32 Common French Questions You Absolutely Have To Know (2023)

32 Common French Questions You Absolutely Have To Know (1)

Learning the most common French questions right from the start is essential.

As a French coach, I know you want to be able to ask for information or have conversations quickly.

This article will teach you the French questions you absolutely have to know and how to answer them, so you’re never caught off-guard again!

Let’s get started!

The basics

What’s your name?

Asking the question in French:

  • Comment vous appelez-vous ? – formal
  • Comment tu t’appelles ? – informal
  • Tu t’appelles comment ? – casual

Answering the question in French:

  • Je m’appelle … (My name is …) and state your first name.

How old are you?

Asking the question in French:

  • Quel âge avez-vous ? – formal
  • Quel âge as-tu ? – less formal
  • Tu as quel âge ? – informal, casual

Answering the question in French:

  • J’ai 30 ans. (I am 30 years old.)

Note: In French, we use the verb avoir (to have) to ask about age, where English uses the verb être (to be). J’ai 30 ans literally means “I have 30 years”.

How are you?

Asking the question in French:

  • Comment allez-vous ? – formal
  • Comment ça va ? – informal
  • Ça va ? – informal, casual

Answering the question in French:

  • Je vais bien, et vous ? (I’m well, and you?) – formal
  • Bien, merci. (Good, thank you.) – formal
  • Ça va. (I’m good.) – informal
  • Pas trop mal. (Not bad.) – informal
  • Ça ne va pas bien. (I’m not really good.)
  • Ça ne va pas du tout. (Everything is wrong.)

Getting personal

Where are you from?

Asking the question in French:

  • D’où venez-vous ? – formal
  • D’où viens-tu ? – less formal
  • Tu viens d’où ? – informal, casual

Answering the question in French:

  • Je viens de/du … (I’m from …)

You can end this sentence with the name of a country or a city.

For example:

  • Je viens de Lyon. (I’m from Lyon.)
  • Je viens du Portugal. (I’m from Portugal.)
To ask this question, French people also use the verb être instead of venir.

Asking the question in French:
D’où êtes-vous ? – formal
D’où es-tu ? – less formal
Tu es d’où ? – informal, casual

Answering the question in French:
Je suis de/du … (I’m from …)
You can end this sentence with the name of a country or a city.

Explanation: The questions with venir literally mean “Where do you come from?”, while the questions with être mean “Where are you from?”.

Where do you live?

Asking the question in French:

  • Où habitez-vous? – formal
  • Tu habites où? – informal

Answering the question in French:

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  • J’habite à … (I live in …) and state the name of the city you live in.
  • J’habite près de … (I live near …) and state the name of the closest well-known city next to yours.

For example:

  • J’habite à Paris. (I live in Paris.)
  • J’habite près de New York. (I live near New York.)

What do you study?

Asking the question in French:

  • Vous étudiez quoi ? – formal
  • Vous faites quoi comme études ? – formal
  • Tu étudies quoi ? – informal
  • Tu fais quoi comme études ? – informal

Answering the question in French:

  • J’étudie … (I study …) and state what you study as a noun.
  • Je fais de/du … (I study) and state what you study as a noun.
  • Je fais des études en … (I study …) and state your field of study.

For example:

  • J’étudie la psychologie. (I study psychology.)
  • Je fais du droit. (I study law.)
  • Je fais des études en médecine. (I study medicine.)

What do you do for a living?

Asking the question in French:

  • Quel est votre métier ? – formal
  • Quel est ton métier ? – informal
  • Vous faites quoi comme métier ? – formal, casual
  • Tu fais quoi comme métier ? – informal, casual

Answering the question in French:

  • Je suis … (I am a …) and state your job.

Note: Don’t add un or une (a) before the job in French, contrary to English.

Let’s take the “I’m a doctor” example:

  • Incorrect: Je suis un docteur.
  • Correct: Je suis docteur.

Do you play sports?

