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Beginning French Vocabulary

Essential French vocabulary lessons, lists, and sound files for beginning students, covering all the basics: greetings, colors, numbers, food, travel phrases, parts of the body, hobbies, transportation, weather, and more.

Most Common French Words
What are the most common French words? Learn the top 100 here.

Essential French - L'Essentiel
Even if you're just going to France for a week, you should know some survival French - a few essential words and phrases that you'll use over and over. Learn essential French vocabulary and phrases like do you speak English, yes, no, and I don't know.

Tips to Improve your French Vocabulary
Words, words, words! Languages are made up of words, and French is no exception. Here are all kinds of French vocabulary lessons, practice ideas, and tips to help you get better at learning and remembering French words.

Flash Cards
Studying endless lists of French vocabulary can get tedious. One way to make learning vocabulary more interesting and interactive is with the use of flash cards. This article has information and tips on creating French flash cards and putting them to good use.

French Gender Quiz
Have you been learning your nouns with gender?

Ailments
Communicate with doctors, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists.

Airport
Planning to fly to France or another French-speaking country? This airport vocabulary will help you make reservations, buy tickets, negotiate the airport, and get on the plane.

Banking
Change money, payment methods, manage bank accounts.

Basics
The bare minimum of French vocabulary to help you get by: yes, no, speak slowly, I don't understand, and more.

Body Parts
Learn how to say the parts of the body in French, and click the links to hear them pronounced.

Calendar
Memorize this French calendar vocabulary so that you can talk about the day of the week and the date in French.

Clothing
Learn to talk about your favorite clothes in French.

Colors
All the colors of the rainbow, and then some.

Countries
Learn the French names for countries.

Dates in French - La Date
Knowing how to talk about the date is essential for making reservations and appointments. Dates are a little bit different in French and English, but they're not difficult once you learn the rules and formulas.

Dentist
Essential French vocabulary and verbs for talking to a dentist.

Directions in French
Do you know where you're going and how to get there? This French vocabulary will help you give and understand directions.

Dishes and Silverware - French Vocabulary
Learn the French terms related to dishes, silverware, and setting the table, as well as some idiomatic expressions using this vocabulary.

Drinks - Les Boissons
Eat, drink, and be merry! If you want to purchase your favorite beverage at a restaurant, bar, or grocery store, you need to be able to say it in French. Here's a list of the most common drinks, with sound files. �€ la vôtre !

Driving
Useful vocabulary for driving in France.

Emergency + Disaster
Memorize this list of French vocabulary for both medical and non-medical emergencies.

False cognates - Faux amis
Many words look alike in French and English but have different meanings.

Family
It's always fun to talk about your family.

Food - La nourriture
Eating is fundamental and can also be highly enjoyable. Learn this French vocabulary related to food so that you can eat your favorite foods in France.

French Class Phrases
Essential phrases related to comprehension and typical classroom requests.

French Greetings - Les Salutations
Learn how to say hello, hi, how are you, and good-bye in French.

French Terms in English
Déjà vu, je ne sais quoi, à la mode, and many more French terms commonly used in English.

Furniture
Can you say desk, dresser, sink... in French?

Hobbies, Sports, Games
Talk about your pastimes in French.

French Home Vocabulary - À la maison
Learn French vocabulary related to the home, including rooms, standard features, and furnitures.

Hotel
Make your hotel reservation, ask about services, and pay your bill.

French Introductions - Les Présentations
When you meet French speakers, you need to know how to introduce yourself and what to say when you are introduced. Here are some useful expressions related to French introductions - click the links to listen to each expression in French.

Languages + Nationalities
Some common languages and nationalities in French.

Love Language
They say French is the language of love - express yourself!

Reading a French Menu
Reading the menu in a French restaurant can be a little tricky, and not just due to language difficulties. There may be important differences between restaurants in France and in your own country, including what food is offered and how it is prepared. Here are some terms and tips to help you find your way around a French menu.

Mood
Happy, sad, worried, and more.

French Numbers - Nombres
Learn to count in French with French cardinal numbers.

Office
Secretaries, office supplies...

French Ordinal Numbers and Fractions
Ordinal numbers are used to express rank or position. French ordinal numbers are often taught at the same time as fractions because, beginning with "fifth," French ordinal numbers and fractions are the same word.

Personality
French vocab to describe yourself and everyone you know.

On the phone
Useful French vocabulary for talking on the phone.

Physical Descriptions
Describe someone physically: height, weight, eye color, etc.

Politeness - French Phrases
When traveling in France, being polite is absolutely essential - be sure you know how to say please and thank you at the very least.

Quantities, Weights, and Measures
Needed for shopping and following recipes in French.

Renting a Car
Special French vocabulary for renting a car.

French Restaurant Vocabulary
Learn the French vocabulary that you need for restaurants.

French School Vocabulary
Learn some French vocabulary related to school, including different types of schools and school supplies.

Senses in French ~ Les sens
Learn French words and verbs related to the five senses, as well as some French vocabulary related to the sixth sense.

French Shops, Stores, and Shopping
Learn the French vocabulary that you need for shopping, including shop and business names.

Spelling tricks
A table of common spelling equivalents between French and English - it'll help your vocabulary to grow by leaps and bounds!

Telling Time in French - L'Heure
Learn how to tell time in French. This multi-part lesson includes notes, sound files, and practice exercises to help master telling time in French.

Toiletries
Washing, putting on make-up, and shaving.

Transportation
Means and methods of transportation.

Travel Vocabulary
Essential phrases to help you get around, including directions, accomodations, and more.

True cognates - Vrais amis
1,700 words that are spelled identically in French and English and have similar meanings.

French Weather Vocabulary - Le Temps
Ready to make the ultimate small talk? Learn to chat about the weather in French in this lesson with sound files.

French Wine Pronunciation
If you love French wine but hate ordering it, here's a page that can help. This list of French wines and related vocabulary includes sound files to help you pronounce the names of French wines.

Before You Know It - Review of French Learning Software
Before You Know It is a software program that can help you learn and remember French vocabulary.

First French Words
First French Words, illustrated by David Melling and compiled by Neil Morris, is a perfect book for introducing children to French.

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