In this article provided by Edvog.com you will learn the basics of the French language by studying the alphabet, the numbers 1-1000 and some common greetings. The examples and videos we provide for this French lesson will make the learning process fast and easy.
The French Alphabet
The French language has an alphabet composed of the same letters found in the English alphabet. Some letters can have accents like: â, ç, é, è, ê, î, ï. They are pronounced different compared to the letters without accent. The letter H is pronounced very lightly. In the table below you will find the French alphabet and how to pronounce individual French letters.
|Letter (Pronunciation)||Letter (Pronunciation)|
|A (ah) |
|N (en) |
A very difficult and important part of learning French is knowing how to read or speak, because you will find many pronunciation rules, together with a lot of exceptions, that will make your life a little more complicated. Not to worry, in time, with a little practice, you will get used with most of the pronunciation rules, and then reading or speaking French it will seem more natural than usual.
French Pronunciation Guide
Start learning how to pronounce French words and avoid mistakes made by beginners with our basic pronunciation guide. In the table below you will be able to study and learn how to pronounce the individual letters in French words.
|A||like the sound ah or like a in art|
|B||like b in best|
|C||- before a, o or u, like k in king |
- before i or e, like s in sun
|D||like d in dog|
|E||- like e in bed |
- like the sound eh or ay in say
|F||the same as in English|
|G||- before a, o or u, like g in gold |
- before i or e, like z in zoo
|H||is always silent|
|I||like ee in see|
|J||like the sound zh or like s in measure|
|K||the same as in English|
|L||the same as in English|
|M||the same as in English|
|N||the same as in English|
|O||like the sound oh or like o in top|
|P||the same as in English|
|Q||like k in king|
|R||the same as in English|
|S||- between vowels, like z in zoo |
- otherwise like s in smile
|T||the same as in English|
|U||like oo in moon|
|V||like v in voice|
|W||like v in voice|
|X||like the sound ks|
|Y||like ee in see|
|Z||like z in zoo|
Now that you know how to pronounce each French letter, you need to learn when they should be pronounced differently, this is why the following table will be very helpful for you and every person who wants to avoid some pronunciation mistakes made usually by beginners. Some letters in particular combinations change the way the words are pronounced, below you will be able to study how to pronounce letter combinations that do not follow the same patterns learned in the above table.
|AI||like ay in say|
|AU||like the sound oh|
|EAU||like the sound oh|
|EI||like the sound eh|
|EU||like the sound uh|
|IE||like ee in see|
|CH||like sh in sheep|
|OI||like the sound wah|
|OU||like oo in moon|
|OUI||like the sound wee|
|PH||like f in father|
|TI||like s in smile|
In French many letters are silent, like the final letter e and most of the final consonants, except of c, f, and l which are pronounced. In the word la the final a is dropped when the word that follows begins with a vowel or the silent h, the same rule is applied to the letter e in the following words: ce, de, je, le, me, ne, que, se, te. When the letters il and ille are at the end of a word, they are pronounced like the English letters ee in see. The French word je (it means I) is one of the most common and difficult words to pronounce by English speakers, because the combination of sounds is not found in English.
French Numbers 1-1000
Now, you will learn the numbers and how to count in French with pronunciation tips. In order to properly sustain simple conversations in French, about: time, age, prices, money, etc. you have to know the numbers and how to count. The table below will start with the number 1, and among our readers may be some people wondering How do you say zero in French? Zero in French is zéro and the pronunciation zay-ro.
Counting in French - French Numbers 1-20
First step is to learn the numbers from 1 to 20 in French. The numbers from 1 to 20 should be memorized exactly as they are, especially the numbers from 1 to 10.
