Speak For Love | Communicate For Confidence | Inspire For Growth

What comes to mind when you think of the French language? Will it be France, Paris, French bread or the distinct throaty ‘r’ sound?

Although Britain is separated from France by the Channel which connects the Celtic Sea and North Sea, as an independent nation, Britain has forged remarkably strong ties with its neighbour across this Channel. Without even trying, you’ll find that you already know a smattering of French words, and even entire phrases.



C’est la vie Such is life
Au fait To be informed
Je ne sais quoi  A difficult-to-express attribute


Here’s a quick guide on how to kickstart your basic French lessons the easy way by  Justin Schamotta.

Key Phrases

It’s worth learning a few key phrases even if you don’t yet understand French grammar and sentence structure. These allow you to get a feel for the language and enter into basic communication.



Bonjour Hello
Au revoir Goodbye
S’il vous plaît Please
Merci Thank you
De rien You’re welcome
Oui Yes
Non No
Comment allez-vous? How are you?
Je m’appelle… My name is…
Salut Hi / Bye


Perfecting Pronunciation

Examples of French pronunciation include:

French letter        

English sound               


A Father Quatre
AU Taupe Mauvais
D Dad Mardi
Ç Façade Caleçon
AI Pain Le fait
CH Champagne Chaud
E Dead Le
É Fiancé Génial
B Buy Bonbons

French words ending in either ‘-sion’ or ‘-tion’ are spelt almost exactly the same as their English counterparts and mostly have the same meaning. This makes them some of the easiest to master. Try remembering these: participation, action, infusion, passion, intuition, élection, decision.


Putting Language into Practice

For anyone attending the French courses London language schools provide, it is a quick trip across the Channel to practise newfound skills.Paris is just over 200 miles away and can be reached in less than three hours.

Once there, you’ll be able to practise things like ordering food:



Avez-vous une table? Do you have a table?
Je voudrais… I’d like…
De la viande Meat
Du poisson Fish
Des légumes Vegetables
Des fruits Fruit
Du pain Bread
Des pommes de terre Potatoes
De la soupe Soup
Du fromage Cheese

Or getting around:



Excusez-moi Excuse me
C’est où? Where is it?
Ici Here
Tout droit Straight ahead
Par là That way
C’est loin? Is it far?
À droite To the right / On the right
À gauche To the left / On the left
En face Opposite
Un billet A ticket


Grappling with Grammar

French is known as a ’Romance’ language in that it is of Latin origin. Romance languages share similarities in vocabulary and grammatical structure. Those of you already undertaking Spanish courses in London at or another language school will therefore be able to understand French grammar more easily. Similarly, those studying Portuguese will also already have an appreciation of the need to learn genders, verb conjugation and the pronunciation of nasal sounds.

Some French vowels have accents. There are also a few irregular commonly used verbs. These include:



Être To be
Avoir To have
Aller To go
Venir To come


Male and Female

When you learn a noun, you should always learn its gender as well. French nouns are either madams or monsieurs. Native French speakers associate feminine qualities with feminine nouns and masculine qualities with masculine nouns.