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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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1 de la
          1. art. Of the
          2. art. Some; the feminine partitive article.
                Voudriez-vous de la confiture ? — Would you like some jam?
                J'ai mangé de la tarte — I ate some pie.
2 de l'
          1. art. Some; the singular prevocalic partitive article.
                Voudriez-vous de l’ail ? — Would you like some garlic?
3 à la
          1. prep. a la, in the style or manner of (with a feminine singular adjective or a proper noun)
                à la française (in the French style)
                à la Hugo (in the style of Hugo)
4 ce qui
          1. conj. what (that which; those which; the thing that)
5 ce que
          1. conj. what (relative pronoun - direct object)
                cela n'est pas ce que je voulais - that isn't what I wanted
                il avait bien conscience de ce qu'il avait fait - he knew perfectly well what he had done
                ce que dit le roi est vrai, parce que le roi le dit. - what the king says is true, because the king says it.
6 un peu
          1. adv. a little, a bit
                Il est un peu con.
          2. adv. used to soften an order
                Viens un peu ici !
                Regarde un peu dans la voiture s'il-te-plaît.
7 il y a
          1. v. there is, there are
                Il y a un problème. - There is a problem.
                Il y a deux personnes ici. - There are two people here.
          2. prep. ago
                Elle est allée en France il y a deux ans. - She went to France two years ago.
8 que de
          1. adv. how (modifier)
9 au milieu
10 sans doute
          1. adv. no doubt, most probably, most likely
11 quelque chose
          1. pron. (abbreviated as: qqch)
          2. pron. something (an indefinite or indeterminate object)
12 de plus
          1. Phrase. moreover, furthermore
13 un jour
          1. adv. one day, someday (at unspecified time in the past or future)
14 à peine
          1. adv. barely, scarcely, hardly
                Il y a à peine trente personnes au concert ce soir. - There are barely thirty people at this evening’s concert.
                À peine avait-il achevé ces paroles qu'une voiture s'arrêta devant la porte.
                  Scarcely had he finished his words, when a car pulled up at the door.
                Nous avons à peine fait connaissance.
15 à travers
          1. prep. through
                On peut voir le Soleil à travers les nuages.
                  We can see the Sun through the clouds.
          2. prep. across (from one side to the other)
                Construire un pont à travers un ruisseau.
16 une fois
          1. adv. (literally) Once, one time.
                Le clocher sonne une fois par heure. - The bell strikes once an hour.
          2. conj. Once, as soon as.
          3. conj.          With que, introducing a full clause in the perfect aspect.
                        Une fois qu'elle l'aura vu, elle le comprendra. - Once she sees it, she'll understand it.
17 au fond
          1. adv. Used other than as an idiom: see at the back, in the depths
          2. adv. (figuratively) deep down, in the end
18 parce que
          1. conj. because
19 en effet
          1. adv. indeed
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)
                Il sortit par la porte et Roger put voir que son visage était pale, comme s'il avait vu un fantôme.
                  He went out the door and Roger could see that his face was white, as though he'd seen a phantom.
23 tout le monde
          1. pron. everyone, everybody
24 du moins
          1. adv. at least
                Du moins, je pense que c'est comme ça. - At least, I think it's like that.
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
                Ils sont arrivés deux à la fois - they arrived two at a time
          2. adv. both, at once, at the same time
28 jeune fille
          1. n-f. a girl; a maiden (unmarried woman/girl)
29 est-ce que
          1. part. Used to introduce a yes-or-no question.
                Est-ce que tu veux une chambre ?
                  Do you want a bedroom ?
                Est-ce qu’elle est arrivée ?
                  Has she arrived?
30 en même temps
          1. adv. at the same time, at once, simultaneously
          2. adv. (colloquial) on the other hand, at the same time, then again
Dictionary entries from Wiktionary

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