Getting started with French 1
Getting started with French 1

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Getting started with French 1

1 Say hello: ‘Bonjour!’

It’s so important to make a good first impression, so to start with you’ll learn how to greet people in French.

Activity 1

Listen to these different greetings and see if you can spot them in the box below. Don’t be satisfied with just one listening; listen to them again until they become more familiar, and why not try and copy what you hear too?

Download this audio clip.Audio player: lxgf001_wk1_act_aud001.mp3
Skip transcript

Transcript

1
Bonjour !
2
Salut ! Ça va ?
3
Bonsoir !
4
Bonsoir Paul ! Ça va ?
5
Salut !
End transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Expressions used for greetings

To greet somebody, you say:

Bonjour ! Hello!/Good morning!/Good afternoon!

Bonsoir ! Good evening!

Salut ! Hi!

Salut ! is informal and can be used to mean both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ (according to context). It is normally used between people who know each other well or between young people.

These expressions are often followed by:

Ça va ? (informal) How are you?

Vous allez bien ? (formal) How are you?

In formal situations, monsieur, madame or mademoiselle always accompanies bonjour and au revoir. They are much more frequently used in French than their English equivalents (‘sir’ and ‘madam’). For example, you might say Bonjour madame to a female receptionist in a hotel, or Bonjour monsieur to a male post office employee. Mademoiselle (‘miss’) is less frequently used nowadays, especially with women over the age of twenty-five.

You can respond:

Ça va (bien), merci. Et toi ? (informal) Fine/very well, thanks. And you?

Ça va (bien), merci. Et vous ? (formal) Fine/very well, thank you. And you?

LXF001_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371