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It is well-known that French is language of love… With summer and all its flirting potential ahead, we thought we would share with you fifteen phrases you need to know to “drague” in France – and “voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir” isn’t one of them! Flirting is an art for men and women alike, and it is not unusual to see women make the first move, so don’t be shy – or surprised!
– and, unlike some countries, there is no set dating protocol in France, and therefore no “first date” / “second date” business. French women really like feeling desired and playing hard-to-get – and French men are therefore very tenacious. Flirting is a game, but also an art in France, so it has to take some time… Let’s get started!
• « Excusez-moi… » Excuse me… Ok that one doesn’t really count, but it is actually how most French people approach people. • “Salut, ça va ?” Hi, how are you? Simple and efficient to start a conversation. If you really don’t know the person you’re asking the question, then it will be obvious you are flirting. • « Je peux vous offrir un verre ? » Can I offer you a drink? • “T’as de beaux yeux, tu sais?” You’ve got beautiful eyes, you know?
That sentence is extremely famous in France, as it is a famous line of the classic French movie Le quai des brumes. If you can say it with as much “charme” as Jean Gabin, you’re good to go… • Vous venez souvent ici ?
Do you come here often? This one might be a joke in English, but in French, it is acceptable in conversation… • “Comment tu t’appelles ?” What’s your name? The oafish way of saying this is “c’est quoi ton petit nom” (wha’ts your little name?) – so don’t use that one… • “On peut se tutoyer ?” After a little bit of chatting, when you feel that you are getting along, asking you use “tu” instead of “vous” (informal way to address a person) will help break the ice.
Make sure to ask before you switch to tu, otherwise it’s rather surprising. • “Je te trouve très beau/belle” or “je te trouve très jolie” You’re very beautiful/pretty. Be careful when using this sentence as you probably don’t want to get your genders mixed on that one: “beau” is for men, whereas “belle” is for women, as is “jolie”.
Even though the adjective “joli(e)” can be used with both genders, you cannot describe a man as ”joli” – it just has a female connotation, as with the English word ‘pretty’. • “J’aimerais mieux te connaître” I’d like to know you better. • “On peut se revoir?” Can we see each other again? • “C’est quoi ton numéro ?” What’s your phone number ? • ”Appelle-moi. ” Call me. • Je peux t’embrasser? Can I kiss you? • Allons quelque part de moins bruyant Let’s go to a quieter place.
• Chez toi ou chez moi ? My place or yours ? • • You May Also Like
best french dating phrases to know - Useful French Phrases and Expressions
As a French learner, which would you rather hear? “Your French is so good!” Or… “You sound so French!” If you’re like most people, I’m guessing that it’s the latter. To help you get there, we’ve racked our brains and put together a list of 20 informal, everyday French phrases and expressions. Once you master these, you’ll . We can’t guarantee that they’ll get you a date, but we bet it can’t hurt! And even if you’re not looking for a date, we hope that these casual French phrases and expressions come in handy in everyday French life .
Not able to simply hop on over to Paris? If you’re far away from France, or would simply prefer to learn French phrases at home in your pajamas, we’ve got you covered with . will familiarize you with common French phrases and expressions in no time. Our French library has all kinds of goodies for French language learners: cartoons, music videos, interviews, YouTube videos, educational clips and more.
Each video is subtitled so that you can follow along without any hangups. Didn’t understand that last word? Simply hover your cursor over the subtitles to see each word’s definition, right there on your screen. FluentU even keeps track of your progress through videos and lets you make a running list of new vocabulary words. With that in mind, let’s get to learning all the common French phrases you’ll need to navigate Parisian life and watch native French videos!
[cta id=”4593"] 20 Casual, Everyday French Phrases and Expressions 1. Ça roule? -Comme d’hab! Ça roule is a very colloquial statement, meaning that everything’s great and life’s going well.
Therefore, in the form of a question, it simply means “How’s life? Good?” Otherwise, the more standard question used to express this same idea is Ça va?, literally meaning “Is it going?” The response to this question is merely an abbreviation of the phrase comme d’habitude, meaning “as usual.” A common expression, comme d’hab can be used in place of the standard comme d’habitude in virtually any informal setting.
2. N’importe quoi! For all those who tend to have a dissenting opinion, this casual French phrase is a must. It simply means “whatever,” and is commonly used in French when someone is exasperated and wishes to openly display their disagreement in a simple, informal way.
