France Expressions

Expressions with France
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French phrases featuring "France"

Of course you know that la France means “France,” but are you aware that this country’s name is also used in some idiomatic expressions? Learn how to say ordinary people, the rich, and more with this list of expressions with France.

 The name of the country is feminine: la France.

But le France means something too: it was the name of a French ocean liner built in 1960 (though it was renamed le Norway in 1979).

A number of French TV stations and radio stations include "France" in their names:

  • France 2
  • France 3
  • France 4
  • France 5
  • France 24
  • France Info
  • France Inter
  • France Ô
  • Radio France
  • Radio France Internationale

Expressions with "France"

la France black-blanc-beur   multicultural, multiracial France
la France continentale   Metropolitan France minus Corsica
la France d’en bas   ordinary people
la France d’en haut   the privileged classes (the ruling establishment, the rich)
la France d’outre-mer   French overseas departments and territories
la France jacobine   France’s centralized system of government
la France libre   free France
la France métropolitaine   France, not including overseas departments and territories
la France profonde   rural France
la France qui se lève tôt   working classes
la France ultramarine   French overseas departments and territories
de France et de Navarre   from everywhere, from all over the place
le Collège de France   prestigious higher education and research center in Paris
les Compagnons du Tour de France   organization of craftsmen and artisans
les Grandes Chroniques de France   illuminated manuscripts of the history of France
l’Île-de-France   Greater Paris, metropolitan area including Paris and its neighboring departments
les internationaux de France (de tennis)   French Open (French tennis tournament)
le midi de la France   the South of France
Miss France   Miss France (winner of French beauty pageant)
le onze de France   French soccer (European football) team
la Patrouille de France   French Air Force’s aerobatic demonstration team
le premier flic de France (informal)   French Minister of the Interior
la première dame de France   France’s first lady
les quatre coins de la France   all over France, everywhere in France
le quinze de France   French rugby union team
le Tour de France   “the Tour of France” – annual French cycling race
le treize de France   French rugby league team
la vieille France   France of yesteryear
Vive la France !   Long live France!
le XI de France   French soccer (European football) team
le XIII de France   French rugby league team
le XV de France   French rugby union team

France is also a fairly common French name (first and last):

  • Anatole France – French novelist
  • France-Albert René – former president of Seychelles
  • Joseph Antoine France Antelme – Franco-Mauritian spy
  • France Staub – Mauritian botanist

 Related lessons


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2 Responses

  1. Johnny 18 April 2017 / 13:14

    La France d’en-bas: does it mean ordinary people of France or just ordinary people? Can I replace la France with les Etats-Unis to mean ordinary people of the US or do I always have to use la France even when writing about the US? Merci.

    • lkl 18 April 2017 / 14:08

      Bonjour Johnny,

      It means “ordinary people of France.” It’s sort of a special expression – I don’t believe it can be used for other countries. Instead, you’d used one of these more general expressions:

      • les gens du peuple
      • les gens ordinaires
      • le commun des mortels

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