey. However, Norman
is the historical vernacular langue
of the islands.
the second most common language in Canada, after
English, and both are official
languages at the federal level. French is the sole
official language in the province of Quebec, being the
mother tongue for some 7.2 million people. New Brunswick, where about a third of the population is
francophone, is the only officially bilingual province.
of Eastern Ontario, Northeastern Ontario, Nova Scotia and Manitoba have sizable French minorities, but its
prescription as an official language in those jurisdictions and the
level of francophone services varies.
can speak french as either a first or second language, or 30.6% of
the country. Due to the increased bilingual school programs in
English Canada, the portion of Canadians proficient in French has
risen significantly in the past two decades, and is still
an official language of Haiti, although it
is mostly spoken by the upper class,
while Haitian Creole (a French-based creole language)
is more widely spoken as a mother
French overseas territories
also the official language in France's overseas territories of
Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint BarthÃ©lemy, St. Martin
The United States
the fourth most-spoken language in the United States, after
English, Spanish and Chinese, and the second most-spoken in the
states of Louisiana, Maine, Vermont and New
Louisiana is home to many distinct dialects, of which Cajun French
has the largest number of
speakers. According to the 2000 US Census, there are
over 194,000 people in Louisiana who speak French at home, the most of any state if
Creole French is
A majority of the world's French-speaking population lives in
Africa. According to the 2007 report by the Organisation
internationale de la Francophonie, an estimated 115 million African
people spread across 31 Francophone African countries can speak
French as either a first
mostly a second language in Africa, but it has become a first
language in some areas, such as the region of Abidjan, CÃ´te d'Ivoire and in Libreville, Gabon.
is not possible to speak of a single form of African French
, but rather of diverse forms
of African French which have developed because of the contact with
many indigenous African
territories of the Indian
Ocean, the French language is often spoken alongside
French-derived creole languages, the major exception being Madagascar.
There, a Malayo-Polynesian language
) is spoken alongside
is the region
where the French language is most likely to expand, because of the
expansion of education and rapid demographic growth. It is also
where the language has evolved the most in recent years. Some
vernacular forms of French in Africa can be difficult to understand
for French speakers from other countries, but written forms of the
language are very closely related to those of the rest of the
French is an official language in many African countries, most of
them former French or Belgian
addition, French is an administrative language and commonly used,
though not on an official basis, in Mauritius and in the Maghreb
In Algeria, various reforms have been implemented in recent decades
to improve the status of Arabic
relation to French, especially in education.
predominant European language in Egypt is
English, French is learned by some
elements of the Egyptian upper and upper-middle classes; for this
reason, a typical educated Egyptian will learn French in addition
to English at some point in his or her education.
participates in La
also the official language of Mayotte and RÃ©union, two overseas
territories of France located in the Indian Ocean, as well as an administrative and educational
language in Mauritius, along with English.
French is the official language in Lebanon
, along with Arabic
It is considered an official language by the Lebanese people
and is used on bank notes
(along with Arabic) and on official buildings. French is widely
used by the Lebanese, especially for administrative purposes, and
is taught in many schools as a primary language along with Arabic
Like Lebanon, French was official in Syria until 1943. But in
contrast to Lebanon, the language is not official, but still spoken
by educated groups, both elite and middle-class.
an administrative language in Laos and
Cambodia, although its influence has waned in recent
years. In colonial Vietnam, the elites spoke French, and many who worked for
the French spoke a French creole known as "TÃ¢y Bá»i" (now extinct).
language was also spoken by the elite in the leased territory
Guangzhouwan in southern China.
(See also: French
has de-jure official status in the Indian
Union Territory of Pondicherry, along with the regional languages Tamil and Telugu.
Some students of Tamil Nadu
opt for French as their second or third language (usually behind
commonly taught as a third language in secondary schools in most
cities of Maharashtra, including Mumbai, as part
of the preparation for secondary school (X-SSC) and higher
secondary school (XII-HSC) certificate examinations.
high-profile schools affiliated with the CBSE
in the NCR
French as an option as early as grade 4. In grade 9, students are
asked to drop either French or Hindi
, which is
their native language.
an official language of the Pacific
Island nation of Vanuatu where 45% of the population can speak
French. In the French territory of New Caledonia, 97% of the population can speak, read and write
French, whereas only 1% have no knowledge of French.
Polynesia, 95% of the population can speak, read and write
French, whereas only 2% have no knowledge of French.
French territory of Wallis and Futuna, 78% of the population can speak, read and write
French, whereas 17% have no knowledge of French.
