À la française

À la française
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French Expression

MeaningFrench, in the French fashion/manner/style
Literallyin the French
PronunciationFrench sound files [ah lah fra(n) sehz]
IPA  [a la frã sɛz]

Usage notes: You know that the French equivalent of the adjective "French" is français, but did you know that it can also be à la française? The longer phrase doesn’t imply outright ownership the way français does, but rather serves as a sort of softened variation, a shortened alternative to à la façon, manière, or mode française.

Par exemple…

Aimez-vous les films à la française ? Do you like French movies?
Un bel exemple de la démocratie à la française. A nice example of French-style democracy.

 Note that façon, manière, and mode are all feminine and therefore française remains so even when they are dropped – regardless of what noun the phrase as a whole is modifying. Similarly, française is still an adjective modifying the omitted noun and is therefore always lower case.

Set expressions

la fenêtre à la françaisecasement window 
le format à la françaiseportrait (photo, document)format à l’italienne (landscape)
un habit à la françaisesuit with coat, vest, and breeches(18th- and 19th century men’s fashion)
le jardin à la françaiseformal gardenjardin à l’anglaise (landscaped garden)
l’ouverture à la françaiseFrench overture(Baroque music)
le pain à la françaiseFrench bread 
le parc à la françaiseformal gardenparc à l’anglaise (landscaped garden)
le plafond à la françaiseFrench ceiling(exposed beams)
la reliure à la françaisehardcover binding 
la robe à la françaisesack-back gown(18th-century women’s fashion)
le service à la française
servir à la française
simultaneous serving of dishes
to serve at the same time
service à la russe (sequential service)
le vin à la françaisesweet wine served in a bowl 

French lesson plans À la française in action

Examples of à la française in real-life videos from Lawless French Immersion:

Dehors il peuvent admirer les jardins à la française Outside they can admire the French-style gardens
Video: What’s the Palace of Versailles?
Station F veut incarner le dynamisme de l’innovation à la française. Station F wants to embody the dynamism of French-style innovation.
Video: Station F: the world’s largest startup campus opens in Paris

Related expressions

You can follow the same format with other adjectives that describe people, culture, or places (city, region, country, continent):

  • à l’africaine – African-style
  • à l’américaine – American-style
  • à l’anglaise – English-style
  • à l’anglo-saxonne – British/American/Canadian/Australian-style
  • à la bretonne – Brittany-style
  • à la caraïbe – Caribbean-style
  • à l’espagnole – Spanish-style
  • à l’européenne – European-style
  • à la japonaise – Japanese-style
  • à la parisienne – Parisian-style
  • à la provençale – Provençal-style
  • à la russe – Russian-style

 Related lessons

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A la française

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