French Grammar For Dummies
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Traveling in French-speaking countries can be confusing if you can't read the signs or understand the instructions you're given. Learn some useful travel-related words and phrases in French before you begin your trip. You'll save time and reduce your frustration level.

Here are a few general travel-related terms that everyone should know.

passeport [m] (passport)
valise [f] (suitcase)
une valise (suitcase)
coffre [m] (trunk)
un sac à dos (backpack)
un sac (bag)
des bagages (baggage)
un billet (uhn bee-yeh) (ticket)
une réservation (reservation)

Making travel arrangements

While traveling in a French-speaking country, you often need to make or change your travel arrangements. Whether you are scheduling a flight or a train trip, the following words can help you with the reservation and ticket-buying process.

aller-retour [m] (round trip ticket)
aller-simple [m] (one-way ticket)
siège [m] (syezh) (seat)
gare [f] (train station)
train [m] (train)
vol [m] (flight)
aéroport (airport)

The following phrases are some of the most common questions that you might need to ask when making travel arrangements in French-speaking countries.

  • Je voudrais réserver un billet (I would like to reserve a ticket.).

  • J’aimerais prendre le vol de sept heures. (I would like to take the 7:00 flight.)

  • Je voudrais acheter deux billets pour New York. (I would like to purchase two tickets to New York.)

  • A quelle heure faut-il arriver? (What time should I arrive?)

  • Combien coûte le billet? (How much does the ticket cost?)

  • Nous avons trois valises et deux sacs à main. (We have three suitcases and two handbags.)

  • Est-ce que je peux prendre ce sac en cabine avec moi? (Can I take this bag as a carry-on?)

  • Avez-vous un rabais pour étudiants? (Do you have any discounts for students?)

At the hotel

Although many of the larger hotels in French-speaking countries have English-speaking staff, you rarely find that in the smaller hotels and in the smaller towns. The following phrases can help you make or change your hotel reservations.

  • Quelles chambres avez-vous de disponible? (What rooms do you have available?)

  • Je voudrais une chambre pour deux. (I’d like a double room.)

  • Est-ce que la chambre a la climatisation? (Does the room have air conditioning?)

  • Je voudrais une chambre avec douche et WC. (I'd like a room with a private shower and toilet.)

  • Je voudrais avoir un lit à une place. (I’d like to have a twin-size bed.)

  • Nous voulons annuler notre réservation. (We want to cancel our reservation.)

  • Service en chambre, s’il vous plaît. (Room service, please.)

  • Quel hôtel est moins cher? (Which hotel is cheaper?)

  • Est-ce que l’hôtel est loin de la gare? (How far is the hotel from the train station?)

  • Vous devez régler la note avant midi. (You need to check out by 12:00.)

Travel-related verbs

When talking about traveling in French-speaking countries, it helps to know the right verbs to express what you want to do. The following are common French travel-related verbs.

voyager (to travel)
rester (to stay)
voir (vwahr) (to see)
réserver (to reserve)
annuler (to cancel)
arriver (to arrive)
partir (to leave)
chercher quelqu’un (to pick up someone [from the airport, for example])

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Véronique Mazet has taught French at the high school and college level since 1986. Mazet is currently professor of French at Austin Community College. She has written several instructional French books, and works as a private and corporate French tutor and translator.

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