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Common French Words

A list of the most common French words ordered by their frequency of use. You can use this list to learn words efficiently, ensuring you cover the basic vocabulary of French.

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Rank Word Root Meanings
 
1 de 1. prep. of (expresses belonging)
2. prep. 's (used to express property or association)
3. prep. from (used to indicate origin)
4. prep. of (indicates an amount)
5. prep. used attributively, often translated into English as a compound word
2 le 1. art. The (definite article).
2. art. Used before abstract nouns, not translated in English.
3. art. (before parts of the body) The, my, your, etc.
4. art. (before units) A, an.
5. pron. (direct object) Him, it.
3 la 1. art. The (definite article).
2. pron. (direct object) Her, it.
3. n. la, the note 'A'.
4 et 1. conj. and
5 que 1. conj. that (connects a noun clause)
2. conj. (construed with ne) only
3. conj. Substitutes for another, previously stated conjunction.
4. conj. (with the other clause in the negative) when, no sooner.
5. pron. The inanimate direct-object interrogative pronoun.
6 à 1. prep. to (destination)
2. prep. to (until)
3. prep. on the, to (some directions)
4. prep. at (said of a particular time)
5. prep. at, in, on (said of a particular place)
7 les 1. art. plural of le: the
2. art. plural of la: the
3. pron. plural of le: them
4. pron. plural of la: them
8 ne 1. part. (literary) not (used alone to negate a verb, now chiefly with the verbs pouvoir, savoir, cesser and oser)
2. part. not, no (used before a verb, with a subsequent element following, see Usage Notes, below)
3. part. Used in a subordinate clause before a subjunctive verb (especially when the main verb expresses doubt or fear), to provide extra overtones of doubt or uncertainty (but not negating its verb), the so-c
4. part. (in grammatically negative comparative clauses that express superlatives) not (usually translated with the positive sense of the subsequent negative)
9 un 1. art. an, a
2. num. one
3. n. one
4. pron. one
10 se 1. pron. The third-person reflexive and reciprocal direct and indirect object pronoun.
11 il 1. pron. He, it.
12 en 1. pron. Used as the object of a verb to indicate an indefinite quantity, of it, of them.
2. pron. Adverbial preposition indicating movement away from a place already mentioned. En replaces the partitive article (du, de la, etc.)
3. prep. in (used to indicate space)
4. prep. by (used to indicate means)
5. prep. as
13 des 1. art. plural of un, une, du, de la, de l’-, some, the plural indefinite and partitive article.
2. contr. contraction of de les: of the, from the, some.
de 1. prep. of (expresses belonging)
2. prep. 's (used to express property or association)
3. prep. from (used to indicate origin)
4. prep. of (indicates an amount)
5. prep. used attributively, often translated into English as a compound word
les 1. art. plural of le: the
2. art. plural of la: the
3. pron. plural of le: them
4. pron. plural of la: them
de l' 1. art. Some, the singular prevocalic partitive article.
14 une 1. num. feminine of un
2. art. a / an (feminine indefinite article)
3. n. front page (of a publication)
15 qui 1. pron. (interrogative) who, whom
2. pron. (relative) which, that
16 je 1. pron. I.
17 dans 1. prep. in (inside)
2. prep. in, into (from outside, to inside)
3. prep. in (within a period of time)
4. prep. out of, from
5. n. plural of dan
18 ce 1. pron. this, that
2. pron. it, this, that
19 du 1. contr. contraction of de + le (of the).
2. contr. contraction of de + le, forms the partitive article.
de 1. prep. of (expresses belonging)
2. prep. 's (used to express property or association)
3. prep. from (used to indicate origin)
4. prep. of (indicates an amount)
5. prep. used attributively, often translated into English as a compound word
le 1. art. The (definite article).
2. art. Used before abstract nouns, not translated in English.
3. art. (before parts of the body) The, my, your, etc.
4. art. (before units) A, an.
5. pron. (direct object) Him, it.
20 pas 1. n. step, pace, footstep
2. n. (geography) strait (e.g., Pas de Calais, "Strait of Dover")
3. adv. (ne ... pas) not
4. adv. (colloquial) not
21 est 1. adj. east
2. n. east
3. v. Third-person singular present indicative of être
être 1. v. to be
2. v. (auxiliary) Used to form the perfect and pluperfect tense of certain verbs (including all reflexive verbs)
3. v. (auxiliary) to be (Used to form the passive voice)
4. n. being, creature
22 pour 1. prep. for
2. prep. to
23 vous 1. pron. The plural personal pronoun in the second person:
2. pron. You, to you (indirect object pronoun).
3. pron. The plural or singular personal pronoun in the second person, at the polite form:
24 me 1. pron. (direct object) me
2. pron. (indirect object) to me
25 plus 1. adv. more, -er (used to form comparatives of adjectives)
2. adv. more, -er (used to form comparatives of adverbs)
3. adv. (after a verb) more, -er (indicating a higher degree or quantity)
4. adv. (before a noun) more (indicating a greater quantity, followed by de)
5. adv. more (supplementary, preceded by de)
26 son 1. n. Sound.
     Le son de ce piano est agréable. - The sound of this piano is nice.
2. det. His, her, its (used to qualify masculine nouns).
     Elle a perdu son chapeau.
     She lost her hat.
27 au 1. contr. (contraction of à le, , to the, for the, at the)
à 1. prep. to (destination)
2. prep. to (until)
3. prep. on the, to (some directions)
4. prep. at (said of a particular time)
5. prep. at, in, on (said of a particular place)
le 1. art. The (definite article).
2. art. Used before abstract nouns, not translated in English.
3. art. (before parts of the body) The, my, your, etc.
4. art. (before units) A, an.
5. pron. (direct object) Him, it.
28 sur 1. prep. on, upon
2. prep. on top of
3. prep. above
4. prep. out of
5. prep. in the case of
29 a 1. v. third-person singular indicative present of avoir
avoir 1. n. asset, possession
2. vt. to have (to own)
3. vi. to have to
4. v. (auxiliary) to have (auxiliary verb to form compound past tenses of most verbs)
5. v. to be, to be aged (speaking of age)
30 par 1. prep. through
2. prep. by (used to introduce a means)
3. prep. over (used to express direction)
4. prep. from (used to describe the origin of something, especially a view or movement)
5. prep. around, round (inside of)
Dictionary entries from Wiktionary