Although there are many French regional accents, foreign learners
normally study only one version of the language, which has no
commonly used special name.
- There are 16 vowels in French, not all of which are used in
every dialect: plus the nasalized vowels and . In France, the
vowels and are tending to be replaced by and in many people's
- Voiced stops (i.e. ) are typically produced fully voiced
- Voiceless stops (i.e. ) are unaspirated.
- Nasals: The velar nasal occurs only in final position in
borrowed (usually English) words: parking, camping, swing.
The palatal nasal can occur in word initial position (e.g. gnon),
but it is most frequently found in intervocalic, onset position or
word-finally (e.g. montagne).
- Fricatives: French has three pairs of homorganic fricatives
distinguished by voicing, i.e. labiodental , dental , and
palato-alveolar . Notice that are dental, like the plosives , and
the nasal .
- French has one rhotic whose pronunciation varies considerably
among speakers and phonetic contexts. In general it is described as
a voiced uvular fricative as
in roue, "wheel" . Vowels are often lengthened before this
segment. It can be reduced to an approximant, particularly in final
position (e.g. fort) or reduced to zero in some word-final
positions. For other speakers, a uvular trill is also common, and
an apical trill occurs in some dialects.
- Lateral and central approximants: The lateral approximant is
unvelarised in both onset (lire) and coda position
(il). In the onset, the central approximants , , and each
correspond to a high vowel, , , and respectively. There are a few
minimal pairs where the approximant and
corresponding vowel contrast, but there are also many cases where
they are in free variation. Contrasts between and occur in final
position as in paye, "pay", vs. pays,
French pronunciation follows strict rules based on spelling, but
French spelling is often based more on history than phonology. The
rules for pronunciation vary between dialects, but the standard
- final consonants: Final single consonants, in particular
s, x, z, t, d,
n and m, are normally silent. (The final letters
c, r, f and l, however, are
- When the following word begins with a vowel, however, a silent
consonant may once again be pronounced, to provide a
liaison or "link"
between the two words. Some liaisons are mandatory, for
example the s in les amants or vous
avez; some are optional, depending on dialect and register, for example the first
s in deux cents euros or euros
irlandais; and some are forbidden, for example the
s in beaucoup d'hommes aiment. The t of
et is never pronounced and the silent final consonant of a
noun is only pronounced in the plural and in set phrases like pied-Ã -terre.
- Doubling a final n and adding a silent e at
the end of a word (e.g. chien â chienne) makes it
clearly pronounced. Doubling a final l and adding a silent
e (e.g. gentil â gentille) adds a [j]
sound if the l is preceded by the letter i.
- elision or vowel dropping: Some
monosyllabic function words ending in a or e,
such as je and que, drop their final vowel when
placed before a word that begins with a vowel sound (thus avoiding
a hiatus). The missing vowel is
replaced by an apostrophe. (e.g. je ai is instead
pronounced and spelled â j'ai). This gives, for example,
the same pronunciation for l'homme qu'il a vu ("the man
whom he saw") and l'homme qui l'a vu ("the man who saw
him"). However, for Belgian French the sentences are pronounced
differently; in the first sentence the syllable break is as
"qu'il-a", while the second breaks as "qui-l'a". It can also be
noted that, in Quebec French, the
second example (l'homme qui l'a vu) is more emphasized on
- Nasal: n
and m. When n or m follows a vowel or
diphthong, the n or m becomes silent and causes
the preceding vowel to become nasalized (i.e. pronounced with the
soft palate extended downward so as to allow part of the air to
leave through the nostrils). Exceptions are when the n or
m is doubled, or immediately followed by a vowel. The
prefixes en- and em- are always nasalized. The
rules are more complex than this but may vary between
- Digraphs: French uses not
only diacritics to specify its large range
of vowel sounds and diphthongs, but also
specific combinations of vowels, sometimes with following
consonants, to show which sound is intended.
- Gemination: Within words,
double consonants are generally not pronounced as geminates in
modern French (but geminates can be heard in the cinema or TV news
from as recently as the 1970s, and in very refined elocution they
may still occur). For example, illusion is pronounced and
not . But gemination does occur between words. For example, une
info ("a news item" or "a piece of information") is pronounced
, whereas une nympho ("a nymphomaniac") is pronounced
- Accents are used sometimes for
pronunciation, sometimes to distinguish similar words, and
sometimes for etymology alone.
- Accents that affect pronunciation
- The acute accent (l'accent
aigu), Ã© (e.g.
Ã©coleâschool), means that the vowel is
pronounced instead of the default .
