Essential French - L'Essentiel

Essential French - L'Essentiel

Even if you're just going to France for a week, you should know some survival French - a few essential words and phrases that you'll use over and over. This is a somewhat miscellaneous list of the basics, so be sure to follow the links at the end for even more essential French like "hello" and "please."
Je parle (un peu de) français
I speak (a little) French.
Parlez-vous anglais ?
Do you speak English?
Comment ?
Je ne comprends pas.
I don't understand.
Que veut dire ___ ?
What does ___ mean?
Répétez, s'il vous plaît.
Repeat, please.
Plus lentement
More slowly
Encore une fois
One more time
Comment dit-on ___ en français ?
How do you say ___ in French?
Je ne sais pas
I don't know
J'ai une question
I have a question
J'ai un problème
I have a problem
oui yes
non no
si yes (in reponse to a negative question)
d'accord OK
et and
ou or
qui who
quoi what*
quand when
pourquoi why
comment how
*Be careful, there are several ways to say "what" in French.

Practice Essential French Vocabulary

  • Essential French quiz
  • Crossword puzzle
  • Word seek

More essential French

  • 100 essential French words
  • Essential French gestures
  • Essential French grammar
  • Essential French phrases
  • Essential French verbs
  • Essential French for travelers
  • How to say ___ in French

For more in-depth study, check out French for Beginners.