Learn French language basics

  • Les bases du Français

    The basics of French

    Learn the basics of French here!

    Learning a new language on the internet can be pretty intimidating and challenging. We cover many topics to learn step-by-step such as commonly used words, nouns, verbs etc. Look no more and begin your French learning journey here.

    Commonly used words in Conversations

    Hello(Formal) – Bounjour ( Pronounced as: Bon-joo)
    Thank you             – Merci (Mar-see)     
    Please                   – S’il vous plait (sil-voo-plae)
    Goodbye               – Au revoir
    Ma’am                   – Madame
    Sir                         – Monseur
    Hello(Informal) – Salut (Pronounced as Sal-you)
    Yes                        – Oui
    No                         – Non
    When                    – Quand
    Where                   – Ou
    What                     – Que
    Why                      – Pourqui
    Who                      – Qui
    How                      – Comment
    How many/ much – Combien              
    This                       – Ce
    These                     – Ces
    That                       – Cette
    Those                     – Cettes
    Here is                   – Voici
    There is                 – Voila

    Commonly used words in conversations Part II

    Okay         – Ca va
    Yesterday  – Hier
    Today        – Aujourd ‘hui
    Tomorrow – Demain
    Morning    – Le matin 
    Noon         – Midi
    Afternoon – Après midi 
    Evening    – Le soir
    Night        – Nuit
    Midnight  – Minuit
    Before      – Avant
    After         – Après


    One – Un
    Two – Deux
    Three – Trois
    Four – Quatre
    Five – Cinq
    Six – Six
    Seven – Sept
    Eight – Huit
    Nine – Neuf
    Ten – Dix
    Eleven – Onze
    Twelve – Douze
    Thirteen – Treize
    Fourteen – Quarante
    Fifteen – Quinze
    Sixteen – Seize
    Seventeen – Dix-sept
    Eighteen – Dix-huit
    Nineteen – Dix-neuf
    Twenty – Vingt


    I – Je
    You – Tu (Informal), Vous (Formal, plural)
    She – Elle
    He – Il
    We -Nous
    They – Ills (male), Elles(Female)
    It – Il


    Pen – Stylo
    Pencil – Crayon
    Book – Livre
    School – école
    Computer – Ordinateur
    Clothes – Vetements
    Dress – Robe
    Pant – Haleter
    Cake – Gateau
    House – Maison
    Pouch – Trousse
    Table – Table
    Wine – Vin
    Blackboard – Tableau
    Cheese – Fromage
    Head – Tete
    Hand – Main
    Water – Eau
    Earth – Terre
    Dog – Chien
    Ball – Ballon
    Shoe – Chausseres
    Time – Temps


    In – Dans
    On – Sur
    At – à
    Before – Avant
    After – Apres
    Under – Sous
    Over – Plus de
    In between – Entre
    Of – de
    To – à
    Behind – Derriere
    In front of – Devant
    Near – près
    With – Avec
    Without – Sans


    To be – etre
    To have – avoir
    To go – aller
    To say/ tell – dire
    To hear – entendre
    To do / make – faire
    To call – appeler
    To be able to do – pouvoir
    To know – savoir
    To see – voir
    To want – vouloir
    To learn – apprendre
    To eat – manger
    To feel – Sentir
    To taste – gouter
    To touch – toucher
    To take – prendre
    To understand – compendre
    To become – devenir
    To come – venir
    To try – essayer
    To clean – Nettoyer
    To pay – payer
    To buy – acheter
    To hope – espérer
    To prefer – préférer
    To repeat – répéter

    In higher learning, you will learn how to conjugate these verbs, or change the form of verb according to the noun or pronoun. For example,

    Faire(To do/ make):
    Je fais
    Tu fais
    Il fait
    Elle fait
    Nous faisons
    Vous faites
    Ils font
    Elles font


    Doctor – docteur
    Teacher – professeur/professeure
    Engineer – ingeneur
    Mechanic – mécanicien
    Government officer – agent du gouvernement
    Cook – cuisinier
    Butcher – Boucher
    Baker – boulanger
    Gardener – jardinier
    Athlete – athlète
    Accountant – comptable
    Lawyer – avocat
    Architect – architecte
    Actor – acteur

    Commonly used expressions in conversations

    Hurray – hourrah
    Wow – sensationnelim
    Oh – oh
    Ouch – aie
    Sorry – pardon
    Thankyou – Merci
    Please – S’il vous plait

    Commonly used phrases in conversations

    What is your name? – Comment tu t’appelle? (Informal)
    Comment vous applez-vous? (Formal)

    My name is Pierre. – Je m’appelle Pierre.

