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Comment allez-vous ? Bien.
Before you dive into a conversation, it’s nice to exchange a few pleasantries. Greetings are first, of course, and then if you know the person, it’s typical to ask how they are. There are a number of different French expressions, depending on your relationship with the people you’re talking to and how many there are.
How are you?
There are various ways to ask the basic question "How are you?" depending on the person(s) you’re addressing. (See Tu vs vous for more info.)
How are you? (one or more people you use vous with)
How are you? (more than one person you use tu with)
How are you? (one person you use tu with)
- Comment vas-tu ?
- Tu vas bien ?
- Comment ça va ?
- Ça va ?
How’s it going? What’s new? (informal)
What’s up? (familiar)
- Ça baigne ?
- Ça bouge ?
- Ça gaze ?
- Ça roule ?
- Ça av ? (verlan)
Depending on the situation, you can offer a real answer (with friends, you might talk about feelings, work, family, travel, etc.), but most of the time, you’ll just want to respond with a French equivalent of "fine":
You can also tack et toi ? (and you?) on the end. In fact, sometimes friends will just respond et toi ? without actually answering the original query.
Self-study checklist with lessons, quizzes, and comprehension exercises.
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