For example: “ Je te jure! Je n’ai rien fait! (I swear, I didn’t do anything!) N’importe quoi… (Whatever…) Similarly, in some other contexts, n’importe quoi can mean “anything,” like in this example: J’aurais donné tout et n’importe quoi ! (I would have given anything and everything!) 3. C’est n’importe quoi! Notice that this informal French phrase is similar to #2, however there is a slight nuance in the meaning of this particular expression. It still portrays the idea of exasperation, but this phrase means “That’s nonsense!” For example: Le president a bien fait d’augmenter les impôts. (The president was right to increase taxes.) C’est n’importe quoi ! (That’s nonsense!) 4.
Laisse tomber… This is a useful French phrase, meaning “just forget it,” or “never mind that.” It literally means “drop it,” but doesn’t have quite the same snappy tone behind it as “just drop it!” does in English.
Although…it very well can with a spiteful enough tone… For example: Et alors? Est-ce que tu as eu ton augmentation de salaire ? (So? Did you get your raise?) Laisse tomber…L’entreprise a fait faillite ! (Forget it…The company went bankrupt!) 5. Ça te dit?/Ça vous dit? Meaning “You up for it?,” this casual French expression is great for suggesting outings with friends or restaurant choices.
It can also mean “Sound good?” So, whenever you get a marvelous idea for a Saturday afternoon or evening, tack this on at the end as a way of politely asking your friends if they’re interested. Use the latter when addressing several friends, and the first when hanging out with just one. For example: Il y a un petit resto chinois pas loin de chez moi… ça te dit?(There’s a little Chinese restaurant not far from my place…sound good?) 6.
Tiens-moi au courant! “Keep me up to date!” This is the perfect French phrase to use as you’re waiting to see how things play out in a friend’s life. Perhaps they just started a new job, or moved to a new city, and you want to know how things are evolving. End your emails or conversations with this little phrase to ensure you get those little updates! Also, inversely, the response to this would be “ Ouais, t’inquiète pas, je te tiens au courant.” (Yeah, don’t worry, I’ll keep you up to date.) 7.
Allez savoir pourquoi !/Va savoir pourquoi ! This phrase means “for whatever reason”/”God knows why”/ “your guess is as good as mine!” This is a useful little French phrase that perfectly expresses one’s befuddled state of mind. Notice that it can be used for both the formal and informal version of the word “you,” the first being formal or speaking to several people, and the latter informal and to one person. For example: Elle a donné sa démission, et ne répond plus à mes textos!
Va savoir pourquoi !(She quit her job, and isn’t responding to my texts anymore! God knows why!) 8. Bref. Bref is only ever used to summarize something or to give one’s final impression of something after a lengthy story has been told, and it’s an easy little word to recall, due to that the English equivalent is almost the same: in brief. Other synonyms would be “all in all” or “in short.” For example: Elle m’a appelé hier et m’a dit qu’elle n’avait pas les mêmes sentiments pour moi, et qu’au final, elle veut qu’on reste amis.
Bref, elle m’a largué. (She called me yesterday and told me that she didn’t have the same feelings for me, and that in the end, she wants to remain friends. In short, she dumped me.) 9. T’sais? This casual French phrase is used so commonly in casual settings that it’s almost impossible to have a conversation with friends without hearing it. It simply means “Ya know?” and is oftentimes tacked onto the end of a sentence to emphasize whatever the speaker is saying.
For example: Non, mais j’en ai marre, t’sais? (No, but I am sick of it, ya know?) 10. Ouais, enfin… “Yeah, well…” would be the English equivalent to this bunching of words. Like English, French has its share of filler words, and enfin is commonly used as such, to a certain degree.
Meaning “well,” it’s slightly more refined than “eeuuuh” (uhhhh), but still, in many cases, doesn’t necessarily change the meaning of the sentence. Here’s an example: Ouais, enfin…faut vivre avec! (Yeah, well…gotta live with it!) 11.
Allez ! “Oh C’mon!” This interjection is the best way to communicate impatience with someone. Trying to get out the door but your friend is holding you up, dillydallying with their iPhone? Let out a little, exasperated allez! to get your point across. Note that this is technically the formal conjugation of the verb “to go” (aller) but in such a context, even when talking with just one friend, you would use it in this form, due to the fact that it also means “Let’s go!” (Note that it is common to hear this word in the bleachers of a sports event: C’mon!
Let’s go! Allez, allez !) 12. C’est naze/c’est nul/c’est pourri ! These are all lovely little French phrases to use to say “that sucks!” or “that’s stupid!” or “that’s terrible!” The general implication is that whatever is being discussed is either a total bore or totally ridiculous. For example: Ça, c’est marrant! Par contre, ce cours est nul ! (Now that’s funny! This class, however, sucks!) 13. J’ai le cafard… Meaning “I’m feeling a little down” or “I’m feeling blue,” this is an informal way of expressing your sadness.