Asking the question in French:

  • Vous faites du sport ? – formal
  • Tu fais du sport ? – informal
  • Tu fais quoi comme sport ? – casual

Answering the question in French:

  • Je fais de/du … (I play …) and state the name of your sport.

For example:

  • Je fais du tennis. (I play tennis.)
  • Je fais du tir à l’arc. (I play archery.)

What is your favorite hobby?

Asking the question in French:

  • Quel est votre passe-temps préféré ? – formal
  • Quel est ton passe-temps préféré ? – informal

Answering the question in French:

  • J’aime … (I love …) and state what you like in the form of a noun or a verb.
  • J’adore … (I like …) and state what you like in the form of a noun or a verb.

For example:

  • J’aime jouer aux jeux vidéo. (I love playing video games.)
  • J’adore la lecture. (I like reading.)

More personal questions and answers

Questions in EnglishQuestions in FrenchAnswers in French
Do you have siblings?Vous avez des frères et sœurs ?
– formal

Tu as des frères et soeurs ?
– informal

J’ai une sœur. (I have a sister.)

J’ai 3 frères. (I have 3 brothers.)

J’ai une grande sœur et deux petits frères. (I have a big sister and two little brothers.)

What country are you from?De quel pays venez-vous ?
– formal

Tu viens de quel pays ?
– informal

Je suis américain(e). (I’m American.)

Je suis britannique. (I’m from the United Kingdom.)

Je viens du Brésil. (I’m from Brazil.)

Socializing

What are you going to do this weekend?

Asking the question in French:

  • Qu’allez-vous faire ce week-end ? – formal
  • Qu’est-ce que vous allez faire ce week-end ? – less formal
  • Qu’est-ce que tu vas faire ce week-end ? – informal
  • Tu vas faire quoi ce week-end ? – casual

Answering the question in French:

  • Je vais … (I’m going to …)

End this sentence with the activity you’re going to do this weekend. To do that, follow Je vais with an infinitive verb.

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For example,

  • Je vais voir mes amis. (I’m going to see my friends.)
  • Je vais faire du sport. (I’m going to workout.)
  • Je vais faire du shopping. (I’m going to go shopping.)

Do you want to go out tonight?

Asking the question in French:

  • Vous voulez sortir ce soir ? – formal
  • Tu veux sortir ce soir ? – informal
  • On sort ce soir ? – informal

Answering the question in French:

  • Pourquoi pas. (Why not.)
  • Carrément ! (For sure!) – very informal
  • Je ne peux pas, désolé. (I can’t, sorry.)
  • Bien sûr. (Of course.)
  • Non, pas vraiment. (No, not really.)
  • Ça ne me dit rien. (I don’t feel like it.)
  • Une prochaine fois. (Another time.)

Where are you going?

Asking the question in French:

  • Où allez-vous ? – formal
  • Tu vas où ? – informal

Answering the question in French:

  • Je vais au centre commercial. (I’m going to the mall.)
  • Je vais à la salle de sport. (I’m going to the gym.)
  • Je vais voir mes amis. (I’m going to see my friends.)
  • Je vais courir. (I’m going to run.)

As you can see, when we ask “Where are you going?” in French, we can answer with:

  • Where we are physically going (i.e. a place)
  • What we are going to do (i.e an activity)

What happened?

Asking the question in French:

  • Qu’est-ce qui s’est passé ?

Make sure to use the past tense passé composé when answering the question.

For example:

  • Il a eu un accident de voiture. (He got into a car accident.)

To ask this question in the present tense, say Qu’est-ce qui se passe ? (What is happening?) and answer with the present tense Il y a un accident. (There’s an accident.)

More questions to socialize

Questions in EnglishQuestions in French
What do you think of …?Que pensez-vous de … ? – formal
Que penses-tu de … ? – informal
Do you like …?Aimez-vous … ? – formal
Aimes-tu … ? – informal
Est-ce que vous aimez … ? – formal
Est-ce que tu aimes … ? – informal
Do you know …?Vous connaissez … ? – formal
Tu connais … ? – informal

Asking for information

What’s the weather like?

