37 English Words You Can Use in French

All French people speak English.

This may surprise you considering the French have the reputation of speaking terrible English.

Yet, between 1 and 5% of French words are actually…English words.

So prepare your most beautiful French accent and get ready to butcher the English language, here are common English words the French regularly mispronounce use!

English words you can use in French to talk about food and drinks

English words in French food

Bifteck

No that’s not a typo; That’s how French people write “beefsteak”.

J’aime mon bifteck saignant

I like my beefsteak rare

Burger

Burgers are getting more and more popular in France and you can even see a trend with high-end burger made with high-quality meat and fresh ingredients.

Big Fernand fait les meilleurs burgers de Paris

Big Fernand makes the best burgers of Paris

Hot dog

J’ai envie de manger un hot dog

I feel like eating a hot dog

Sandwich

J’aurai pas beaucoup de temps pour manger ce midi, donc je vais acheter un sandwich.

I won’t have a lot of time to eat lunch, so I’ll buy a sandwich.

Fast food

fast food English word in French

When you think about French food, you probably imagine a delicious ratatouille or yummy macarons, but did you know that France is the world’s second largest market for McDonald’s? (or Mcdo as we like to call it).

Quel est ton fast food préféré ?

What’s your favorite fast food restaurant?

Cookie

Vous pouvez avoir deux cookies pour le prix d’un.

You can get two cookies for the price of one.

Muffin

Ces muffins sont vraiment délicieux.

These muffins are really delicious.

Brownie

Elle est en train de faire des brownies.

She is making brownies.

Chewing-gum

Un chewing gum est collé sous la table, c’est dégoutant !

There is a chewing gum stuck under the table, it’s disgusting!

Brunch

The Académie Française recommends the use of the word “déjeunette” instead, but as often with the Académie Française, nobody is listening.

C’est à quelle heure le brunch demain ?

At what time is the brunch tomorrow?

Happy hour

Happy hour: tous les jours de 18 heures à 20 heures.

Happy hour: everyday from 6PM to 8PM.

Cocktail

Je vais prendre un cocktail long island s’il vous plaît.

 A long island cocktail please.

English words used in French to talk about clothes

clothes English words in French

There are lots of French words you use in English to talk about clothes and the fashion, but the contrary is also true.

Here are some English words the French use:

Vintage

If you’re looking for vintage clothes, you’ll see two words used “rétro” and “vintage”.

J’adore cette robe vintage!

I love this vintage dress!

T-shirt

Qu’est-ce que tu penses de ce t-shirt ?

What do you think about this t-shirt?

Blazer

T’as la classe avec ce blazer !

You look classy with this blazer!

Pull-over

“Pull over” (pronounced with a lovely French accent of course) is also used in French to say “sweater”.

Ce pull-over te va super bien

This sweater suits you perfectly

English words used in French to talk about technology

English words in French technology

When a foreign technology reaches the French market, it’s common for it to keep the same name.

The internet bubble brought many English words with it. Here are a few of them:

Bug

“Bug” can be a false friend, because while it does mean “computer bug”, it never means “insect” in French.

J’en ai marre de cet ordinateur, il bug tout le temps

I’m tired of this computer, it always has bugs

Mail

Many French Together readers like you send me emails in which they use the word “courriel”.

This is correct, but it’s also rarely used. Most of the time, French people simply say “mail” to talk about emails.

Again, this can be a faux ami, because “mail” in French only refers to emails.

Est-ce que vous avez reçu mon mail ?

Did you receive my email?

Wi-fi

Le wi-fi ne marche pas, ça m’énerve !

The wi-fi doesn’t work, it’s irritating!

Internet

Il est complètement accro à internet

He is completely  addicted to internet

Streaming

Let’s be honest! in French, streaming mainly refers to the illegal act of welll…streaming movies of TV series and legal websites such as Netflix rarely use that word.

That said, it’s a common word and it deserves to be in this list.

Le streaming c’est mal.

Streaming is bad.

Blog

French Together est un blog pour apprendre le français

French Together is a blog to learn French

Replay

You can often watch TV programs after their broadcasting by going on websites who offer “replays”.

