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French Expressions - French Phrases - French Proverbs

More than just the sum of their words, idiomatic expressions can express complex ideas and nuances. For non-native speakers, it's essential to learn as many French expressions as possible in order to communicate effectively.
  1. Expressions with Prepositions (10)
  2. Expression of the Week (263)
  3. Expressions with Verbs (41)

Most Common French Phrases
Learn the most useful and common French phrases.

Essential French Phrases - Social Niceties
When traveling to France - or anywhere else, for that matter - it's important to follow the local customs. A big part of this is knowing what to say in different social situations. Take a look at these essential French phrases related to social niceties.

Everyday French Phrases
Not all vocabulary is created equal. There are some French phrases that you will hear literally every day, multiple times a day, and odds are that you should be using them that often too. Here are five truly essential everyday French phrases for you to use every day.

French expressions in English
English language has borrowed a great number of French words and expressions. Here are some French words and expressions commonly used in English.

Favorite French Expressions
One of the joys of learning French (or any other language) is getting to know the idiomatic expressions that help make it so colorful. Here are my favorites; what are yours?

"French" Expressions
There are dozens of expressions in English which contain the word French - French toast, French fries, French dressing - but are these things actually French? Take a look at this list with the French equivalents and their literal translations - you might be surprised.

An - Année - French Expressions
The French words an and année both mean year and are also used in many expressions. Learn how to say school year, the sixties, on average, and more.

Bien - French Expressions
Learn how to say really, good talker, we'll see, and more with this list of expressions with bien.

Bon - French Expressions
Learn how to say tit for tat, cushy job, bright and early, and more with this list of expressions with bon.

Bouche - French Expressions
The French word une bouche literally means any kind of "mouth" - of a person, an oven, a volcano... - and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say food bills, gourmet, astonished, and more with this list of expressions with bouche.

Bout - French Expressions
The French word un bout literally means the "end" of something or a "bit" of something and is also used in dozens of idiomatic expressions, noun clauses, and prepositional phrases. Learn how to say at arm's length, on its last legs, the middle of nowhere, and more with this list of expressions with bout.

Champ - French Expressions
The French word un champ literally means "field" and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say sphere of activity, battlefield, having room to move, and more with this list of expressions with champ.

Chandeleur - French Expressions
A few French expressions related to the French holiday of Chandeleur, aka crêpe day.

Chat - French Expressions
The French word un chat literally means "cat" or the game "tag" and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say tit for tat, to have a frog in one's throat, to wash quickly, and more with this list of expressions with chat.

Chose - French Expressions
The French word une chose means "thing" and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say above all, at best, to take bad news well, and more with this list of expressions with chose.

Ci- French Prefix
The French prefix ci- can be added to adverbs, prepositions, or adjectives to indicate the location of something mentioned in a document.

Comme - French Expressions
The French word comme literally means like or as and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say soaking wet, knee-high to a grasshopper, everyday, and more idiomatic expressions with comme.

Coup - French Expressions
The French word coup literally refers to a "shock" or "blow" and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say whiplash, dirty trick, manna from heaven, and more with this list of expressions with coup.

Fois - French Expressions
The French word la fois literally means "time" or "instance" and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say at the same time, just in case, to think twice before doing something, and more with this list of expressions with fois.

Français - French Expressions
Français is French for "French" and is found in a number of idiomatic expressions. Learn how to speak terrible French, buy French wine, and perfect your French with this list of expressions with français.

France - Expressions with France
Of course you know that la France means "France," but are you aware that this country's name is also used in some idiomatic expressions? Learn how to say ordinary people, the rich, and more with this list of expressions with France.

Free - Expressions with Free
The English word free can be an adjective, adverb, verb, or noun and has a number of different meanings, which can make it difficult to figure out how to say free into French. Take a look at this lesson on how translate expressions with free into French.

Gratitude - French Expressions
There are many different ways to express gratitude in French, from a simple thank you to ultra-polite expressions of appreciation. Learn how to thank everyone for everything with this list of expressions related to gratitude.