- The grave accent (l'accent
grave), Ã¨ (e.g. Ã©l'Ã¨veâpupil)
means that the vowel is pronounced instead of the default
- The circumflex (l'accent
circonflexe) Ãª (e.g.
for'Ãªtâforest) shows that an e is
pronounced and that an Ã´ is pronounced .
In standard French, it also signifies a pronunciation
of for the letter Ã¢, but this differentiation is
disappearing. In the late 19th century,
the circumflex was used in place of s after a vowel, where
that letter s was not to be pronounced.
Thus, forest became forÃªt and
hospital became hÃ´pital.
- The diaeresis (le
trÃ©ma) (e.g. na'Ã¯fâfoolish,
NoÃ«lâChristmas) as in English, specifies that
this vowel is pronounced separately from the preceding one, not
combined, and is not a schwa.
- The cedilla (la cÃ©dille)
Ã§ (e.g. gar'Ã§onâboy) means that the
letter Ã§ is pronounced in front of the hard vowels
a, o and u (c is otherwise before a
hard vowel). C is always pronounced in
front of the soft vowels e, i, and y,
thus Ã§ is never found in front of soft
- Accents with no pronunciation effect
- The circumflex does not affect the pronunciation of the letters
i or u, and in most dialects, a as well.
It usually indicates that an s came after it long ago, as
in Ã®le (island, compare with English
- All other accents are used only to distinguish similar words,
as in the case of distinguishing the adverbs lÃ and
oÃ¹ ("there", "where") from the article la ("the"
fem. sing.) and the conjunction ou ("or")
French is written with the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet
, as well as five diacritics
accent, acute accent
) and the two ligatures
(Å) and (Ã¦).
French spelling, like English spelling, tends to preserve obsolete
pronunciation rules. This is mainly due to extreme phonetic changes
since the Old French period, without a corresponding change in
spelling. Moreover, some conscious changes were made to restore
- Old French doit > French doigt "finger"
- Old French pie > French pied "foot" (Latin
pes (stem: ped-))
As a result, it is difficult to predict the spelling based on the
sound alone. Final consonants are generally silent, except when the
following word begins with a vowel. For example, all of these words
end in a vowel sound: pied
. The same words followed by a vowel, however, may
sound the consonants, as they do in these examples:
, les amis
On the other hand, a given spelling will usually lead to a
predictable sound, and the AcadÃ©mie franÃ§aise
to enforce and update this correspondence. In particular, a given
vowel combination or diacritic predictably leads to one
The diacritics have phonetic
, and etymological
- acute accent (Ã©): Over an
e, indicates the sound of a short ai in English,
with no diphthong. An Ã© in modern
French is often used where a combination of e and a
consonant, usually s, would have been used formerly:
Ã©couter escouter. This type of accent mark is
called accent aigu in French.
- grave accent (Ã ,
Ã¨, Ã¹): Over a or u, used only
to distinguish homophones: Ã ("to") vs. a
("has"), ou ("or") vs. oÃ¹ ("where"). Over an
e, indicates the sound .
- circumflex (Ã¢, Ãª,
Ã®, Ã´, Ã»): Over an a, e
or o, indicates the sound , or , respectively (the
distinction a vs. Ã¢ tends to disappear in many
dialects). Most often indicates the historical deletion of an
adjacent letter (usually an s or a vowel):
chÃ¢teau castel, fÃªte feste,
sÃ»r seur, dÃ®ner disner. It has
also come to be used to distinguish homophones: du ("of
the") vs. dÃ» (past participle of devoir "to have
to do something (pertaining to an act)"; note that dÃ» is
in fact written thus because of a dropped e:
deu). (See Use of the circumflex in
French) Since the 1990 orthographic rectifications, the
circumflex on most i and u may be dropped as there is no change in
- diaeresis or trÃ©ma
(Ã«, Ã¯, Ã¼, Ã¿): Indicates that a
vowel is to be pronounced separately from the preceding one:
naÃ¯ve, NoÃ«l. A diaeresis on y only
occurs in some proper names and in modern editions of old French
texts. Some proper names in which Ã¿ appears include
AÃ¿ (commune in canton de la Marne formerly
AÃ¿-Champagne), Rue des CloÃ¿s (alley in the 18th
arrondissement of Paris),
CroÃ¿ (family name and hotel on the Boulevard Raspail,
Paris), ChÃ¢teau du
FeÃ¿ (near Joigny), GhÃ¿s (name of Flemish origin
spelt GhÄ³s where Ä³ in handwriting looked like
Ã¿ to French clerks), l'HaÃ¿-les-Roses (commune
between Paris and Orly airport), Pierre LouÃ¿s (author), MoÃ¿ (place
in commune de l'Aisne and family name), and Le Blanc
de NicolaÃ¿ (an insurance company in eastern France). The
diaeresis on u appears only in the biblical proper names
ArchÃ©laÃ¼s, CapharnaÃ¼m, EmmaÃ¼s,
ÃsaÃ¼ and SaÃ¼l. Nevertheless, since the 1990
orthographic rectifications, the diaeresis in words containing
guÃ« (such as aiguÃ« or ciguÃ«) may be
moved onto the u: aigÃ¼e, cigÃ¼e.
