If you ever got lost in a foreign country, you know how complicated it can be to find your way when nobody speaks your language. Luckily, a few French words can help you ask for directions and most of all understand the answer.
How to ask for directions in French?
“Où” is the interrogative pronoun “where”, and “est” is the third person singular of the verb “être” (to be).
Où est ? = where is?
Où est la tour Eiffel ? = Where is the Eiffel tower?
Où est Châtelet ? = Where is Châtelet? (Châtelet is a subway station in Paris.)
In case the place you want to go to is plural, you simply need to replace “est” by “sont”, the third person plural form of “être” (to be).
Où sont les toilettes ? = Where are the toilets?
Où se trouve…?
“Se trouver” means “to be located”. Therefore, “où se trouve” means “where is… located?”.
Où se trouve la mairie ? = Where is the cityhall?
Like with “où est”, you have to change the form of the verb “se trouver” if you are asking for directions for something plural. All you have to do is use “trouvent” instead of “trouve”.
Où se trouvent les Champs Élysées ? = Where are the Champs Élysées? (Champs Élysées is a famous street in Paris)
Understanding directions in French
Congrats, you now know how to ask for directions in French. But can you understand the answer? Here are few words to help you.
A droite = to the right
A gauche = to the left
A côté de/ près de = Near
Tout droit = straight
Where do you want to go?
It’s time for you to practice! Ask for directions in the comments below and get corrected! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, you are here to learn!