1. Education

French Greetings - Les Salutations

By

2 of 3

How are you? in French
Lesson | Quiz

Exchanging pleasantries about one's health is typical when greeting someone. There are several ways to ask how someone is, and which one to use depends on whether you want to be formal or informal.*

Formal

Asking
Whether talking to one person or more than one, ask Comment allez-vous ? (How are you?)

Answering
   Je vais bien   (I'm fine)
   Bien, merci   (Fine, thanks)
   Bien, et vous ?   (Fine, and you?)


Informal

Asking
The most common question is Ça va ? (literally, Is it going?), and it has variations:
   Ça va bien ?   (Is it going well?)
   Comment ça va ?   (How's it going?)

If you're just talking to one person, you can also ask Comment vas-tu ?

Answering
   Ça va   (Fine)
   Ça va bien   (I'm doing well)
   Pas mal   (Not bad)
   Bien, et toi ?   (Fine, and you?)
   Je vais bien   (I'm fine)

Learn more about ça va and pas mal


Familiar

Asking
   Quoi de neuf ?   (What's new?)

Answering
   Rien de nouveau   (nothing's new)
   Pas grand-chose   (not much)


*If you don't understand what formal, informal, and familiar mean here, please see my lesson on Tu vs Vous.


French Phrases
   • French greetings
   • "Good-bye" in French
   • Most common French phrases
   • Social niceties
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. French Language
  4. French Vocabulary
  5. Beginning French Vocabulary
  6. How are you? in French

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.