    Where are you going? – Où allez-vous?

    It is half past three – Il est trois heures et demie.

    It is ten minutes to six. – il est six heures moins dix.

    My father’s name is Jon – Mon père s’appelle Jon.

    My mother’s name is Catherine – Mon mere s’appelle Catherine.

    I am sixteen years old – J’ai seize ans

    My father is fourty-eight years old – Mon père a quarante-huit ans.

    My favorite movie is the Titanic – Mon film préféré est la Titanic.

    I am a doctor – Je suis médecin

    What do you study – Qu’est-ce que tu étudies

    What is your mother’s name? – quel est le nom de votre mère?

    What is your father’s name? – quel est le nom de votre père?

    My garden is beside my house – mon jardin est à côté de ma maison

    My garden is behind my house – mon jardin est derrière ma maison

    He is my son – Il est mon fils.

    She is my cousin – Elle est ma cousine

    Conjugating verbs

    After you’ve perfected the basics listed above, it’s time to learn a little more. In the French language, to frame a sentence we take a subject and an action, and conjugate the verb or change its form to suit the subject. For example, in English, the verb ‘to be’ changes with the subject such as – He is, they are and so on. One has learn all the verb conjugation in order to perfect sentence framing.

    There are two types of verbs – Regular and Irregular.


    Conjugating regular verbs (-er verbs)

    Conjugating regular verbs –


    Je – I
    Tu – You
    Il – He
    Elle – She
    Nous – We
    Vous – You(Plural or for respect)
    Ils – They(m)
    Elles – They(f)

    First, we will learn regular verbs which further are of two groups, those who end with ‘er’ such as aller(To go), acheter(To buy) and those who end with ‘ir’ such as finir(To finish), sortir(To sort).

    Verbs with end with -er are the most common verbs in french. To conjugate them, follow these steps:

    1. Remove the -er
    2. Replace them with e, es, e, e, ons, ez, ent, ent corresponding to je, tu, il, elle, nous, vous, ils, elles.
    3. You’re done!

    Examples –

    Aimer(To like):
    Tu aimes
    il/Elle aime
    Nous aimons
    Vous aimez
    ils/Elles aiment

    Acheter(To buy):

    tu achètes
    Il achète
    Elle achète
    Nous achètons
    Vous achètez
    Ils achètent
    Elles achètent


    The verb aller(To go) is conjugated differently, apart from the regular -er verbs.

    je vais
    tu vas
    il/elle va
    nous allons
    vous allez
    ils/elles vont

    Practice more verbs to perfect -er verbs, which make up about 80% of the verbs in French!

    Conjugating regular verbs(-ir verbs)

    -ir verbs are the second most commonly used verbs in French. Let us learn how to conjugate them along with some examples.

    1. Remove the -ir.
    2. Add -is, -is, -it, -it, -issons, -issez, -issent, -issent corresponding to je, tu, il, elle, nous, vous, ils and elles.
    3. Not all verbs are conjugated as the following. Few verbs such as avoir, falloir, devoir.

    For example, the verb ‘choisir’, meaning to choose
    Je choisis
    Tu choisis
    Il choisit
    Elle choisit
    Nous choisissons
    Vous choisissez
    Ils choisissent
    Elles choisissent

    Irregular verbs

    There is another group of verbs called irregular verbs.

    Examples are – avoir(to have), etre(to be), faire(to do), aller(to go) etc.

    The conjugation of these verbs doesn’t follow a specific pattern, and changes specific to the verb.