French Impersonal Expressions ~ Expressions impersonnelles
Impersonal expressions are those which do not have a specific subject, instead beginning with the impersonal il est or c'est. In grammatical terms, "impersonal" does not mean cold, but rather invariable by grammatical person.

Invitations - French Expressions
There are a number of different ways to extend, accept, and refuse invitations in French, both formally and informally.

Jour - Journée - French Expressions
The French words jour and journée both mean day and are also used in many expressions. Learn how to say day off, nowadays, update, and more.

Là- French Prefix
The French prefix là- can be added to some adverbs to indicate location.

Love - Expressions with Love
The English word "love" is found in many different expressions - learn how to translate them into French.

Mal - French Expressions
The French word mal literally means "badly" or "wrong" and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say headache, seasickness, work hard, and more with this list of expressions with mal.

Matin - Matinée - French Expressions
The French words matin and matinée both mean morning and are also used in many expressions. Learn how to say dawn, repeatedly, sleep late, and more.

Mauvais - French Expressions
Learn how to say mean trick, weed, ill repute, and more with this list of expressions with mauvais.

Meilleur - French Expressions
The French word meilleur literally means "better" or "best" and is found in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say best wishes, cheaper, might makes right, and that's not all with this list of expressions with meilleur.

Mieux - French Expressions
The French word mieux literally means "better" or "best" and is found in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say best interests, in excellent health, adapt and survive, and more expressions with mieux.

Mise - French expressions with la mise
The French word la mise has numerous meanings and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say involvement, make-up, leg-pulling and more with this list of expressions with la mise.

N'importe... - French Indefinite Expressions
Learn about all of the French indefinite expressions like n'importe qui, n'importe quoi....

Obligation and Necessity - French Expressions
There are many French words and expressions related to obligation and necessity. Learn how to say it's my duty, to have no choice, to be obliged, whether you like it or not, and more French expressions of obligation and necessity.

Opinions - French Expressions
If you want to have a debate in French or discuss your opinions, you need to know the relevant vocabulary and expressions. This page offers suggestions for offering, supporting, asking for, and avoiding opinions in French.

Pain - French Expressions
The French word le pain literally means "bread" and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say worthless, bankrupt, godsend, and more with this list of expressions with pain.

Pas - French Expressions
The French word un pas literally means "step" and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say just around the corner, to hurry, to take the plunge, and more with this list of expressions with pas.

Plus - French Expressions with Plus
The use of the French word "plus" can be confusing, especially in such similar-looking expressions as en plus and de plus. Plus (ha ha) it has three possible pronunciations.

French Proverbs
Spice up your language with some French proverbs.

Quelque - French Expressions
The French word quelque means "some" and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say in a little while, somewhat, in a word, and more with this list of expressions with quelque.

Rien - French Expressions
The French pronoun rien usually means nothing, and is also used in many expressions. Learn how to say for no reason, not a chance, worthless, and more with this list of expressions with rien.

Soir - Soirée - French Expressions
The French words soir and soirée both mean evening and are also used in many expressions. Learn how to say evening meal, night owl, formal wear, and more.

Special occasions
Learn some idiomatic French expressions related to holidays and other special occasions.

Temps - French Expressions
The French word le temps literally means "time" or "weather" and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say spare time, job sharing, to pause, and more with this list of expressions with temps.

French Terms of Endearment
French has all kinds of interesting terms of endearment, including a rather odd assortment of barnyard animals. Check out this list of French terms of endearment to use with your loved ones (both romantic and familial).

Tour - French Expressions
The French word tour has different meanings depending on whether it's masculine or feminine, and both words are found in idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say acrobatics, to play a trick on someone, Bob's your uncle, and more with this list of expressions with tour.

Dictionary of French Expressions
All of the French expressions on this site, including idiomatic expressions, proverbs, phrasal verbs, and formulas, arranged alphabetically by the first word in the French expression.

Top French Expressions Lessons
Idiomatic expressions are key to language learning. When you learn French, it can seem like there is always more grammar to learn, but in fact grammar lessons are finite. Expressions, on other hand, are virtually endless. To help you learn some of the most common French expressions, I've put together a list of the top 15 lists of French expressions on my site.

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