Starting Out in French: Simple Words for New Learners

Jumpstart Your French Learning with These Simple Words for Beginners

Are you a new learner of French? Learning a new language can be both exciting and intimidating, especially when you’re just starting out. But don’t worry, in this lesson, we’ll go over some simple French words that are perfect for new learners.

Before we dive into the vocabulary, it’s important to note that French pronunciation can be tricky, and it’s important to practice it regularly. To help with pronunciation, we’ve included phonetic spellings of each word.

1. Bonjour (bohn-zhoor) – Hello

The most basic greeting in French, Bonjour is used to say hello to anyone, regardless of the time of day.

It’s a polite and friendly way to greet someone, and it’s also easy to remember.

2. Au revoir (oh ruh-vwah) – Goodbye

Similar to Bonjour, Au revoir is a polite and friendly way to say goodbye.

Use it when leaving a place or ending a conversation with someone.

3. Oui (wee) – Yes

This word is used to answer affirmatively to a question or statement.

It’s a simple, one-syllable word that’s easy to remember.

4. Non (nohn) – No

This is the French equivalent of “no”.

Use it to answer negatively to a question or statement.

5. Merci (mehr-see) – Thank you

A polite and essential phrase to know, Merci is used to express gratitude.

It’s a great way to show appreciation when someone does something for you.

6. De rien (duh ree-ehn) – You’re welcome

De rien is the equivalent of “you’re welcome” in French.

Use it when someone thanks you for something.

7. Comment ̤a va? (kuh-mohn sah vah) РHow are you?

This phrase is a common way to ask someone how they’re doing.

It’s a friendly and polite greeting that shows you care about the person.

8. Ça va bien (sah vah byehn) – I’m doing well

If someone asks you Comment ça va? you can respond with Ça va bien to say that you’re doing well.

9. S’il vous plaît (seel voo play) – Please

This phrase is used to make a request or ask for something politely. It’s a polite way to make a request, and it’s important to use it when asking for something.

10. Excusez-moi (ehk-skew-zay mwah) – Excuse me

This phrase is used to get someone’s attention politely. It’s also used to apologize for any inconvenience or mistake that you might have made.


Learning a new language can be challenging, but by starting with these simple French words, you can quickly build your vocabulary and gain confidence in your language skills.

Don’t be afraid to practice these words regularly and to use them in real-life situations. With time and practice, you’ll be on your way to becoming fluent in French!

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