8 ways to use French to your advantage

Come and join 31,000 expats in our Facebook Group – Expatriates in Paris

 
Expatriates in Paris
Private group · 31,633 members
Join Group
Welcome to Expatriates in Paris. If you would like to join the group please answer the 3 questions you have been presented with. Once we receive your ...
 
Share Button

Every language has its own useful expressions appropriate to the culture that has produced it. Here are some that can be particularly handy in French.

1.  The common use of the pronoun ‘on’ (meaning ‘one’, as in oneself).

This can be a very convenient way of making a point and implying fault or responsibility without actually apportioning blame. The French are experts at using this in everyday situations to put across a message without upsetting anyone. For example “Il faudrait qu’on fasse un peu de ménage” (One should do some housework) “On aurait dû le faire autrement!“ (One should have done that differently). ‘On’ is often conveniently responsible for everything that goes wrong!

2. ‘A la prochaine’ (Until next time).

This expression is a quick, polite and easy way to take your leave of someone, giving the impression that there may be another time you will meet again, but without committing to anything.

3. ‘Bref’ (In short)

With this simple syllable you can put an end to a long explanation, or curtail a commentary and go on to give a short summary of just what needs to be said.

4. ‘Bon appétit!’

Yes, other cultures have their equivalent, but English doesn’t. This is more than just a way to wish people a good meal, it is also a very handy signal to let others know they can start to eat – so much easier that hesitantly tucking in and then feeling bad if you are the only one who has.


Our language school partners

https://www.lutece-langue.com
http://www.lalangueparis.com
https://ecoleparisienne.com

5. ‘Et patati et patata’ (And so on and so forth)

This can be useful when you don’t want to give all the details of something, but you want to imply that there is more that could be said. (It also feels good saying this!)

6. ’Revenons à nos moutons’

(No, this is not about herding sheep, it actually means ‘Let’s get back on topic’). This fun colloquialism tells a person that you or they should get back to the to the topic under discussion if they have been talking off subject for some time.

7 ‘On fait aller’ (One is making it alright).

An oft-used response to the question ‘Ça va?’ this implies that things probably aren’t going as well as you would like, but that you are putting up with it, and that you don’t necessarily want to give any further information.

8. ‘Putain’

(Literally meaning prostitute, this word has actually come to cover a whole range of meanings, depending on the context in which it is used). As many internet videos have so clearly shown already, this is the go-to word to express delight, disgust, amazement, anger, despair…In fact, you name it, ‘putain’ covers it! If you don’t know what to say about something, simply using this word with the appropriate facial expression is often enough.

JOIN THE NEW DISCORD

NEW - JOIN THE PARIS DISCORD JOB OFFERS | JOB SEARCH | RENTALS | NEWS | BUY&SELL | EXPERT QA | EVENTS | GENERAL CHAT - https://discord.gg/hUxRUUa

Would you like to nominate someone for Best of Paris 2019?

Your Name:*
Do you have an Instagram account? We will tag you when your nomination is uploaded (thank you for your contribution)
Who do you nominate?:*
Category?:*
Reason for nomination:
If the category does not exist we will need additional nominations to create a category...
Additional Nomination 1:
Additional Nomination 2:
Additional Nomination 3:
  • View all the categories and nominate someone  here, 
  • Read the Best of Paris FAQs here.
  • Stay informed of the Best of News on social media here.
  • Buy your Best of Paris Results edition advertisement here
  • Distribute the magazine here.
  • Download Best of Paris 2018 results here