Asking the question in French:

  • Quel temps fait-il ? – formal
  • Il fait quel temps ? – informal

Answering the question in French:

  • Il fait beau. (It’s sunny.)
  • Il fait chaud. (It’s hot.)
  • Il fait mauvais. (It’s bad.)
  • Il fait froid. (It’s cold.)

What time is it?

Asking the question in French:

  • Quelle heure est-il ? – formal
  • Il est quelle heure ? – informal

Answering the question in French:

  • Il est 10 heures et demie. (It’s 10:30)
  • Il est midi. (It’s noon.)
  • Il est 14 h. (It’s 2 p.m.)

To master telling time, check out my guide on how to tell the time in French.

What day is it?

Asking the question in French:

  • Quel jour sommes-nous ? – formal
  • On est quel jour ? – informal

Answering the question in French:

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  • Nous sommes mercredi. (It’s Wednesday.) – formal
  • On est mercredi. (It’s Wednesday.) – informal

How much does it cost?

Asking the question in French:

  • Combien ça coûte ?
  • Ça coûte combien ? – informal
  • C’est combien ? – casual

Answering the question in French:

  • Ça coûte dix euros. (It’s ten euros.)
  • Ça coûte 3 €. (It’s 3 €.)

More questions when you need information

Questions in EnglishQuestions in French
Where is/are …?Où est/sont … ?
Do you have …?Avez-vous … ?
Where is it?C’est où ?
What is this?Qu’est-ce que c’est ?

Breaking the language barrier

Do you speak English?

Asking the question in French:

  • Parlez-vous anglais ? – formal
  • Tu parles anglais ? – informal

Answering the question in French:

  • Oui, je parle anglais. (Yes, I speak English.)
  • Un peu. (A little bit.)
You can replace anglais by any other language name.

For example:
Parlez-vous italien ? (Do you speak Italian?)
Oui, je parle italien. (Yes, I speak Italian.)

How do you spell that?

When you’re learning a new French word but are not sure how to spell it, you can ask:

  • Comment écrivez-vous ça ? – formal
  • Comment ça s’écrit ? – informal
  • Ça s’écrit comment ? – casual

The other person will then spell it out for you, either orally or by writing.

Could you please repeat that?

If you didn’t understand what the other person said, you can ask:

  • Pourriez-vous répéter, s’il vous plaît ? – formal
  • Tu peux répéter, s’il te plaît ? informal

The other person will then proceed to repeat what they just said. And if you still don’t get it because they are speaking too fast, try the next question.

Could you please speak more slowly?

To ask someone to slow down their speaking pace, just ask:

  • Pourriez-vous parler plus lentement, s’il vous plaît ? – formal
  • Tu pourrais parler plus lentement, s’il te plaît ? – informal

This will give you a chance to process what they are saying more efficiently.

More questions and answers to break the language barrier

Questions in EnglishQuestions in FrenchAnswers in French
How long have you been studying French?Vous étudiez le français depuis combien de temps ? – formal

Tu étudies le français depuis combien de temps ? – informal

J’étudie le français depuis 1 an.
(I’ve been studying French for a year.)
How do you say … ?Comment dites-vous … ?
– informal

Comment on dit … ?
– informal

On dit …
Ça se dit …

The bottom line

Now, you know exactly what are the most common French questions and how to answer them!

Make sure to memorize them because you’ll have plenty of occasions to use them in real-life situations.

And if you want to learn how to create your own French questions, check out how to ask questions in French.

FAQs

What are good French questions? ›

  • Où sont les toilettes ? (e) Where is the bathroom?
  • Comment vas-tu ? (e) How are you? ...
  • Comment t'appelles-tu ? (e) What's your name? ...
  • Quel est ton numéro de téléphone ? (e) What's your phone number? ...
  • Quel âge as-tu ? (e) How old are you? ...
  • D'où venez-vous ? (e) ...
  • Qu'est-ce que c'est? (s) ...
  • Qu'avez-vous dit ? (s)

How do you answer simple questions in French? ›

– Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?
...
QuestionsAnswers
How are you? – Comment allez-vous?I'm doing well, and you? – Je vais bien, et vous?
How are you? (shorter version) – Ça va?Fine, thanks, and you? – Bien, merci. Et vous?
Good, thanks. – Bien, merci
Not bad – Pas trop mal
23 Sept 2018

What is a famous French saying? ›

Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup.

