French politeness
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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 plaîtSVP
singular and familiar s’il te plaîtSTP
before a verb
   please wait
   please sit down
 veuillez + infinitive*
   veuillez patienter
   veuillez vous asseoir

thank you

very much merci beaucoup
merci bien
so much, 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. MonsieurM.
Ma’am, Mrs. MadameMme
Miss MademoiselleMlle

* Veuillez is the imperative of vouloir.

Quiz: Tu vs vous

 Related lessons

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French politeness

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