Best of Paris 2019 categories

  • After-school activity – Best of Paris 2019
  • Alternative Activity – Best of Paris 2019
  •  Association for Expats – Best of Paris 2019
  • Bagel – Best of Paris 2019
  • Bakery/Patisserie – Best of Paris 2019
  • Band, Musician, Singer - Best of Paris 2019
  • Bank – Best of Paris 2019
  • Bar to hang out with fellow expats – Best of Paris 2019
  • Artist in Paris 2019
  • Business & Networking Group - Best of Paris 2019
  • Business Consultant – Best of Paris 2019
  • Instagrammer (Original content) Best of Paris 2019
  • Parenting Group in Paris – Best of Paris 2019
  • School (Language) – Best of Paris 2019
  • Blog – Best Paris Blog – Best of Paris 2019
  • Blog (Fashion) – Best of Paris 2019
  • Blog (Food) – Best of Paris 2019
  • Bookshop – Best of Paris 2019
  • Breakfast – Best of Paris 2019
  • Brunch – Best of Paris 2019
  • Burger – Best of Paris 2019
  • Burrito – Best of Paris 2019
  • Cabaret – Best of Paris 2019
  • Café – Best of Paris 2019
  • Cakes – Best of Paris 2019
  • Child-Friendly Café – Best of Paris 2019
  • Childcare Service – Best of Paris 2019
  • Childrens’ Social Group – Best of Paris 2019
  • Cocktail – Best of Paris 2019
  • Comedy – Best of Paris 2019
  • Comedy club – Best of Paris 2019
  • Concierge Service - Best of Paris 2019
  • Craft Beer – Best of Paris 2019
  • Dating App/Site (Best of Paris 2019)
  • Donuts – Best of Paris 2019
  • English Pub – Best of Paris 2019
  • Expat Event – Best of Paris 2019
  • Expert - Best of Paris 2019
  • Facebook Community for expats – Best of Paris 2019
  • Facebook Page – Best of Paris 2019
  • Fitness Instructor – Best of Paris 2019
  • Foreign Foods – Best of Paris 2019
  • Gluten-free/Organic – Best of Paris 2019
  • Hairdresser – Best of Paris 2019
  • Hidden Dining – Best of Paris 2019
  • Home/office Organisation – Best of Paris 2019
  • Image Consultant – Best of Paris 2019
  • Instagram Account to see Paris – Best of Paris 2019
  • Irish Pub – Best of Paris 2019
  • Jazz Club – Best of Paris 2019
  • Make-up Artist -Best of Paris 2019
  • Montessori Education – Best of Paris 2019
  • Neighbourhood – Best of Paris 2019
  • Nursery – Best of Paris 2019
  • Open Mic – Best of Paris 2019
  • Phone Network – Best of Paris 2019
  • Photographer (Fashion) – Best of Paris 2019
  • Photographer (Portrait) – Best of Paris 2019
  • Photographer (Wedding/Engagement) – Best of Paris 2019
  • Pilates Instructor - Best of Paris 2019
  • Pizza – Best of Paris 2019
  • Playgroup/ After school – Best of Paris 2019
  • Podcast/radio – Best of Paris 2019
  • Premier League Matches – Best Bar – Best of Paris 2018
  • Removal Service – Best of Paris 2019
  • Rooftop Bar (Sunset view) – Best of Paris 2019
  • School / Class (Dance) – Best of Paris 2019
  • School / Class (Drama) – Best of Paris 2019
  • School / Class (Music) – Best of Paris 2019
  • School (Suburbs) – Best of Paris 2019
  • Schooling (Parent Association) – Best of Paris 2019
  • Scottish Pub – Best of Paris 2019
  • Shopping Centre – Best of Paris 2019
  • Sports Bar – Best of Paris 2019
  • Startup (By an expat) – Best of Paris 2019
  • Street Musician - Best of Paris 2019
  • Suburb - Best of Paris 2019
  • Summer Camp – Best of Paris 2019
  • Tea Room – Best of Paris 2019
  • Teacher (Dance) – Best of Paris 2019
  • Teacher (French Language) – Best of Paris 2019
  • Teacher (Music) - Best of Paris 2019
  • Theatre Group– Best of Paris 2019
  • Therapist – Best of Paris 2019
  • Tour – Best of Paris 2019
  • Training / coach – Best of Paris 2019
  • View – Best of Paris 2019
  • Volunteering opportunity – Best of Paris 2019
  • Waterfront Bar – Best of Paris 2019
  • Website for expats – Best of Paris 2019
  • Wedding Planner – Best of Paris 2019
  • Wine Tasting Class, Instructor, Experience - Best of Paris 2019
  • Yoga Instructor – Best of Paris 2019
  • Yoga Studio – Best of Paris 2019
  • Youth Club – Best of Paris 2019
  • YouTuber – Best of Paris 2019
  • Zumba Instructor – Best of Paris 2019
  • Submit a Nomination
    Your Name:*
    Do you have an Instagram account? We will tag you when your nomination is uploaded (thank you for your contribution)
    Who do you nominate?:*
    Category?:*
    Reason for nomination:
    If the category does not exist we will need additional nominations to create a category...
    Additional Nomination 1:
    Additional Nomination 2:
    Additional Nomination 3: