Greetings, Small Talk & Common Courtesy - The Ultimate Crash Course to Learning The Basics of the French Language In No Time - Learn French In 7 Days

Learn French In 7 Days!: The Ultimate Crash Course to Learning The Basics of the French Language In No Time (2015)

Chapter 3. Greetings, Small Talk & Common Courtesy

What you're about to learn:

· How to greet people with proper manners

· How to speak about yourself and the others

· How to enjoy small talk and make new friends

Congrats! You successfully passed the most difficult part! Grammar and pronunciation are complicated in French but once you know the basics, you can learn anything with greater skills. Let's start talking and not wasting any time to prepare you for your trip to Paris!


Let's say hi!

in the morning : “bonjour!”

in the evening : “bonsoir!”

at night : “bonne nuit!”

informal : “salut!”

have a good day! : “bonne journée!”

Let's see each other later!

“aurevoir!” : good bye!

“à bientôt!” : see you soon!

“à plus tard!” : see you later!

“à plus!” : later!

“à demain!” : see you tomorrow!

“salut!” : bye! (informal)

How are you? I'm fine!

“La question” (question)

informal : “Ça va?”

standard : “Comment ça va?” or “Comment vas-tu?” or “Tu vas bien?”

formal : “Comment allez-vous?”

“La réponse affirmative” (positive answer)

informal : “Ça va!”

standard : “Ça va (très) bien!”

formal : “Je vais (très) bien, merci !”

“La réponse affirmative” (negative answer)

informal : “Ça va pas.”

standard : “Non, ça ne va pas bien.”

formal : “Non, je ne vais pas bien.


“bien” means good, “très bien” means very good.

“affirmation” (affirmative form) = “Oui!”

“négation” (negative form) = “Non!”

“Petite conversation avec un ami” (small talk with a friend) :

“Salut! Tu vas bien?”

“Ça va!” or “Je vais très bien!”

“Et toi, ça va?”

“Ça va bien! A bientôt!”

“Bonne journée!”

“Quelques formules de politesse” (polite manners):

“S’il vous plaît!” : please!

“Merci!” : thank you!

“Excusez-moi!” : Excuse-me!

“Désolé!” : sorry!

“Pardon!” : pardon-me!

Below are a few expressions useful to remember.

“Excusez-moi, je ne comprends pas.”

Excuse-me, I don't understand.

“Pouvez-vous répéter, s'il vous plaît?”

Can you repeat, please?

“Merci, j'ai compris!”

Thank you, I understood!

“Je suis désolé, ce n'est pas facile de parler français!”

I'm sorry, it's not easy to speak French!

“Pardon, que dis-tu?”

Pardon-me, what are you saying?

“S'il vous plaît, comment on prononce ce mot?”

Please, how do you pronounce that word?

“Je m'excuse mais c'est faux!”

My apologies but it is not correct!

“Oui, je suis d'accord avec vous!”

Yes, I agree with you!

Introducing yourself

“LE NOM” (name)

“le prénom” : first name

“le nom de famille” : last name

To say your name, there is only one verb : “s'appeler”. This verb is a special one; it is a reflexive verb (“un verbe pronominal”). Be careful of how you conjugate it!

“Je m'appelle” = my name is

“Tu t'appelles” = your name is

“Il/elle s'appelle” = his/her name is

“Nous nous appelons” = our name is

“Vous vous appelez” = your name is

“Ils/elles s'appellent” = their name is

“Comment tu t'appelles?”

What is your name?

“Je m'appelle Charles, et toi?”

My name is Charles, what about you?


Nice to meet you!

“Qui c'est? C'est Amandine.”

Who is it? This is Amandine.

“L’AGE” (age)

Whereas English uses the verb “to be” (“être”) to speak about the age, French uses the verb “to have” (“avoir”).


tu as

il/elle a

nous avons

vous avez

ils ont

Note : To refer to somebody's age, we use the French term “un an”, whereas we use the French term “une année” to speak about the year.

Quel âge as-tu?” (formal)

“Tu as quel âge?” (informal)

How old are you?

J'ai vingt-six ans.”

I am 26 years old.

Quel âge elle a?”

How old is she?

