Can You Translate These Basic English Phrases into French?

EDUCATION

Isadora Teich

5 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock.

About This Quiz

Think you can speak French with the best of them? French is a romance language, like Spanish and Italian, but it has a lot of quirks which make it unique. It is one of the few languages that you can hear spoken around the globe by those who are fluent. It is the sixth most spoken language on Earth, following Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, English, Spanish and Arabic with more than 220 million people speaking it all over the globe. All this is to say that there's a lot of people out there that speak French so it's not bad to know a few key phrases. 

French is truly a global language with numerous dialects, and knowing some key words and phrases can come in handy depending on where you live and where you travel to. Whether it has always been your dream to wander the streets of Paris or you just happen to have Francophone neighbors, having some French vocabulary can never hurt! If you are a savvy French speaker who has the basics covered, see if you can parlez your way through this very French quiz!

Hello!

"Bonjour" means "Hello." You can also say "Salut!" or "Allô!"

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They are tall.

"Ils sont grands," means "They are tall." The adjective agrees with the masculine and plural pronoun.

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I can speak French.

This is how you can indicate that you speak French. If you want to say that you speak a little French, opt for "Je parle un peu français."

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It's Thursday.

Thursday is "jeudi" in French. This comes from the Latin name for the planet Jupiter.

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She is thin.

"Elle" means "she" in French. Mince is the adjective meaning "thin."

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I don't understand.

Often, no matter how much we learn a new language, we will miss some things under pressure. Keep this phrase on hand.

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I'm hungry.

"J'ai faim" means I am hungry. It literally translates to "I have hunger."

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It's summer.

Summer in French is "l'été." Don't forget the accents!

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The cat is black.

This is a very basic example of French sentence structure. If there was more than one cat, it would read "Les chats sont noirs."

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Bye!

Au revoir is an acceptable way to say goodbye in many situations. Adieu is more outdated and heavily formal and dramatic.

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How's it going?

"Ca va?" is a cornerstone of French small talk. As a question it means "How is it going?" and as an answer, it means "It's going."

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I love you.

This is one of the most romantic sentences in the language of love. You can also say "Je t'adore."

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I'm tired.

This is how you say "I am tired." If you are a woman, that will be written "Je suis fatiguée."

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I can't sing.

It is easy to negate any French verb and indicate that you can't do something. Wrap the verb you cannot accomplish in "ne ... pas."

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It's spring.

Spring in French is" le printemps." Fall is "l'automne."

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I have a white dog.

This is the correct way to say "I have a white dog" in French. Unlike in English, nouns often come before the adjectives describing them in French.

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I love ice cream.

"J'aime..." means I love. Ice cream is "la glace."

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The book is on the table.

"Le livre" is French for the book. "Sur" means on.

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My father drinks coffee.

This sentence uses the masculine determiner mon, to indicate that the father being talked about belongs to the speaker. When writing, don't forget the accents!

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I have two brothers.

"Frère" is French for "brother." "Soeur" means "sister."

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Where is the bathroom?

This is an important one to know in any language! Remember that in many French-speaking countries the bathing area and toilets are kept separate.

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It's Wednesday.

This is how you say "It's Wednesday." This day name comes from the Latin word for the planet Mercury.

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My shoes are blue.

In this sentence, all words agree with the plural "shoes." "Bleues," meaning blue, also takes a feminine plural form to agree with "shoes."

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The child is next to the chair.

This is how to correctly say "The child is next to the chair." The phrase "à côté de" means next to.

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He can't read.

"Lire" is the French verb meaning "to read." Since he cannot read, the conjugated verb "peut" which means "can" is negated by being wrapped in "ne ... pas."

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My mother is beautiful.

"Belle" is a unique French adjective. "Belle" is its feminine form, but its masculine form is "beau."

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I am a student.

This is how to say that you are a student. This is a helpful phrase for those who choose to study abroad in a French-speaking country.

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Where is the hospital?

There are a few phrases it is good to have on hand while traveling in case of emergencies. This is one of those phrases.

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I want to leave.

This is French for "I want to leave." "Veux" is the correctly conjugated form of the verb "Vouloir," which means "to want."

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What time is it?

This literally translates to "What hour is it?" This is a common way to ask for the time in French.

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I need bread.

"J'ai besoin de" is how to to indicate in French that you need something. Bread is "le pain."

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The dress is expensive.

This is how you say, The dress is expensive." "Chère" is also a common feminine French pet name.

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She has two orange cats.

This is the proper way to say this. Orange is a unique French adjective in that it does not change to agree with plural or feminine nouns.

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My daughter is cute.

"Ma fille" means "my daughter." "Mignonne," meaning cute, is a unique adjective because its masculine form is "mignon" and its feminine form is "mignonne."

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Give me the book.

"Donne-moi" is give me. "Le livre" is the book.

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