French Basics: Resources For Language Learners

Everything we’ve ever written about French, all in one place.
A woman sitting in her living room and smiling, possibly while learning French basics

Welcome to Babbel’s French Basics Resource Hub! We’ve collected all of our articles about the French language all together in one place, and we’ll be regularly updating this page with new stuff regularly.

This article is loosely structured based on the learning process. It starts with the most basic skills, and it gets more complicated as you go along.

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There are a number of ways you can use this article. Maybe you’re just starting out and are looking for where to start. Or perhaps you’re further along, and need something to supplement your learning. No matter what, there’s bound to be something here for you. Flip through the sections below and get started.

Basic French Words And Phrases

Want to get a jump start on speaking? Here are all of the words and phrases you’ll need to hold your own in a conversation with a French speaker.

How To Say Hello
You’re probably familiar with the classic French greeting, bonjour. But did you know that there are severa; other ways to say hello in French?

How To Introduce Yourself
Here’s how to go beyond “bonjour” to being able to introduce yourself like a natural.

How To Say Goodbye
Don’t leave people hanging. Here are a few different ways to say farewell to someone in French.

How To Ask Someone Out
Mastering the art of the flirt français. We give some tips on approaching someone with some French pick-up lines. Just don’t be rude!

How To Insult Someone
Is insulting someone in French an important skill? You never know! Might as well figure out how to verbally dismember someone in a new language.

How To Apologize
Limit your “sorries” to occasions that truly merit them, and keep them short and to the point, and you’ll fly right in French society.

How To Compliment Someone
For when someone has that certain je ne sais quoi. Learning a few compliments in French is a fundamental step on your journey to fluency.

Common French Idioms
These 10 French expressions are not only popular, funny and sometimes a bit weird, but also extremely useful!

22 French Phrases To Know When You’re Traveling
Make the most of your upcoming trip by focusing on these French conversation topics ahead of your flight abroad.

12 Most Common Adjectives
Having trouble explaining the difference between two objects? Learning the most common adjectives in French can help a lot with your descriptions!

How To Use Ça Va
Ça va ? means “How are you?” Yet the French phrase can fill quite a few different roles.

20 Most Common Verbs
Want to know the most important verbs in French and how to use them in a sentence? Here’s our handy beginner’s guide to the most used French verbs.

20 Provençal French Phrases
Ah the sun, the cicadas, the lavender, and the pastis… Who wouldn’t want to be able to enjoy that all year round?

20 Swiss French Expressions
Switzerland: the chocolate, the cheese, the cows, the mountains… and the multilingualism.

General Tips For Learning French For Beginners

Just need some advice for learning the language as a whole? Here are some articles that feature our best tips for learning French specifically.

5 Very Good, Very Specific Tips To Learn French
Fallen in love with French, but still struggling to make yourself understood? Here are our top tips to learn French, brought to you by one of our French linguistics experts.

A Pronunciation Guide To The French Alphabet
Once you get the alphabet down, the rest of language learning is as easy as ABC.

10 French Words You Might Struggle With
French pronunciation can be hard for non-native speakers. But don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of pronunciation tips to make it easier.

How To Learn French For Travel
So you want to learn some French basics for your vacation to France, but don’t know where to begin? Never fear, we have a two-week plan for you.

The 5 Most Common Mistakes English Speakers Make In French
Every English speaker makes mistakes when trying to speak French. We’re here to help you learn from those mistakes!

9 French Phrases Native Speakers Never Use
Read on to find out about all the French you might accidentally be using wrong.

4 French Words You Need To Master To Learn French
What are the most important words you need to know in order to master the French language? We present you with some vital vocab for high level chit-chat.

Pronouncing The French ‘E’
When it comes to the French e, you have the e, è, é, ê and ë. So what’s the difference?

Pronouncing The French ‘U’
On one hand, it seems as though you can just ignore half the letters in French. On the other hand, subtle differences — like the one between u and ou — seem to matter a lot.

Pronouncing The French ‘R’
The R sound in French is, how should we put it…problematic. Here’s a quick tip to help you make that elusive sound.

How And When To Use French Modal Verbs
Here’s a quick, practical guide for conjugating and using the three main modal verbs in French.

Useful French Phrases To Fix And Avoid Mistakes
You can start your French journey by arming yourself with a few phrases to use when you make mistakes in French so you don’t get stuck.

French Numbers

You might be able to cheat a little because numbers look the same in every language, but it’s still good to learn French numbers anyway. They can be a bit tricky, so make sure to start with “How To Count To 100.”

How To Count To 100
Don’t get stuck counting on your fingers! Here’s a quick and easy guide to the numbers up to 100.

How To Tell The Time
There are few things more important to know about (and few things more fun to say) than l’heure du jour.

How To Write The Date
Give us an English day of the week that ends in “y,” and we’ll give you a French one that doesn’t. Here’s how to write the date in French.

