Every Frenchman speaks 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
English words you can use in French to talk about food and drinks
No that’s not a typo; That’s how French people write “beefsteak”.
J’aime mon bifteck saignant
I like my beefsteak rare
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
J’ai envie de manger un hot dog
I feel like eating a hot dog
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.
When you think about French food, you probably imagine elaborate recipes and delicious 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?
Vous pouvez avoir deux cookies pour le prix d’un.
You can get two cookies for the price of one.
Ces muffins sont vraiment délicieux.
These muffins are really delicious.
Elle est en train de faire des brownies.
She is making brownies.
Un chewing gum est collé sous la table, c’est dégoutant !
There is a chewing gum stuck under the table, it’s disgusting!
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: tous les jours de 18 heures à 20 heures.
Happy hour: everyday from 6PM to 8PM.
Je vais prendre un cocktail long island s’il vous plaît.
A long island cocktail please.
English words you can use in French to talk about clothes
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:
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!
Qu’est-ce que tu penses de ce t-shirt ?
What do you think about this t-shirt?
T’as la classe avec ce blazer !
You look classy with this blazer!
“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 you can use in French to talk about 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” 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
P.S: check out Everyday French Idioms if you’d like to discover other essential French expressions like “j’en ai marre”.
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?
Le wi-fi ne marche pas, ça m’énerve !
The wi-fi doesn’t work, it’s irritating!
Il est complètement accro à internet
He is completely addicted to internet
That said, it’s a common word and it deserves to be in this list.
Le streaming c’est mal.
Streaming is bad.
French Together est un blog pour apprendre le français
French Together is a blog to learn French
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
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?
Il a donné une interview hier.
He gave an interview yesterday.
Le marketing de cet entreprise est très agressif.
This company’s marketing is very agressive.
This is one of many ways to say “yes” in French.
On se voit demain ? Okay!
Let’s meet tomorrow? Okay!
Ce film était vraiment cool !
This movie was really cool!
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.
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?
Faire du shopping me détend.
Going shopping relaxes me.
This can also be used as a verb “boycotter”.
Beaucoup de personnes boycottent Facebook et Google.
Lots of people boycott Facebook and Google.
Mon père a commencé un nouveau business.
My dad started a new business.
Parfois, être végétarien en France est un vrai challenge.
Sometimes, being vegetarian in France is a real challenge.
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.
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.
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!