The delicious guide to le goûter and snacking à la française

Two cookies, perhaps ginger snaps, sit on a black table. One is flat on the table while the other cookie is propped up against the first one.

In a country famous for its pastries and viennoiseries, not to mention cheese, bread, and other goodies, French people have quite the selection of things to snack on! But there’s a twist: In France, it’s usually a no-no for adults to eat between meals. On the other hand, French kids have their own special snack …


Getting to the bottom of the French words “dessous” and “dessus”

Three young women in denim jackets stand together with arms linked. We see their upper legs and torsos, up to their necks. We can see that two of the girls are blonde and the other is brunette. They seem to be outdoors, since their hair is blowing in the wind, but we can't make out the background. Below their open jackets, each wears a white t-shirt. Each has painted nails - red, pink, and hot pink, respectively - and each is wearing some kind of jewelry. The woman on the left is wearing a long necklace with a gold pendant. The one in the center is wearing a necklace with stones and a pendant of a ring and leather tie, and the one on the right is wearing a wedding ring and a watch.

In French, you’ll often come across two similar words that are actually each other’s opposite: dessous and dessus. What is the difference between dessous and dessus? What do they mean? And how are they used? Let’s learn about these two sometimes tricky words that can turn the world upside-down! What do dessous and dessus mean? Dessous essentially means “under(it)” or …


What’s that special something behind the phrase je ne sais quoi?

In a patch of light, probably the projection of a sunny window onto a gray wall, a woman runs her hand along the wall. The rest of the scene is in darkness. We can make out part of her back and her sleeve. She is wearing a black sequined long-sleeved top.

Je ne sais quoi is a French phrase that’s crossed over into English. But if you’re wondering what it means, you’re not alone. According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, it ranks in the 1% of the site’s most looked-up words.   What does je ne sais quoi  mean? Is it used differently in French and English?  Let’s …


How do you say “French” in French? With audio

A crowd holds up French flags outside a building possibly the Louvre. In the foreground, a man and woman seem to be kissing but we can only see their foreheads.

“French person”,  “Frenchman” or “Frenchwoman”, “Frenchie”, or even “frog” – there are a number of ways to refer to French people in English. But what terms do French people use to refer to themselves? It turns out there are several fairly common ways French people refer to themselves and their language. Let’s look at how …


How to use and conjugate ouvrir | With Audio

An open window gives out onto a view of Parisian rooftops. We see the Eiffel Tower in the far distance. The day is sunny, with lots of puffy white clouds in the sky.

The French verb ouvrir means “to open”. Like its English equivalent, it’s open to many different possibilities when it comes to meanings and uses. Let’s open our minds and learn more about the verb ouvrir! What does ouvrir mean? The verb ouvrir  usually means “to open”. As in English, this can be used literally or …