Survive Your First French Lesson (with audio!)


You’ve heard it before. Speaking is one of the best ways to improve your listening and spoken skills. Thanks to technology, there are a lot of ways to practice with native speakers or other learners, being tutoring sessions or language exchanges. Because of my lack of vocabulary and fluidity, I always find myself sort of clumsy when it comes to these lessons, and I end up talking way too much in English.

If you are like me, you might like this little list. These useful phrases could help you maintain a conversation in French, even if you are a beginner. Keep the list close to you next time you have a lesson (you don’t have to memorize it all!)

You’ll be surprised to see how many letters are not pronounced in spoken French. As opposed to some textbooks, I decided to show you how natives pronounce it, even if it means to shorten a few negations here and there. Don’t worry if it seems like too much to care about for now. It will come with time, and you’ll still be understood if you pronounce a few extra « e » along the way.

Greetings and Basic Vocabulary 

Bonjour Hi (polite)
Enchanté(e) Nice to meet you
S’il-vous-plaît Please
Merci Thank you
Au revoir Goodbye
À la prochaine See you next time
On se voit la semaine prochaine? See you next week?


Taking the Lead

Ça va si on parle juste en français ? Is it ok if we only speak in French ?
Comment dit-on … en français ? How do you say… in French ?
Pouvez-vous corriger ma prononciation ? Can you correct my pronunciation ?
C’est correct ? Is that correct/right ?
Je vais essayer I will try
Un moment One moment /Give me a second


Asking for Help

Pouvez-vous répéter? Can you repeat?
Pouvez-vous le dire plus lentement? Can you say it more slowly?
Pouvez-vous l’écrire? Can you write it down?
Je vais l’écrire I will write it down
Je ne me rappelle plus I don’t remember
Je ne sais pas I don’t know
Je ne comprends pas I don’t understand
Je n’ai pas tout compris I didn’t understand everything
C’est trop compliqué It’s too complicated


Useful Words

la grammaire grammar
le verbe the verb
l’adjectif the adjective
la prononciation pronunciation
le dialogue the dialog
la phrase

cette phrase

the sentence

this sentence

le mot

ce mot

the word

this word


Technical Problems

Je vous entends mal I can’t hear you well
M’entendez-vous? Can you hear me?
La connexion est mauvaise The connection is bad

*Don’t forget that Francophonie is diverse. Pronunciation may vary! 😉


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