French politeness
Share / Tweet / Pin Me!


After bonjour, polite phrases like "please" and "thank you" are the most important French vocabulary you’ll ever learn. When you visit France, knowing just these few phrases will go a long way, even if the very next thing you say is Parlez-vous anglais ?


plural or formal   s’il vous plaît SVP
singular and familiar   s’il te plaît STP
before a verb
   please wait
   please sit down
  veuillez + infinitive*
   veuillez patienter
   veuillez vous asseoir

thank you

thank you very much   merci beaucoup
merci bien
thank you so much
thanks a million
bless you
  mille fois merci, merci mille fois
(literally, "thanks a thousand times")
More ways to say “thank you”
Merci de vs merci pour

you’re welcome

it was my pleasure
   (plural or formal)
   (singular and familiar)
je vous en prie
je t’en prie
it was nothing   de rien
don’t mention it   pas de quoi
More about responding to merci

excuse me

(to get past someone)   pardon
(to get someone’s attention)   excusez-moi
I’m sorry to bother/disturb you   Excusez-moi de vous déranger

I’m sorry

(for something you did)   je suis désolé(e)
(in response to sad news)   je suis navré(e)

good wishes

cheers (when toasting)
   (plural or formal)
   (singular and familiar)
à votre santé !
à ta santé !
à la vôtre !
à la tienne !
   More about saying “cheers”
enjoy your meal   bon appétit !
   More about saying bon appétit
bless you (after a sneeze)
   (plural or formal)
   (singular and familiar)
à vos souhaits
à tes souhaits
   More about saying “bless you”


Sir, Mr.   Monsieur M.
Ma’am, Mrs.   Madame Mme
Miss   Mademoiselle Mlle

* Veuillez is the imperative of vouloir.


Test yourself on the most important aspect of politeness with this fill-in-the-blanks exercise:

 Related lessons

Learn Spanish En español

Learn Italian In italiano

 Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

French politeness

Questions about French?

 Visit the Progress with Lawless French Q+A forum to get help from native French speakers and fellow learners.

More Lawless French

 Subscribe to my twice-weekly newsletter.

Support Lawless French

  This free website is created with love and a great deal of work.

If you love it, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation.

Your support is entirely optional but tremendously appreciated.

Leave a Reply