Cheat Sheet

French For Dummies

From French For Dummies, with CD, 2nd Edition by Zoe Erotopoulos, Dodi-Katrin Schmidt, Michelle M. Williams, Dominique Wenzel

Whether you’re planning a trip to France or to a French-speaking country or you just want to learn a little French, knowing a few helpful expressions can make you feel more comfortable with the language. In the following articles, you can find basic French expressions, questions for gathering information or asking for help, and phrases to use in a restaurant. You'll also find the dates and numbers in French.

Basic Questions in French

Knowing how to ask a few basic questions in French can come in very handy when you travel to a French-speaking country and need to know the time or where something is located or just want to get some basic information,

English French Pronunciation
Do you speak English? Est-ce que vous parlez anglais? ehs-kuh vooh pahr-ley ahN-gleh?
How are you? Comment allez-vous? koh-mahN-tah-ley-vooh?
Would you help me please? Pourriez-vous m’aider? pooh-ree-ey vooh mey-dey ?
What’s your name? Comment vous appelez-vous? koh-mahN vooh-zah-pley-vooh?
What time is it? Quelle heure est-il ? kehl uhr eh-teel?
What’s the weather like? Quel temps fait-il? kehl tahN feh-teel?
How much does . . . cost? Combien coûte…? kohN-byaN kooht. . . ?
Where can I find . . .? Où est-ce que je peux trouver. . .? ooh ehs-kuh zhuh puh trooh-vey....?
Where are the bathrooms? Où sont les toilettes? ooh sohN ley twah-leht?
Do you have. . . ? Avez-vous…? ah-vey vooh. . . ?
Where is. . . ? Où est…? ooh eh…?
Could you please speak more slowly? Pourriez-vous parler plus lentement, s’il vous plaît? pooh-ree-ey-vooh pahr-ley plew lahNt-mahN, seel vooh pleh?
Could you repeat that, please? Pourriez-vous répéter, s’il vous plaît? pooh-ree-ey-vooh rey-pey-tey, seel vooh pleh?

Useful French Expressions and Greetings

These French greetings and expressions will come in very handy when you travel to a French-speaking country. With these expressions, you can communicate politely when speaking to French natives.

English French Pronunciation
Hello/Good day! Bonjour! bohN-zhoohr!
Good evening! Bon soir! bohN-swahr!
Good-bye! Au revoir! ohr-vwahr!
Please. S’il vous plaît. seel vooh pleh.
You’re welcome. Je vous en prie./De rien. zhuh vooh-zahN pree./duh ryahN.
Thank you. Merci. mehr-see.
Excuse me. Pardon./Excusez-moi. pahr-dohN./eks-kew-zey-mwah.
My name is . . . . Je m’appelle. . . . zhuh mah-pehl. . . .
Pleased to meet you. Enchanté./Enchantée. ahN-shahN-tey.

French Phrases for Emergencies

If you’re traveling in a French-speaking country and find yourself in an urgent situation, you can get the assistance you need by memorizing these important French phrases.

English French Pronunciation
Help! Au secours! oh skoohr!
Police! Police! poh-lees!
Fire! Au feu! Oh fuh!
Get a doctor! Cherchez un médecin/un docteur! sheh-rshey uhN meyd-saN/uhN dohk-tuhr!
I am sick. Je suis malade. zhuh swee mah-lahd.
Could you indicate/point out [to me] how to get to. . . ?) Pourriez-vous m’indiquer comment aller. . . ? pooh-ree-ey-vooh maN-dee-key kohN-maN-tah-ley. . . ?

The French Calendar

Getting to know the days and months of the French calendar helps you keep track of your travel plans, French holidays, and engagements. The following tables list the days of the week and months of the year in French.

Days of the Week in French
English French Pronunciaton
Monday lundi luhN-dee
Tuesday mardi mahr-dee
Wednesday mercredi mehr-kruh-dee
Thursday jeudi zhuh-dee
Friday vendredi vahN-druh-dee
Saturday samedi sahm-dee
Sunday dimanche dee-mahNsh
Months of the Year in French
English French Pronunciation
January janvier zhahN-vyey
February février fey-vryey
March mars mahrs
April avril ah-vreel
May mai meh
June juin zhwaN
July juillet zhwee-yeh
August août ooht
September septembre sehp-tahN-bruh
October octobre ohk-toh-bruh
November novembre noh-vahN-bruh
December décembre dey-sahN-bruh

Ordering in a French Restaurant

If you go to a French restaurant, these expressions can come in very handy. Practice them first, so that you can relax and enjoy the dining experience.

English French Pronunciation
The menu, please. Le menu, s’il vous plaît. luh muh-new, seel vooh pleh.
I’d like. . . . Je voudrais. . . . zhuh vooh-dreh. . . .
What do you recommend/suggest? Qu’est-ce que vous recommandez/suggérez? kehs-kuh vooh ruh-kohh-mahN-dey/sooh-zhey-rey?
Another (beer) please. Encore (une bière), s’il vous plaît. ahN-kohr (ewn byehr), seel vooh pleh.
The check, please. L’addition, s’il vous plaît. lah-dee-syohN, seel vooh pleh.
A receipt, please. Un reçu, s’il vous plaît. uhN ruh-sew, seel vooh pleh.
Enjoy your meal. Bon appétit! bohN-nah-pey-tee!

French Numbers

When traveling in a French-speaking country, you need to know numbers for shopping, dining, transportation, and exchanging money. With this list, you can start practicing numbers in French.

0 zéro (zey-roh) 17 dix-sept (dee-seht)
1 un (uhN) 18 dix-huit (deez-weet)
2 deux (duh) 19 dix-neuf (deez-nuhf)
3 trois (trwah) 20 vingt (vaN)
4 quatre (kah-truh) 21 vingt et un (vaN-tey-uhN)
5 cinq (saNk) 22 vingt-deux (vahNt-duh)
6 six(sees) 30 trente (trahNt)
7 sept (seht) 40 quarante (kah-rahNt)
8 huit (weet) 50 cinquante (saN-kahNt)
9 neuf (nuhf) 60 soixante (swah-sahNt)
10 dix (dees) 70 soixante-dix (swah-sahNt-dees)
11 onze (ohNz) 80 quatre-vingts (kah-truh-vaN)
12 douze (doohz) 90 quatre-vingt-dix (kah-truh-vaN-dees)
13 treize (trehz) 100 cent (sahN)
14 quatorze (kah-tohrz) 200 deux cents (duh sahN)
15 quinze (kaNz) 1000 mille (meel)
16 seize (sehz)
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