Literal translation: “Eat well, laugh often, love a lot.” Actual meaning: “Live life to the fullest” or carpe diem (“seize the day”). Use this positive French saying to console a friend that is having a hard time.

What are 3 greetings in French? ›

The most important French greetings include bonjour (hello), enchanté(e) (nice to meet you), bonsoir (good evening/hello), salut (hi), coucou (hey), Ça fait longtemps, dis donc (long time no see), Âllo (hello), Ça va? (how are you?), tu vas bien? (have you been well?), quoi de neuf? (what's up?), au revoir!

What are the 17 verbs in French? ›

allé, arrivé, venu, revenu, entré, rentré, descendu, devenu, sorti, parti, resté, retourné, monté, tombé, né et mort.

What are the 20 verbs in French? ›

Master French conjugation: 20 Most widely used French verbs and their conjugation
  • Être (to be)
  • Avoir (to have)
  • Aller (to go)
  • Parler (to speak/talk)
  • Faire (to do)
  • Prendre (to take)
  • Vouloir (to want)
  • Savoir (to know)
12 Sept 2022

What are the 3 ways to ask questions in French? ›

Asking questions
  • There are 3 main ways to ask a question in French: • Formal: (question word quand, où, etc) + verb + subject + ? ...
  • • Neutral: (question word) + est-ce que + subject + verb + ? Est-ce que vous connaissez Victor Hugo ? ...
  • • More informal: subject + verb (+ question word) + ? Elle travaille chez vous ?

How many words is in French? ›

According to the French dictionary Larousse, there are approximately 130,000 words in the French language—but you do not have to know all of them! The average adult vocabulary in English is 20,000–35,000 words, and we can assume that this number is comparable to the average adult French vocabulary.

How do you answer Bonsoir? ›

Answer and Explanation:

When someone says 'bonsoir' (pronounced: bohn-SWAHR), you can simply reply 'bonsoir' as well. Notice that this is the equivalent of 'good evening.

How can I improve my French conversation? ›

10 Ideas to Improve Your French Speaking Skills
  1. Don't Study French in a stretch. ...
  2. Lock yourself in the room and talk to yourself in French in front of a mirror. ...
  3. Go on to listen to French audio anytime and anywhere. ...
  4. Switch on your TV to watch French game shows. ...
  5. Repeat or revise as much as possible. ...
  6. Read French out loud.
20 Nov 2019

How do you ask for water in French? ›

Luckily, there's a way to get water for free in any French restaurant: Instead of asking for de l'eau plate/gazeuse, s'il vous plait, ask for une carafe d'eau.

What is the most beautiful French word? ›

15 Most Beautiful Words in French
  • Douceur.
  • Feuilleter.
  • Onirique.
  • Flâner.
  • Chuchoter.
  • Rêvasser.
  • Éphémère.
  • Émerveiller.
3 May 2022

What is a beautiful French word? ›

Gorgeous French Words That Mean Beautiful

Just like in the English language, there are many ways to say “beautiful” in French. attrayant (masculine adjective) - attractive. belle (feminine adjective) - beautiful. charmante (feminine adjective) - charming or lovely. éblouissante (feminine adjective) - dazzling.

What are cute French words? ›

20 Cute French Words That Will Melt Your Heart
  • Un bisou (kiss) Note that in French Québec, this word can be shortened to bee with your children. ...
  • Des bijoux (jewelry) ...
  • Ma belle/mon beau (my beautiful/my handsome) ...
  • Ma joie (my joy) ...
  • Un câlin (hug or cuddle) ...
  • Un canard (duck) ...
  • Sa suce (pacifier or binky) ...
  • Mon chat (cat)
30 Jan 2022

Is saying bonjour twice rude? ›

when you meet a person for the second time during the day you just say , “hi” or “hello”. But in France, saying bonjour several times is super rude.