Elle a trente ans.”

“She is 30 years old.

“LA NATIONALITÉ” (nationality)

When speaking about the nationality (“la nationalité”), you can refer to the country (“le pays”) and the city of origin (“la ville”). There is no easy solution to learn the countries and nationalities. The best way is just to learn by heart !

Note : Countries in French are capitalized but there is no capitalization for the nationality or the language.

Below are a few countries/continents and the relevant nationality (notice the ending (e) when you refer to a woman):

Europe : “l'Europe” = “européen(ne)”

France : “la France” = “français(e)”

England : “l'Angleterre” = “anglais(e)”

America : “l'Amérique” = “américain(e)”

USA : “les Etats-Unis” = “américain(e)”

Mexico : “le Mexique” = “mexicain(e)”

Asia : “l'Asie” = “asiatique”

China : “la Chine” = “chinois (e)”

Japan : “le Japon” = “japonais(e)”

Australia : “l'Australie” = “australien(ne)”

New Zealand : “la Nouvelle-Zélande” = “néo-zélandais(e)”

Africa : “l'Afrique” = “africain(e)”

Senegal : “le Sénégal” = “sénégalais(e)”

De quel pays tu viens?”

What country are you from?

Je viens de France.”

I come from France.

“Quelle est sa nationalité?”

What is her nationality?

Elle est américaine.”

She is American.

“LA VILLE D'ORIGINE” (hometown)

Let's speak about your hometown. In French, we speak about “la ville d'origine”, which litterally means “the city of origin”.

“habiter à (+ ville)” = to reside in (+ city)

“vivre à (+ ville)” = to live in (+ city)

Where do you live? = “Tu habites où?” (informal)

    “Où habites-tu?” (formal)

I live in … = “J'habite à …”

Examples :

“J'habite à Paris.” = “Je vis à Paris.”

I live in Paris.

“Tu habites à New-York.” = “Tu vis à New York.”

You live in New York.

“Elle habite à Hong-Kong.” = “Elle vit à Hong-Kong.”

She lives in Hong-Kong.

“Nous habitons à Berlin.” = “Nous vivons à Berlin”

We live in Berlin.

“Vous habitez à Bueno Aires.” = “Vous vivez à Bueno Aires.”

You live in Bueno Aires.

“Ils habitent à Sydney.” = “Ils vivent à Sydney.”

They live in Sydney.

“LA LANGUE” (language)

If you go to France, you need to know how to say that you can or can't speak French! You will use the French verb “parler”. Here are a few examples to help you understand how to use it.

“Quelle langue tu parles?” or “Quelle langue parles-tu?”

What language can you speak?

Je parle français.”

I speak French.

Elle parle anglais et espagnol.”

She speaks English and Spanish.

Nous ne parlons pas chinois.”

We can't speak Chinese.


A particularity in French is that some job have a feminine form and some don't. Usually the ones without feminine form were originally physical jobs which were considered as manly work, such as engineers, builders or butchers.

Here is a shortlist of some common jobs :

“un ingénieur” = engineer

“un maçon” = builder

“un boucher” = butcher

“un plombier” = plumber

“un(e) secrétaire” = secretary

“un vendeur / une vendeuse” = salesman/lady

“un(e) comptable” = accountant

“un(e) photographe” = photographer

“un(e) professeur(e)” = teacher

“un étudiant(e)” = student

“Je suis étudiant.”

I am a student.

“Elle est ingénieur.”

She is an engineer.

“Il est photographe.”

He is a photographer.

Speaking about your family

“Les membres de la famille” (family members)

“le père / le papa” = father / dad

“la mère / la maman” = mother / mom

“les parents” = parents

“le mari” = husband

“la femme” = wife

“la fille” = daughter

“le fils” = son

“les enfants” = children

“les petits-enfants” = grandchildren

“le grand-père / le papi” = grandfather / granddad

“la grand-mère / la mamie” = grandmother / grandmom

“le cousin, la cousine” = cousin

“le frère, la soeur” = brother, sister

“un oncle, une tante” = uncle, aunt

Let's practice with a few sentences.

“Mon mari est français.”

My husband is French.