- umlaut: Words coming from
German retain the old Umlaut (Ã¤, Ã¶ and
Ã¼) if applicable but use French pronunciation, such as
KÃ¤rcher (trade mark of a pressure washer).
- cedilla (Ã§): Indicates that an
etymological c is pronounced when it would otherwise be
pronounced /k/. Thus je lance "I throw" (with c =
before e), je lan'Ã§ais "I was
throwing" (c would be pronounced before a without
the cedilla). The c cedilla (Ã§) softens
the hard /k/ sound to /s/ before the vowels
a', o or u, for example
Ã§a /sa/. C cedilla is never used before the vowels
e or i since these two vowels
always produce a soft /s/ sound (ce,
There are two ligatures
, which have
- The ligature Å is a mandatory
contraction of oe in certain words. Some of these are
native French words, with the pronunciation or , e.g. sÅur
"sister" , Åuvre "work (of art)" . Note that it usually
appears in the combination Åu; Åil is an
exception. Many of these words were originally written with the
digraph eu; the
o in the ligature represents a sometimes artificial
attempt to imitate the Latin spelling: Latin bovem >
Old French buef/beuf > Modern French
bÅuf. Å is also used in words of Greek origin, as
the Latin rendering of the Greek diphthong Î¿Î¹, e.g.
cÅlacanthe "coelacanth". These words used to be pronounced
with the vowel , but in recent years a spelling pronunciation with
has taken hold, e.g. Åsophage or . The pronunciation with
is often seen to be more correct. The ligature Å is not used in
some occurrences of the letter combination oe, for
example, when o is part of a prefix
- The ligature Ã¦ is rare and
appears in some words of Latin and Greek origin like
Ã¦gosome, Ã¦gyrine, Ã¦schne,
cÃ¦cum, nÃ¦vus or urÃ¦us. The vowel quality
is identical to Ã© .
French writing, as with any language, is affected by the spoken
language. In Old French, the plural for animal
. Common speakers pronounced a u
word ending in l
as the plural. This resulted in
. As the French language evolved, this vanished
and the form animaux
pronounced ) was
admitted. The same is true for cheval
and many others. In addition, castel
Some proposals exist to simplify the existing writing system, but
they still fail to gather interest.
French grammar shares several notable features with most other
Romance languages, including:
French word order is Subject Verb
, except when the object is a pronoun, in which case the
word order is Subject Object
. Some rare archaisms allow for different word
The majority of French words derive from Vulgar Latin
or were constructed from Latin or
Greek roots. There are often pairs of words, one form being
"popular" (noun), derived from Vulgar Latin, and the other one
"savant" (adjective), borrowed from Classical Latin. Example:
- brother: frÃ¨re / fraternel from Latin
- finger: doigt / digital from Latin
- faith: foi / fidÃ¨le from Latin
- cold: froid / frigide from Latin
- eye: Åil / oculaire from Latin
There are also some similar examples with double nouns, where there
is a common word from Vulgar Latin and a more savant word borrowed
directly from Medieval Latin
- chose - cause from Latin
The French words which have developed from Latin are usually less
recognisable than Italian
Latin origin because as French evolved from Vulgar Latin
, the unstressed final syllable
of many words was dropped or elided into
the following word.
It is estimated that 12% (4,200) of common French words found in a
such as the Petit
or Micro-Robert Plus
(35,000 words) are of
foreign origin (where Greek
savant words are not seen as
foreign). About 25% (1,054) of these foreign words come from
and are fairly recent
borrowings. The others are some 707 words from Italian
, 550 from ancient Germanic languages
, 481 from ancient
, 164 from German
, 160 from Celtic languages
, 159 from Spanish
, 153 from Dutch
, 112 from Persian
, 101 from Native American languages
, 89 from
other Asian languages
, 56 from other
from Slavic languages
and Baltic languages
, 10 from Basque
and 144 â about three percent â from
The French counting system is partially vigesimal
is used as a base number in the names of numbers from 60 to 99. The
French word for eighty
, for example, is , which literally
means "four twenties", and (literally "sixty-fifteen") means 75.
