10 sentences you need to know to fit in in France

The Medici Fountain, Paris, France

#1 Excusez-moi monsieur, où est le métro ?

Slow speed.

Normal speed.

Literally: excuse me Sir, where is the subway?

How to use it: You can use this sentence with anyone you meet. Just make sure you use “Madame” instead of “Monsieur” if you are talking to a woman.

All you need to do is add the name of your destination after “est”.

#2 Bonjour, je voudrais un café et un croissant s’il vous plaît

Slow speed

Normal speed

Literally: Hello. I would like a coffee and a croissant, please.

How to use it: You can use this sentence to order food in a restaurant, buy a handbag…

Just add the names of the items you want after “je voudrais.”

#3 Merci pour votre aide

Slow speed

Normal speed

Literally: thank you for your help.

How to use it: You can use this sentence to thank someone for their help.

The use of “votre” makes it formal but you can also use the informal “merci pour ton aide” with people you know well.

#4 Combien est-ce que ça coûte ?

Slow speed

Normal speed

Literally: how much does it cost?

How to use it: You can use this sentence to ask how much something costs.

#5 Je vais prendre un verre de Bordeaux, s’il vous plaît

Toasting with wine

Slow speed

Normal speed

Literally: I will take a glass of Bordeaux (wine) please

How to use it: this is an informal but very common way to order something. Using it is an excellent way to sound more French.You can use this in most cafes and restaurants but I recommend using “je voudrais” in more upscale establishments.

#6 Désolée, je ne comprends pas, pouvez-vous répéter plus lentement s’il vous plaît ?

Slow speed

Normal speed

Literally: sorry, I don’t understand. Could you please repeat more slowly?

How to use it: You can use this sentence when you don’t understand what someone said and would like them to repeat.

#7 Non merci, je ne fais que regarder

Slow speed

Normal speed

Literally: No thanks, I am only looking/browsing.

How to use it: You can use this sentence to tell a seller asking you “est-ce que je peux vous aider” (can I help you) you don’t need help.

#8 L’addition s’il vous plaît

Slow speed

Normal speed

Literally: the bill please.

How to use it: You can use this sentence to ask for the bill in a restaurant.

#9 Un billet pour Nantes s’il vous plaît

Slow speed

Normal speed

Literally: a ticket for Nantes please.

How to use it: You can use this sentence to buy a train ticket. Just replace Nantes with the name of your destination.

#10 C’était délicieux, merci

Fine dining dessert, Strawberry ice cream, poppy seed mousse and fresh fruit

Slow speed

Normal speed

Literally: It was delicious thanks

How to use it: French waiters will often ask you how you liked the food you ate. You can use this sentence to tell them it was delicious and bring a smile to their face. 

Looking for more French recorded at slow and normal speed? You will find hours of audio recorded at both speed in the French Together course. Learn more.