It literally means, “I have the cockroach,” but to use the verb phrase avoir le cafard simply means to be depressed or to feel down. You can also say Ça me donne le cafard, which means “that depresses me.” 14.
Ça te changera les idées… “It’ll take your mind off things…” Use this French phrase when consoling a friend who’s down. Offer to go with him/her to a movie or to a café to grab a cappuccino.
Make your proposition, then use this argument to get them out of their funk. For example: Allez! Tu ne peux pas rester enfermé dans ta chambre! Viens avec moi au ciné! Ça te changera les idées ! (‘C’mon! You can’t stay cooped up in your room! Come with me to the movie theater! That’ll take your mind off things!) 15.
Revenons à nos moutons ! This is a perfect little expression to use after the conversation has strayed from the original topic, and literally means “let’s get back to our sheep!” It actually means “Let’s get back to the subject at hand!” or “Let’s get back to the point!” This little gem actually derives from French literature, from a tale called la Farce du Maître Pathelin, written by Rabelais in the 15th century. Obviously, this little phrase was catchy enough to stick, because it’s still used today!
Next time your friend starts rambling about something entirely unrelated, toss out this little phrase, and wow him or her with both your excellent knowledge of French vernacular and literature! 16. Je n’en crois pas mes yeux ! “I can’t believe my eyes!” This is a perfect informal French phrase to let loose when you’re pleasantly surprised or dumbfounded by something you are witnessing. The translation is more or less literal on this expression, and you can do no wrong in using it when dazzled or surprised!
17. Tu t’en sors ? This is a common French phrase to use while observing a friend who appears to be having difficulty doing something. It’s the equivalent of asking “Doing okay there? You managing there?” Example: Tu t’en sors? (You managing there?) Pas trop, non. Je ne sais pas comment faire un créneau… (No, not really. I don’t know how to parallel park…) 18. J’en mettrais ma main au feu ! “I’d bet my life on it!” is the English equivalent of this one. The French version is a bit more colorful, literally meaning “I’d put my hand in the fire!” It simply expresses that you are certain of something, and is usually used as a statement to try and convince others that you are right about something.
Believe it or not, this little phrase also originates from the Middle Ages. 19. Il ne faut pas mettre tout dans le même sac ! “You can’t just group it all into the same category!” This is your go-to casual French expression for when one of your friends is generalizing, and it literally means, “you can’t put everything in the same bag!” If you find yourself with a friend who does like to lump everything together, then remind him or her of this with this simple phrase.
20. Tu fais quoi ? The phrase “Watcha doin’?” would be the best way to portray the laid-back style of this French phrase. Without knowing that it is informal, it can look like a strange sentence, literally meaning “You’re doing what?” Yet it commonly replaces “ Qu’est-ce que tu fais?” or “Que fais-tu?” in day-to-day situations. It is highly informal, and not recommended that you use it with anyone other than family or close friends.
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They say France is a romantic soul's dream... Makes you want to fly to Paris in a quest for love, with as a backdrop the Champs Elysée and Eiffel tower ... But how do the real French actually feel, and talk, about love ? Are they as romantic as in the movies and novels ? Most of them aren’t. Like everywhere else, things have changed.
Life is faster. Cost of living is rising. The French need to work hard to pay the rent. They live with Google. Facebook. Uber. Meetic. I don't mean to burst your romantic bubble. But let’s face it, even love has changed in France. And so have French expressions for love. Sure, the French language carries a wonderful romantic heritage. But it’s now heavily influenced by external cultures and languages such as English and Arabic.
So what are the most common phrases and expressions the French use when talking about love nowadays ? Read on to discover some of the all-time as well as newest and coolest French love phrases and the best words to express feelings of love in spoken French.
Whatever your style as a lover girl or boy, there’s probably something in there for you to use one of these days ! French expressions for love : the basics Let’s start with a big classic, the mother of all French love phrases, something most people, including those NOT learning spoken French, know about : “Je t’aime” Heard in countless movies, read in countless books.
It’s hard to talk about love in spoken French without saying it at one point of another. This is what a traditional “je t’aime !” sounds like : Now here’s a more down to earth version : The mere fact of adding “tu sais” at the end makes it much less dramatic. It becomes sort of a reminder, a reassurance that you still love her after all this time. (Note : in the rest of this post, I use as an example a man talking to a woman, but everything is obviously applicable to a woman talking to a man, or two persons of the same sex).
