How to Learn French for Beginners

Three Methods:Greeting Cheat SheetsBasic Phrase Cheat SheetsLearning French for Beginners

French is a beautiful language and can be perfected over an extended period of time. This article is for those who have little or no prior knowledge concerning this language.

Greeting Cheat Sheets

Sample Ways to Say Hello in French

Sample Ways to Say Good Morning in French

Basic Phrase Cheat Sheets

Sample Ways to Say Goodbye in French

Sample Ways to Say Thank You in French

Sample Ways to Say How Are You in French

Learning French for Beginners

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    Pronunciation is key. When you speak french the words come from the throat, and simply saying "oo" instead of "oh" can make a sentence go horribly wrong.
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    Some key words and phrases you should know are:
    • Bonjour (Bon-jhoor): Hello; Good day
    • Au Revoir (O-rev-var): Goodbye
    • Comment t'appelle-tu? (Comoh tapel too) or Comment vous appellez-vous? (Comoh vou-appeleh vou) : What's your name/What do you call yourself?
    • Oui (Wee): Yes
    • Non (No): No
    • Je m'appelle ... (Jhuh- ma-pelle): My name is ...
    • Quel âge as tu? (Kell aj ah tu) or or Quel âge avez-vous? (Kell aj ave vou): How old are you?
    • Tu parles anglais? (Too par-uhl on-glay): Do you speak English?
    • Parlez-vous anglais? (par-lay voo on-glay?): Do you speak English? (Formal)
    • Comment ça va? (Com-ohn sa-vah): How are you? (informal)
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    Use a dictionary to learn new words. It would be wise to frequently consult an English-French, French-English dictionary for words you don't know.
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    Never rely on a translator to translate entire documents. They do not work because there are several expressions in french that do not mean what they say literally, which is how translators obviously take them.
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    Learn to conjugate the verbs. Try to remember that verbs in french need to be conjugated according to their pronouns; there are three different conjugations, because there are three different kinds of verbs: verbs that end in -ir, -er, and -re.
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    Learn the irregular verbs. There are also irregular verbs that you simply must memorize.
    • Verbs like avoir, être are irregular but, are the most used verbs. So, learning it will help you.
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    Grammar. Learning grammar is equally as important as vocabulary, and you can spend all the time in the world getting to know words, but if you can't formulate sentences, than all those words are useless.
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    Conjugate verbs properly. Again as a basic french learner, learn to conjugate the verbs properly. If you're going to write the verb as it is then the whole sentence goes wrong or sometimes becomes meaningless.
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    If you are lost when you see "conjugate," conjugating is this: the verb regarder means "to look," in french. If you want to say "I am looking," or "I look," you write "Je regarde," because when you take off the ending of the verb (which for this case is -er) in the Je form (Je means I), you replace it with "e." Now, if you wish to say "They are looking," or "We are looking," you will need a different ending.
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    If you want to expand your knowledge of French, you will need to know that there are other tenses. Don't fret; the tenses need not be learned just yet. Conjugating is also what helps you get to know whether you will be looking, you are looking, you looked, you are going to look, you would look, and so on and so forth.


  • Speak to yourself in french when you are alone. You aren't trying to impress, and you're helping yourself remember how to form sentences and recover vocabulary from the back of your mind.
  • Never translate sentences literally. Think outside the box when you are reading something in a different language, or you will become hopelessly confused.
  • French is a wonderful language. Have fun with it!
  • Try listening to french radio or french television simply to get a feel for the accent. You cannot solely reply on the written word to be able to pronounce words correctly - you need to HEAR them.
  • As stated before, vocabulary is just as important as grammar. You can know all your conjugations and rules, but if you want to say, "I want to go to the store," you need to know how to say "store."
  • Do not look up a phrase or a word once and then expect to remember it forever. If you do not use it or see it often, it will most likely be forgotten.
  • Do not try to learn too much at one time. The conjugations are most important; if anything, learn the present tense first, and only once you're ready, move to the past.


  • Don't become overwhelmed when you think you see a large amount of text and you're having trouble understanding it. If you can simply get the gist of what's going on, you're doing an excellent job.
  • Don't give up! It can take years to learn a language, but it can take days to fall in love with it.
  • Learning a language is a task that takes dedication. Do not pick up flashcards one week and then come back to them three months later.
  • As the first rule states, pronunciation is key. "Beaucoup" means "a lot," but if you just slightly alter that "coup," you'll be telling somebody they have a nice rear.

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Categories: French