J’ai raté l’émission dont tu m’as parlée, c’est pas grave, je la regarderai en replay

I couldn’t watch the show you mentioned. It’s not a big deal, I will watch it in replay

Other English words you can use in French

cat sleeping

Week-end

The only difference between this and the English word is the hyphen and the delicious French accent of course.

On va à un concert ce week-end, tu veux venir ?

We go to a concert this weekend, do you want to join us?

Interview

Il a donné une interview hier.

He gave an interview yesterday.

Marketing

Le marketing de cet entreprise est très agressif.

This company’s marketing is very agressive.

Okay

This is one of many ways to say “yes” in French.

On se voit demain ? Okay!

Let’s meet tomorrow? Okay!

Cool

Ce film était vraiment cool !

This movie was really cool!

Parking

This is how the French say “parking lot”.

Je cherche un parking où garer ma voiture.

I’m looking for a parking lot where I can park my car.

Football

French people use the British word “football” instead of “soccer”. But you’re unlikely to hear “football” anyway, because most people simply say “foot”.

ça te tente de jouer au foot de week-end ?

Do you feel like playing soccer this weekend?

Shopping

Faire du shopping me détend.

Going shopping relaxes me.

Boycott

This can also be used as a verb “boycotter”.

Beaucoup de personnes boycottent Facebook et Google.

Lots of people boycott Facebook and Google. 

Business

Mon père a commencé un nouveau business.

My dad started a new business.

Challenge

Parfois, être végétarien en France est un vrai challenge.

Sometimes, being vegetarian in France is a real challenge.

Crash

Depuis le crash de l’avion, les gens ont peur de voler avec cette compagnie aérienne.

People have been scared to fly with this airline ever since the plane crashed.

Best seller

Like many compound words, “best-seller” gets an hyphen in French.

Il a vendu 400 000 exemplaires de son best-seller. 

He sold 400,000 copies of his bestseller. 

Coach

De nombreux Français utilisent les services de coach sportifs pour perdre du poids. 

Lots of French people use the services of sport coaches to lose weight.

Over to you

Do you know other English words the French love using? Share them in the comment section below!

Benjamin Houy
Benjamin Houy

Benjamin Houy is a native French speaker and tea drinker with a BA degree in Applied Foreign Languages and a passion for languages. After teaching French and English in South Korea for 7 months as part of a French government program, he created French Together to help English speakers learn the 20% of French that truly matters. You will also find him giving blogging advice on Grow With Less.

9 thoughts on “37 English Words You Can Use in French”

  1. I’ve tried a number of ways to learn French. I live in France, and my wife is almost fluent. So no pressure !
    Your methods are great. I’m happily studying the first section on a daily basis. I think that’s vital whatever the amount of time you put into it.

    After eating a burger for brunch wearing a vintage T-shirt, I considered a bifteck, saignant from my fast food shop, followed by a muffin.
    In the evening, two cocktails at happy hour helped me fix my wi-Fi and the bug I’ve found in my mail it was a challenge. How was your week? Over to you.

    Reply
  2. Salut!
    J’aime le français, mais c’est un peu difficile pour moi. Tous vos conseils sont très cool! Ils m’aident beaucoup. Merci!
    between, I’m sorry if I have some faults in my french grammar?hehe

    Reply
  3. Thank you very much. I am enjoying to your lessons. Keep going teach us!
    Best Regards,
    Husniddin from UZBEKISTAN TASHKENT

    Reply
  4. Salut Benjamin,

    Article gentil une fois plus, j’en aimer puisque il s’enseigner que il faut toujours d’avoir différent perspectif a peu prés comment à trouver a ressemblance entre les deux langue.

    D’ailleurs, j’ai apprend beaucoup d’écrivant vos article réguillièrement et je souhait de continer apprentissage en l’avenir.

    Reply
  5. It was a really nice post, with a lot of good new vocabulary, with words that we would actually use. I am following your advices and learning entire sentences instead of just words, and now I am adding “fair du shopping me détend” to my Ankidroid 🙂 Je vraiment l’apprécie!

    Reply
    • I’m glad you found the post useful Lian 🙂

      Anki is an awesome way to learn sentences, I personally use it to learn Russian and it’s super useful.

      P.S: make sure you write ‘fairE du shopping me détend” and not “fair du shopping me détend”

      Reply

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