Let’s hear another variant, “Je t’aime à la folie” : That’s even more dramatic than the original “je t’aime”. You’re crazy for her. “Je t’aime à la folie” is almost as much of a classic as “je t’aime” itself. “Je t’aime plus que tout” has perhaps less passion and insanity, but more true love and care You might equally say it to someone you’ve recently met or to someone you’ve known for a long time.
Again, it’s somewhat less passionate, but perhaps more durable and stable. “Je t’adore” is another well-known French phrase for love. The way you pronounce it will determine the level of either crazy passion or just plain friendly affection you feel for the person. If you say : You are likely passionately in love.
But if you say : It probably shows you’re very fond of the person, like a friend dear to your heart. Here’s another one : “Tu es l’amour de ma vie”, a passionate thing to say, the stuff romantic movies are made of : It’s a phrase that’s found abundantly in love books, songs and films. I’ve included it in this repository of French phrases for love because you might some day choose to utter these words. Beware though : this is powerful stuff, so make sure you pick the right occasion.
And the right person. French expressions for love : crushes Let's start with “Tu me plais”, which is roughly equivalent to “I like you”.
As such it may denote physical attraction, but not always. Again, it really depends on the way you say it : Saying it in the sense of physical attraction is a direct and risky proposition. Make sure you correctly assess the person’s reaction before you jump in...
“Je t’aime bien” is much less risky, as it can mean several things. It may just indicate you’re fond of her as a person. You could even say it to a colleague you see everyday. But it may also be a conservative manner of expressing something deeper. Like if you’re an introverted person painstakingly revealing a secret feeling. “J’ai un faible pour toi” is a soft, superficial, non-committing way of admitting a small crush in spoken French.
It’s often used when talking about someone else, such as when you’ve noticed someone has a crush on someone : A slightly stronger expression is “il en pince pour elle” : Here we’re talking about a bigger crush than juste “un faible” (a weakness). It calls to mind images of someone constantly thinking about the person and doing everything he can to get close to her (or on the contrary to avoid her).
Just like “je t’aime bien”, “Je t’apprecie beaucoup” is double-faced : It may indicate plain fondness, but you can also use it to express deeper romantic interest without overly exposing yourself.
Tone of voice, eye contact, body gesture will help her distinguish the true nature of what you’re expressing. French expressions for love : hip talk Nowadays , “Je te kiffe” is used a lot by young - and young at heart - French speakers in romantic context.
“Kif” is an arab word for North African marijuana, and “kiffer” has become a spoken French verb that basically means getting high. So what you’re telling the person is that he or she’s making you high. It could probably translate to something like “I dig you” in colloquial English. A word of caution, only use this “love” phrase if you’re a young person or have a young and hip enough style. Otherwise you may come across as an immature or insecure person trying to be cool.
Speaking of cool, “t’es trop cool” is another example of youth talk. Actually, any sentence that unduly includes “trop” (too much) typically has a youngster connotation in spoken French nowadays. Why is that ? As the French population of North African descent has kept growing over the last decade, the French language has been influenced by lots of words, phrases and constructs used by the arab community. Using “too much” instead of “very much” is one such constructs.
And it’s made it’s way into the mainstream language. So nowadays, French kids and teens (and many adults as well) use “trop” (too much) as a superlative. “T’es trop cool” really means “tu es très cool”. Another very common example is “c’est trop bien !”, which literally means “it’s too good” but is really meant to say “it’s awesome”. But I digress… Let’s move on to the next expression : “Tu me fais flipper” : this French "love phrase" is not really specific to love talk, it means something like “you drive me nuts”.
Note that you may also use it when somebody announces to you something that really stirs you up. A more “grown up” version of it would be the French love phrase “tu me rends fou/folle” or “tu me rends dingue”, which would translate to “you drive me crazy”. Crazy love indeed... Note these latter versions can also be used in other contexts than love talk, just like in English.
However if you say “tu me rends dingue” to someone while looking at them straight in the eyes, what you mean by that is likely to be clear to her !
French expressions for love : dating “Tu veux sortir avec moi ?” Just like in English, “sortir avec” (go out with) often refers to a date, or by extension to an ongoing romantic relationship. “On sort ensemble depuis 2 semaines” : [on sort ensemble depuis 2 semaines] Another way of saying you are in a relationship is to say “on est ensemble” A traditional but perhaps less engaging dating proposition is “tu veux dîner avec moi ?” By default the person will probably think you’re asking her on a date, so if that’s not your intention you need to provide some additional clarifications about how, where and why.
Like in other languages, asking someone out to dinner carries less commitment than asking someone to go out with you in an general sense - basically asking to start an ongoing relationship. French expressions for love : words to express feelings Now let’s turn to how you declare your passion to someone using spoken French love phrases.
