Phone Numbers

French phone numbers
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Numéros de téléphone

French phone numbers can be a little confusing at first, so here are some tips on understanding the different ways they may be recited and written, as well as how to use them.

Regular French phone numbers have 10 digits. They are usually written in pairs separated by spaces or periods.

Par exemple…

  • 01 23 45 67 89

They are also recited in pairs: zéro un, vingt-trois, quarante-cinq, soixante-sept, quatre-vingt-neuf

The first two digits are a prefix which gives information about the type and location of the number, and the remaining eight digits are the phone number.

French phone prefixes | Indicatifs

01   Fixed phone Île-de-France (Paris and surroundings)
02   Fixed phone Northwest France
03   Fixed phone Northeast France
04   Fixed phone Southeast France
05   Fixed phone Southwest France
06   Cell phone
07   Cell phone
08   Toll-free number
09   VOIP number

 Within France, you always have to dial all 10 digits, even if you’re in the same region as the number you’re calling.

International calls | Appels internationaux

When calling from outside of France, you lose one of those digits but need a few additional ones:

  • The relevant international prefix*
  • France’s country code: 33
  • Phone number without the initial 0

Depending on where you are when someone gives you their phone number, it might have 10 digits, like at the beginnig of this lesson, or it might include the country code plus 9 digits, like this: +33 1 23 45 67 89. The + stands in for whichever international prefix you need.

* International prefixes

  • 011 calling from US, Canada, or the non-French Caribbean
  • 0011 calling from Australia
  • 00 calling from most other countries

 So regardless of whether you’re given the number 01 23 45 67 89 or +33 1 23 45 67 89, what to dial depends on where you are when you make the call:

01 23 45 67 89 in France
011 33 1 23 45 67 89 in US, Canada, Caribbean
0011 33 1 23 45 67 89 in Australia
00 33 1 23 45 67 89 in another country

Emergency numbers | Numéros d’urgence

A few very short numbers are available for emergency services:

15 SAMU   ambulance
17 police   police
18 sapeurs-pompiers   fire department
112 numéro d’urgence européen   emergency anywhere in EU
114 urgence : personnes sourdes et malentendantes   emergency: deaf/hard-of-hearing persons

USSD codes | Codes secrets

Mobile phone companies often have short numbers available for their customers, such as 110 for Orange customer service and 963 for SFR customer service.

 Listening practice

 Related vocabulary

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Understanding and using French phone numbers

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