This reform arose after the French
to unify the different counting systems (mostly
vigesimal near the coast, because of Celtic (via Breton
) and Viking influences). This system
is comparable to the archaic English use of score
, as in
"fourscore and seven" (87), or "threescore and ten" (70).
and Swiss French
are different in this respect. In
Belgium and Switzerland 70 and 90 are and . In Switzerland,
depending on the local dialect, 80 can be (Geneva, NeuchÃ¢tel, Jura)
or (Vaud, Valais, Fribourg). Octante
had been used in
Switzerland in the past, but is now considered archaic. In Belgium,
is universally used.
It should also be noted that French uses a period
(also called a full
stop) or a space to separate thousands where English uses a comma
or (more recently) a space. The comma is used in French numbers as
a decimal point: 2,5 = deux virgule cinq
Cardinal numbers in French from 1 to 20 are as follows:
- One: un
- Two: deux
- Three: trois
- Four: quatre
- Five: cinq
- Six: six
- Seven: sept
- Eight: huit
- Nine: neuf
- Ten: dix
- Eleven: onze
- Twelve: douze
- Thirteen: treize
- Fourteen: quatorze
- Fifteen: quinze
- Sixteen: seize
- Seventeen: dix-sept
- Eighteen: dix-huit
- Nineteen: dix-neuf
- Twenty: vingt
The "Canadian" audio samples here are not necessarily from speakers
of Quebec French, which has distinct regional pronunciations of
certain words.references needed
||IPA pronunciation (Canadian accent)
||IPA pronunciation (French accent)
||Oui (si when countering an assertion or a
question expressed in the negative)
||Bonjour ! (formal) or Salut ! (informal) or
"AllÃ´" (Canada or when answering on the telephone)
||Bonne nuit !
||Au revoir !
|Have a nice day!
||Bonne journÃ©e !
||S'il vous plaÃ®t (formal) or S'il te plaÃ®t
|You are welcome
||De rien ("it is nothing") or Je vous en prie
(formal) or Je t'en prie (informal)
|I am sorry
||Pardon or Je suis dÃ©solÃ© (if male) / Je
suis dÃ©solÃ©e (if female) or Excuse-moi (informal) /
||Quoi ? (âinformal; used as "What?" in English)) or
Comment ? (âformal; used the same as "Pardon Me?" in
|What is your name?
||Comment vous appelez-vous ? (formal) or Comment
t'appelles-tu ? (informal)
||Parce que / "Ã cause de" â literally "because of" or
|For (when used as "because")
|I do not understand.
||Je ne comprends pas.
|Yes, I understand.
||Oui, je comprends. Except when responding to a
negatively posed question, in which case Si is used
preferentially over Oui
||Au secours ! (Ã l'aide !)
|Can you help me please ?
||Pouvez-vous m'aider s'il vous plaÃ®t ? /
Pourriez-vous m'aider s'il vous plaÃ®t ? (formal) or
Peux-tu m'aider s'il te plaÃ®t ? / Pourrais-tu m'aider
s'il te plaÃ®t (informal)
|Where are the toilets?
||OÃ¹ sont les toilettes ?
|Do you speak English?
||Parlez-vous anglais ?
|I do not speak French.
||Je ne parle pas franÃ§ais.
|I do not know.
||Je ne sais pas.
|I am thirsty.
||J'ai soif. (literally, "I have thirst")
|I am hungry.
||J'ai faim. (literally, "I have hunger")
|How are you? / How are things going? / How is everything?
||Comment allez-vous? (formal) or Ãa va? /
Comment Ã§a va ? (informal)
|I am (very) well / Things are going (very) well // Everything
is (very) well
||Je vais (trÃ¨s) bien (formal) or Ãa va (trÃ¨s)
bien. / Tout va (trÃ¨s) bien (informal)
|I am (very) bad / Things are (very) bad / Everything is (very)
||Je vais (trÃ¨s) mal (formal) or Ãa va (trÃ¨s)
mal / Tout va (trÃ¨s) mal (informal)
|I am all right/so-so / Everything is all right/so-so
||Assez bien or Ãa va comme ci, comme Ã§a or
simply Ãa va.. (Sometimes said: Â« Couci, couÃ§a. Â»,
informal : "bof") i. e. Â« Comme ci, comme Ã§a. Â»)
|I am fine.
||Je vais bien.
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