Counting in French - French Numbers 21-69
The French numbers from 21 to 69 are easy to remember if you know the name of the tens. If you want to form a number from 21 to 69 in the French language, you need to combine the tens with the numbers 1 to 9.
|twenty-one||vingt et un||vant eh oon|
|sixty-one||soixante et un||swa-sont eh oon|
Counting in French - French Numbers 70-99
The French numbers from 70 to 99 follow a different pattern. The numbers between 70 and 79 are formed by adding the numbers from 10-19 to the number sixty, for instance: seventy-two is soixante-douze which literally means sixty-twelve. The numbers between 80 and 89 are formed by combining the number 4, the number 20 and the numbers from 1-9, for instance: eighty-two is quatre-vingt-deux which literally means four-twenty-two. The numbers between 90 and 99 are formed by combining the number 4, the number 20 and the numbers from 10-19, for instance: ninety-two is quatre-vingt-douze which literally means four-twenty-twelve.
|seventy-one||soixante et onze||swa-sont eh onz|
Counting in French - French Numbers 100 to 1000+
Forming hundreds and thousands in French is the same as in English. All you have to do is to learn how to say hundred (cent) and thousand (mille) in French.
|two hundred||deux cents||dew son|
|three hundred||trois cents||tro-ah son|
|two thousand||deux mille||dew meel|
People in France are using commas instead of decimal points, for example: English 20,000.70 = French 20.000,70
French Greetings and Introductions
Below you will learn basic greetings, introductions and common expressions useful when you want to greet or to start a conversation in French. The greetings and goodbyes found below are used formal and / or informal. If you want to say Hello in the formal way, try to use the French equivalent of Good evening or Good day, depending on the time of the day. Now, let's learn how to say Hello, Goodbye, Thank you and You’re welcome in French.
|Hello / Hi||Salut||sah-loo|
|Good night||Bonne nuit||bon noo-wee|
|Goodbye / Bye||Au revoir!||oh ruhv-wah|
|So long!||A bientôt!||ah bee-ahn-toh|
|Thank you / Thanks||Merci||mayr-see|
|Thank you very much||Merci beaucoup||mayr-see boh-koo|
|With pleasure!||Avec plaisir!||ah-vek play-zeer|
You might wonder why you can not find Good Morning or Good afternoon as a greeting in the French language, the answer is simple, French people do not use Bon matin (Good Morning) or Bon après-midi (Good afternoon) as a greeting. In the morning and in the afternoon, until 6 pm, they greet you, with Good Day (Bonjour).
How to make introductions in French
Meeting and greeting often requires introductions and knowing the proper way to make introductions in a particular language can help you make a good first impression.
|How are you?||Comment ça va?||koh-man sah vah|
|What is your name?||Comment t'appelles?||koh-muhn ta-payl|
|What is your name?||Quel est votre nom? (formal)||kwehl eh votr nom|
|What is your last name?||Quel est votre nom de famille? (formal)||kayl eh votr nom duh fam-eel|
|My name is...||Je m'appelle...||zhuh ma-payl|
|Glad to meet you||Enchanté||an-shan-tay|
|Can you help me?||Pouvez-vous m'aider?||poo-vay-voo may-dee|
|yes ; no||oui ; ne||oo-wee ; noo|
|I do not understand||Je ne comprends pas||jeu noo kohm-prand pas|
|I do not speak French||Je ne parle français||jeu noo parl fran-say|
|I do not speak well French||Je ne parle pas bien français||jeu noo parl pa bee-an fran-say|
|Excuse me||Excusez-moi||ex-qoo-zay moh-ah|
|I apologize||Je m'excuse||jeu mex-qooz|
|Please||S'il vous plaît||seel voo play|
Important! Because some French sounds are not found in English we have tried to come up with something that sounds similar, for this reason the pronunciation tips from above are simply informational and does not offer any guarantee.
Related articles on Edvog.com:
Telling Time in French
Days of the Week, Months and Seasons in French
Colors in French
Food and Drink in French
Fruits and Vegetables in French
French Travel Phrases - French Travel Vocabulary
Learn Basic French: Alphabet, Numbers 1-1000, Greetings
Learn Basic German: Alphabet, Numbers 1-1000, Greetings
Learn Basic Italian: Alphabet, Numbers 1-1000, Greetings
Learn Basic Spanish: Alphabet, Numbers 1-1000, Greetings