The most obvious and straightforward approach is to say “je suis amoureux de toi” (amoureuse if you’re a woman) : Here, you’re outright telling the person you’re in love with them. A more subtle approach would be to say “je t’aime beaucoup”. This again might raise some questions about the nature of your feelings - do you love the person as a friend or as a lover. Here as well, it’s the signals you send through the tone of your voice and your body language that will help the person figure it out : You might also say “tu me fascines”, a phrase that leaves little doubt as to your feelings.
Admitting your fascination with a person will often come across as more than simple friendship. Likewise, “je n’ai jamais connu quelqu’un comme toi” is quite a romantic phrase to say.
“J’ai des sentiments pour toi” is even more direct, more or less equivalent to “je suis amoureux de toi”. Another way to say it is “je ressens quelque chose pour toi”, I feel something for you : “je ressens quelque chose pour toi” French expressions for love : physical attraction when you say to someone “tu me fais de l’effet”, you’re letting them know you’re physically attracted to them. The phrase literally means “you have a strong effect on me” : A more blunt way to say it is “tu m’excites”.
When saying this you’re clearly entering the sexual realm, it’s like saying “you turn me on” : Only say it if you know the person intimately, or if you really know what you’re doing ... Another French love phrase often used when talking about someone you’re attracted to is “je n’en peux plus pour elle”.
It expresses strong attraction and a dose of frustration associated with that : Typically, you won’t say that to the person herself ("je n’en peux plus pour toi") because it might make you sound a bit pathetic with an unfulfilled burning desire. Of course, the most direct and brutal approach to revealing your attraction is to say “je veux passer la nuit avec toi”, telling her outright you want to spend the night with her : Again, use this phrase at your own risk, if you don’t know what you’re doing, be ready for unexpected results such as her walking off or being offended ...
French expressions for love : in a relationship So you’ve met your loved one and are now in a relationship. Let’s look at some common love phrases the French typically say to their sweetheart. “J’ai besoin de toi” (I need you) is typically used to show your feelings for the person are still as strong as in the beginning : “Je pense toujours à toi” lets the person know she’s always on your mind.
Assuming your feelings are shared, she should be very happy to hear this once in a while. “Je veux être avec toi” expresses that you long to be with her at all times, time away from her is painful to you. Another way to express this feeling of longing is “tu me manques” (I miss you). “Je suis bien avec toi”, or “je me sens bien avec toi” indicates how happy you feel when the two of you are together.
“Veux-tu m’epouser ?” is your standard marriage proposal. Here again, I certainly hope you know what you’re doing. “Embrasse moi idiot” (or just plain “embrasse-moi!”) needs no explanation.
Probably one of the most romantic phrases ever. An alternative to “embrasse moi” is “serre-moi dans tes bras” or “prends moi dans tes bras”. These are typically used to express feelings of love rather than mere physical attractions. “Tu m’aimes ?” is usually asked by a lover in need of reassurance. I would warn against answering “non”, whatever your true feelings are. French expressions for love : rejection So far in this review, we’ve looked at the things of love with rose coloured glasses.
Unfortunately, rejection is also a fact of life. So, now that we've talked about all these nice French love phrases, let's take a peek at the dark side of the (honey)moon.
“T’es pas mon genre” (you’re not my type) can be quite harsh to hear when you’re trying to seduce someone : In some cases, however, it is not meant as a definite “no” and if you’re brave enough, you may want to give it another shot.
“Ça va pas non ?” is more radical, more of a definite “no”. It literally means “are you crazy ?” Probably the ultimate rejection phrase. “Désolée je suis pas libre” suggests the person is already in a relationship.
A softer way to reject your proposition. It’s not you, it’s her ... report this ad A similar way to say this is “je suis déjà maquée”, which means “I already have a boyfriend / girlfriend” .
“Maqué” is derived from the word “mac” or maquereau, which is French for "pimp". A disrespectful way of alluding to a someone in a relationship (including oneself). “Maqué” can also refer to someone who has a girlfriend, e.g.
“il est maqué”. “Je suis avec quelqu’un” is a more delicate way for her to say she's already involved in a relationship : That's all for now So now you know (almost) everything there is to know about love phrases and expressions in spoken French.
You’re ready to go out there and seduce men or women, go out on dates, get into relationships, and (hopefully not) get rejected. If you think I’ve left out some important love phrases in French, or if you have questions or remarks about the ones I’ve mentioned, drop me a line in the comments. Until then, I wish the best of luck for your French love life.
Learn the Top 25 Must-Know French Phrases!