What is ca va? ›

Ça va, which is pronounced like “sah vah,” is a common phrase heard in day-to-day French speech. Ça va literally translates to “it goes,” but it is used in a variety of situations. The most common way you'll hear ça va is when it is used to ask someone how they're doing as a shortened version of comment ça va ?

How do you respond to Ca va? ›

As with English, French people tend to reply to Ça va? with a positive response – Bien, or Bien, merci – much the same way as we would use fine in English. The following responses are polite enough for a new acquaintance, but general enough for a good friend, too: Très bien, merci. Very well, thank you.

What is the 2 verb rule in French? ›

In French, two conjugated verbs in a row is a no-no (or should I say a non-non). So, for example, if you want to say “I like to run,” only the verb aimer (to like) would be conjugated: J'aime courir. (I like to run.)

What are the 7 tenses in French? ›

French Indicative Verb Tenses
  • Présent (present) ...
  • Imparfait (imperfect) ...
  • Passé simple (simple past) ...
  • Passé composé (past perfect) ...
  • Futur simple (future simple) ...
  • Plus-que-parfait (pluperfect) ...
  • Passé antérieur (past anterior)
  • Futur antérieur (future anterior)
18 Sept 2020

What are the 9 French pronouns? ›

The list of French subject pronouns is je (j'), tu, il, elle, on, nous, vous, ils, elles.

What are the 100 most common words in French? ›

100 most frequently used French words
  • le (det.) the; (pron.) him, her, it, them.
  • de (det.) some, any; (prep.) of, from.
  • un (det.) a, an; (adj., pron.) one.
  • à (prep.) to, at, in.
  • être (verb) to be; (noun [m. ]) being.
  • et (conj.) and.
  • en (prep.) in, by; (adv., pron.)
  • avoir (verb) to have; (noun [m. ]) assets.

What are the 100 verbs? ›

100 Common English Verbs
  • be.
  • have.
  • do.
  • say.
  • go.
  • can.
  • get.
  • would.

What are the 100 regular verbs? ›

100 Examples of Regular Verbs
InfinitivePastParticiple
AgreeAgreedAgreed
AmazeAmazedAmazed
AmuseAmusedAmused
AnswerAnsweredAnswered
26 more rows

What is YES in old French? ›

Borrowed from French oui (“yes”).

Why is there no 70 in French? ›

In French, soixante (60) is the last iteration of ten to have its own word. Going higher, such as seventy is soixant dix (60-10), eighty is quatre vingt (4-20), 90 is quatre vingt dix (4-20-10). What's with this?

How is my little girl in French? ›

How's my little girl? How's my little girl? Salut, ma chérie !

Can you say je suis name? ›

To introduce yourself, saying “je suis + name” is correct. For example, “Je suis Marie” (I'm Marie) or “Je suis Pierre” (I'm Pierre). However, the other common way to say “my name is” in French is: “Je m'appelle“, which literally means “I call myself”.

Why do French people say bah oui? ›

Essentially, “bah” means “you idiot” or “yeah duh.” So if someone asks if you're going to watch the next season of Game of Thrones, you say, “Bah ouais, c'est la fin de la série.” If you didn't remember it's your coworker Daisy's birthday until she brings a cake out at lunch, you'd exclaim, “Bah oui, c'est ton ...

What is the hardest tense in French? ›

6) Le subjonctif (The Subjunctive Tense)

This is notoriously one of the most difficult tenses for native English-speakers to learn.

Does What 3 words work in France? ›

American English: Words with variant spellings in British and American English are avoided, so you won't find “color” or “colour” in an address. French: What3words ignores accents as not everyone types them. This means it can't use words that are only differentiated by accents, such as côte and côté.

