French greetings vary widely, depending on the time of day, context, and your relationship with the person. From polite conversations with your boss, to answering the phone, to writing formal emails, to holiday greetings and saying a customary goodbye in French, there are a lot of options to choose from!
Les salutations – Greetings
Greetings in France are very important in French culture. Below you will find a list of common French greetings that are used in a variety of social settings.
|Bonjour !||Good morning/Hello!|
|À bientôt !||See you soon!|
|À la prochaine !||See you next time!|
|À demain !||See you tomorrow!|
|Bon après-midi !||Have a good afternoon!|
|Bon week-end !||Have a good weekend!|
|Bonne semaine !||Have a good week!|
- Bonjour is used at all times of the day. It also takes the place of saying “Good morning.” Be sure to say Bonjour to the shop owner or front-of-house employee as soon as you walk into any store or restaurant in France!
- Salut is more informal than Bonjour and Au-revoir.
- In addition to a verbal greeting, people in France do something called la bise. La bise is typically done between friends and family where they give an air kiss on both sides of the person’s cheek upon a verbal greeting.
- In more formal settings (i.e. between business partners or between strangers), handshakes supplement a formal greeting.
Below you will find a list of the most common introductory questions to use in various social contexts.
|Comment allez-vous ?||How are you?||More formal and polite expression and/or asking to a group of people|
|Comment ça va / Ça va ?||How are you?||Informal, casual|
|Ça va bien/mal||I’m doing well/unwell||Either context|
|Comment t’appelles-tu ?||What’s your name?||Informal, casual|
|Comment vous appelez-vous?||What’s your name?||Formal and/or plural|
|Je m’appelle||My name is||Either context|
|Enchanté||It’s nice to meet you||Either context|
Other important French expressions for conversations:
|De rien||You’re welcome|
Meet one or more times weekly with a dedicated French instructor online at a pace and schedule that custom fits your busy life.
Join an Academy course for course content built on top of leading French curriculum: includes videos, vocabulary, quizzes and certificate.
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.