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Helpful French Phrases for Travelers in France

By Bridget Castner

Are you planning a trip to France and are looking for some useful phrases to use during your travels? It’s always a good idea to learn some basic phrases of the destination, so to help make your vacation a bit easier, here are some helpful French phrases!

Main Phrases and Greetings

This list should get you through some main phrases and greetings from “hello”, and “goodbye”, to introducing yourself, and asking someone if they speak English.

Bonjour (bohn-zhoor)


Au Revoir (oh-rev-vwha)


Excusez-Moi (ex-koo-say-mwa)

Excuse me

Je ne parle pas Francais (zhe ne parl pah frahn-say)

I don’t speak French

Parlez-vous Anglais? (par-lay boo ahn-glay)

Do you speak English?

S’il vous plait (seel-voo-play)


Je ne comprends pas (je ne cohmp-ron pas)

I don’t understand

Merci (mare-see)

Thank you

Oui (we)


Non (noh)


Bien sûr (byehn sur)

Of course

Je m’appelle (zhe mah-pel)

My name is

Pas de quoi (pah-de-kwah)

You’re welcome

How are you?

What is your name?

Asking for Clarification Phrases

These French phrases will be helpful when you need someone to speak slower, or if you need someone to repeat something.

Pourriez-vous répéter, s’il vous plaît? (puri-ay voo reh-peh-aty, seel voo play)

Could you repeat that please?

Pourriez-vous parler plus lentement (puri-yay voo par-lay plu lontamon)

Could you speak more slowly please?”

Phrases to Help When Asking for Directions

Make sure you address whomever you are speaking to as “Madame” or “Monsieur” out of respect. Here are some helpful phrases when asking for directions in French.

Gauche (goosh)


Droitee (drwat)


Direct (dee-rec)


Le train (lu tron)

The train

Le bus (lu boos)

The bus

L’aeroport (l-aero-po)

The airport

Ou se trouve (oo-ce troove)

Where is

Ou est la gare (oo eh la gahr)

Where is the train station?

Ou sont les toilettes (oo son les twa-let)

Where are the toilets?

Common Phrases When Eating at a Restaurant

Je prendrai (zhe prawn-dry)

I’ll have

Ave-vous (ah-vey voo)

Do you have?

L’addition (lah-di-shyon)

The check

Une tasse (oon tahs)

A cup

Un verre (oon ver)

A glass

Une fourchette (oon foor-shet)

A fork

Une cuillre (oon kuy-ehr)

A spoon

Un couteau (uhn koo-toh)

A knife

Du sel (dew sehl)


Du poivre (dew pwavr)


Les desserts (lay day-ser)


Je suis vegetarien (ju suee vegetarien)

I’m a vegetarian

Je suis vegetalien (je suee veg-ge-talian)

I am vegan

Phrases to use When Shopping

Je voudrais (zhe voo-dray)

I would like

Combien ca coute (cohn-by-en sah coot)

How much is it?

Puis-je l’essayer (pweez he leh-say-ay)

May I try it on?

Le magasin (le mah-gah-ahn)

The store

Je le prendrai (zhe le prawn-dray)

I’ll take it!

*Please note that although there are many countries who use the French language, this guide is specifically for France as French grammar and pronunciation differs within each French-speaking country.

Now that you know some basic French phrases to help on your trip, check out our affordable France vacation packages and prepare to use them in real life!


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