“Nous avons deux enfants : un garçon et une fille.”

We have two kids : a boy and a girl.

“Quelle est la profession de ton frère? Mon frère est ingénieur.”

What is your brother's job? My brother is an engineer.

“Votre femme parle anglais? Non, elle ne parle pas anglais.”

Does your wife speak English? No, she doesn't.

“La description physique” (physical aspect)

Let's learn the French words to describe the body parts (“les parties du corps”).

“le visage” = face

“la bouche” = mouth

“le nez” = nose

“une oreille, les oreilles” = ear(s)

“un oeil, les yeux” = eye(s)

“les cheveux” = hair

“le bras, les bras” = arm(s)

“la main, les mains” = hand(s)

“un doigt, les doigts” = finger(s)

“une épaule, des épaules” = shoulder(s)

“le dos” = back

“la jambe, les jambes” = leg(s)

“le pied, les pieds” = foot, feet

“un orteil, les orteils” = toe(s)

Let's practice these words on your family now!

“Ma mère a les yeux bleus.”

My mother has blue eyes.

“Son grand-père a les yeux verts.”

His grand-father has green eyes.

“Ton frère est blond.”

Your brother is blond.

“Ma fille a les cheveux marrons.”

My daughter has brown hair.

“J'ai un petit nez et un visage rond.”

I have a small nose and a round face.

“Il a des bras longs mais des jambes courtes.”

He has long arms but short legs.

“Elle porte une écharpe jaune sur l'épaule.”

She wears a yellow scarf on the shoulder.

“Tu as le visage très rouge.”

Your face is very red.

Note: “les couleurs” (the colors) : “vert” = green; “bleu” = blue; “rouge” = red; “noir” = black; “rose” = pink; “blanc” = white; “orange” = orange; “jaune” = yellow; “gris” = grey; “violet” = purple; “marron” = brown.

“AIMER” (to like)

It can be useful to know how to tell what you like (“aimer”) or dislike (“ne pas aimer”), especially when people offer you to taste new food!

“Quelle nourriture aimes-tu

What food do you like?

J'aime le chocolat mais je n'aime pas le lait.”

I like chocolate but I don't like milk.

“Quelle activité aime ton père?”

What activity does your father like?

Mon père aime beaucoup voyager.”

My father likes travelling a lot.

“Quel sport aime ta cousine?”

What sport does your cousin like?

Ta cousine aime nager et jouer au tennis.”

Your cousine likes swimming and playing tennis.

“Test your French!”

Let's review what you've learnt in that chapter with a few exercises.

Mark the correct answers:

“Tu aimes le chocolat?”

□ Oui, j'aime le chocolat.

□ Non, elle n'aime pas le chocolat.

□ Oui, vous aimez le chocolat.

“Quelle est la profession de ton frère?”

□ Mon frère a les yeux bleus.

□ Mon père est plombier.

□ Mon frère est comptable.

“Comment s'appelle ta maman?”

□ Ma maman a cinquante ans.

□ Ma maman s'appelle Chantal.

□ Ma cousine s'appelle Aurélie.

Fill the gaps:

Marie vient des Etats-Unis. Elle est …

Son cousin vit à Berlin. C'est en …

Ce … est … facile de parler français!

Il … Charles et il est étudiant.

Excusez-..., je ne comprends pas!

Translate the sentence:

My grand-father has brown eyes. = ...

Where do you live? We live in Paris. = …

Je vais très bien, et toi? = …

Nous sommes d'accord avec toi = …

My wife likes travelling. = …

Quel âge as-tu? J'ai vingt-deux ans. = …


□ Oui, j'aime le chocolat.

□ Mon frère est comptable.

□ Ma maman s'appelle Chantal.

Marie vient des Etats-Unis. Elle est américaine.

Son cousin vit à Berlin. C'est en Allemagne.

Ce n'est pas facile de parler français!

Il s'appelle Charles et il est étudiant.

Excusez-moi, je ne comprends pas!

Mon grand-père a les yeux marrons.

Où habitez-vous? Nous habitons à Paris.

I'm fine, what about you?

We agree with you.

Ma femme aime voyager.

How old are you? I am twenty-two year old.