What are the 3 verbs in French? ›

French verbs are conventionally divided into three conjugations (conjugaisons) with the following grouping:
  • 1st group: verbs ending in -er.
  • 2nd group: verbs ending in -ir, with the gerund ending in -issant.
  • 3rd group: 1st section: verbs ending in -ir, with the gerund ending in -ant. 2nd section: verbs ending in -oir.

Is English 50% in French? ›

French makes up about 30% to 40% of English vocabulary and Latin makes up about 20% of English vocabulary. Greek makes up 6% of English vocabulary, proper names makes up 6% of English vocabulary, other makes up 6% and Germanic vocabulary makes up 20% of English vocabulary.

How long learn French fluently? ›

French is a Category I language, so it's relatively easy to learn for native English speakers. It will take approximately 580 hours or 23 weeks of study to reach complete French fluency.

Which language is the most rich? ›

A major uniqueness of Arabic language lies in its richness. While English, French, and Russian languages have around 500,000 words, 150,000 words, and 130,000 words in its vocabulary respectively, Arabic language has 12,3 million words in its own, making it the richest language in vocabulary, by far.

What are 10 examples of interrogative in French? ›

How to form an interrogative sentence in French ?
  • est-ce que ? (did/do ?)
  • qui ? (who ?)
  • pourquoi ? (why ?)
  • quand (when ?)
  • où ? (where ?)
  • comment ? (how ?)
  • quel/quelle ? (Which ?)
  • à qui ? (whom ?)

What are the 3 forms of questions in French? ›

Asking questions
  • There are 3 main ways to ask a question in French: • Formal: (question word quand, où, etc) + verb + subject + ? ...
  • • Neutral: (question word) + est-ce que + subject + verb + ? Est-ce que vous connaissez Victor Hugo ? ...
  • • More informal: subject + verb (+ question word) + ? Elle travaille chez vous ?

What are 5 interesting facts about France? ›

Fun Facts About France
  • France Is the Most-Visited Country in the World.
  • France Is Smaller Than Texas.
  • France Has the Largest Art Museum.
  • The French Eat 25,000 Tons of Snails Each Year.
  • France Produces Over 1,500 Types of Cheese.
  • Supermarkets in France Can't Throw Away Food.
  • France Had a King – That Lasted Only 20 Minutes.
20 Aug 2022

What is the hardest French tense? ›

6) Le subjonctif (The Subjunctive Tense)

This is notoriously one of the most difficult tenses for native English-speakers to learn.

What are the big 4 verbs in French? ›

Big 4 French verbs
  • etre = to be.
  • avoir = to have.
  • aller = to go.
  • faire = to do.

What are the 14 verbs in French? ›

To set you up, here are the 20 most common French verbs conjugations, examples of their use in everyday life, and grammar tips.
  • Être (to be)
  • Avoir (to have)
  • Aller (to go)
  • Parler (to speak/talk)
  • Faire (to do)
  • Prendre (to take)
  • Vouloir (to want)
  • Savoir (to know)
12 Sept 2022

What are 3 facts about French? ›

French Language Facts
  • French is a Romance language. ...
  • There are around 220 million French speakers worldwide. ...
  • French has a great number of homophones. ...
  • About 45% of modern English words are of French origin. ...
  • Along with English, French remains an influential language in the diplomatic world.

What's unique in France? ›

Just about everywhere you go in France there are atmospheric and historic buildings with stories to tell. The monuments of Paris and the picturesque chateaux and castles across the country are unique and charming to visitors from outside Europe, and probably work their magic on many Europeans too.

What is unique to France? ›

Just about everywhere you go in France there are atmospheric and historic buildings with stories to tell. The monuments of Paris and the picturesque chateaux and castles across the country are unique and charming to visitors from outside Europe, and probably work their magic on many Europeans too.

What are five French words? ›

Learn Some Common French Words
  • Bonjour = Hello, Good morning.
  • Au revoir = Goodbye.
  • Oui = Yes.
  • Non = No.
  • Merci = Thank you.
  • Merci beaucoup = Thank you very much.
  • Fille = Girl.
  • Garçon = Boy.

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