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Common French Phrases

A list of the most common French phrases ordered by their frequency of use. Normally these phrases have meanings that are more than the sum of their parts, more than their component words would indicate, so they are good to learn even if you know their individual words.

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Rank Phrase Meanings
1 de la 1. art. Of the
2. art. Some, the feminine partitive article.
2 de l' 1. art. Some, the singular prevocalic partitive article.
3 à la 1. phrase. in a given style, in a given manner
4 ce qui 1. conj. what (that which, those which, the thing that)
5 ce que 1. conj. what (relative pronoun - direct object)
6 un peu 1. adv. a little, a bit
7 il y a 1. v. there is, there are
2. prep. ago
8 que de 1. adv. how (modifier)
9 au milieu 1. adv. in the middle
10 sans doute 1. phrase. probably, without a doubt, undoubtedly, doubtless
11 quelque chose 1. pron. something (an indefinite or indeterminate object)
12 de plus 1. phrase. moreover, furthermore
13 un jour 1. adv. one day (at unspecified time in the past or future)
14 à peine 1. adv. barely, scarcely, hardly
15 à travers 1. adv. through
2. adv. across (from one side to the other)
3. adv. throughout
16 une fois 1. adv. (literally) once, one time
2. conj. once, as soon as
17 au fond 1. adv. Used other than as an idiom: at the back, in the depths [of].
2. adv. deep down
18 parce que 1. conj. because
19 en effet 1. adv. indeed, actually
20 bien que 1. conj. although
21 au moins 1. adv. at least, at a minimum
22 comme si 1. conj. as if, as though (as to suggest that)
23 tout le monde 1. pron. everyone, everybody
24 du moins 1. adv. at least
25 près de 1. prep. near (in close proximity to)
26 pour que 1. conj. (+ subjunctive) so that, in order that
27 à la fois 1. adv. at a time
2. adv. both, at once
28 jeune fille 1. n. a girl, a maiden (unmarried woman/girl)
29 est-ce que 1. part. Used to introduce a yes-or-no question.
2. part. Used after a preposed interrogative to introduce the remainder of the question.
30 en même temps 1. adv. at the same time, at once, simultaneously
2. adv. on the other hand, at the same time, then again
Dictionary entries from Wiktionary