French Movies, Books And More

One of the best ways to supplement your French basics is by consuming lots of media in that language. Need some recommendations? We have plenty.

Parlez Away: Babbel’s French Podcast
In this podcast, we follow Ted, who’s learning French for love. No longer wanting to rely on his girlfriend for translations, he’s now going all-in, determined to become conversational.

French En Route: Babbel’s French Podcast
Join fellow learner Sam as he talks with native French speakers all over the world, hearing stories about their lives and learning French along the way.

Other French Podcasts To Listen To
Whether you want some quick grammar lessons or to catch up on the news in French, podcasts are a great way to practice on the go.

French TV Shows To Watch
Here’s your excuse to lounge around and binge-watch television: these French TV shows can make learning the language easier!

French Movies To Stream
Are you looking for the best movies to learn French with? Our linguists and language experts have picked their nine favorites below!

French Music To Listen To
Tune in for some musique fantastique. We found some excellent playlists to listen to if you’re learning French.

French Books To Read
Are you looking for reading material to help improve your French? Our language experts have selected eight of the best books for learning French.

Books About Paris
Whatever your genre, you’ll find a book worth picking up about the city of lights.

French Instagram Accounts To Follow
Are you a Francophile? Or maybe you’re more interested in what’s going on in French Canada? We have an Instagram account for you!

French Twitter Accounts To Follow
Can you say le hashtag? Here are a few of the best Twitter accounts to follow if you’re learning the language.

French YouTubers To Follow
Say au revoir to any free time you had left. No matter your proficiency, there’s a YouTube channel that can help you take your skills to the next level.

French TikTok Accounts To Follow
Whether you’re a meme queen, a dog lover or really just want to learn, check out these French TikToks.

French Dictionaries To Use
We’ve rounded up a handful of the best French dictionaries for learners, depending on your needs.

French Vocabulary Lists

Looking to expand your vocab? Here are our articles that tackle the French basics, one topic at a time. Plus, each list includes pronunciations by native speakers.

French Food Vocabulary
Get ready to enjoy a delicious meal in any French-speaking country by learning to name and pronounce these French food words.

French Cooking Vocabulary
Learn to speak like the world’s finest chefs! From abaisser to zester, discover our guide to essential French cooking vocab.

French Travel Vocabulary
When you visit Paris, don’t get lost on the way to the Louvre! These words and phrases about transportation in French will help you get around.

French Color Vocabulary
Roses are rouge, violets are bleu; rose and violet are both totally different colors in French, and you’ll learn those, too.

French Weather Vocabulary
If you want to make small talk in a new language, there’s one conversation topic of choice: the weather!

French Animal Vocabulary
From pets to farm animals to sea creatures, here’s a guide to naming and discussing all types of animals in French.

French Emotions Vocabulary
There, there. Let it all out (in French, of course). Here’s some basic vocabulary to talk about being mad, sad or anything else you might feel.

French Hobby Vocabulary
Spend a little bit of your free time learning to talk about how you spend your free time in French!

French Body Parts Vocabulary
If you’re learning the language of love, you’ll want to be able to talk about the body. Here’s where to get started.

French Family Vocabulary
You can choose tes amies, but you can’t choose ta famille. (So you might as well learn how to talk about them.)

French Tech Vocabulary
Here’s the basic vocab for tech and the internet to help you start surfing the world wide web. In French!

French Home Vocabulary
Learn some basic vocabulary to talk about the various rooms and components of a home.

French Clothes Vocabulary
For when you want to look élégant, or just vraiment cool.

French Filler Words
Filler words are all of those words that we say without thinking. J’avoue, alors, du coup, donc, c’est clair, bref… What if filler words let you express yourself better in French?

French Puzzles, Quizzes And Other Fun Stuff

Need a break from the grammar and vocab grind? Here are our quizzes and games to practice your French while having fun.

A Guide To French Slang
French slang can differ quite a bit depending on where you are and who you’re talking to, but these Parian French and Verlan phrases can get you started.

How Much Do You Know About French? Quiz
Even if you speak the language, you might not know the answers to all these questions about the French language.

Do You Know All The Colors In French? Quiz
Do you know the difference between jaune and vert? Put your knowledge of French colors to the test with this fun quiz.

Can You Name The Animals In French? Quiz
Le porc means pig, but they’re not all that easy. Test your animal trivia with this quiz.

Do You Know The Days Of The Week In French? Quiz
How sharp are you on your knowledge of the French weekdays? Take this quiz to see how well you stack up.

Do You Know How French Accent Marks Work? Quiz
Learn how to tell your grave from your circumflex.

Can You Avoid These Common French Mistakes? Quiz
This quiz doesn’t cover every possible mistake you might make, but by taking it, you might be able to see where you have the most trouble.

French Language And Culture Crossword
What’s a 10-letter word for a fun way to study French basics? Crosswords!

Our Favorite French Words
French has so many words that are just plain beautiful. Here’s a short list of our favorite French words.

How To Host A French Dinner Party
We provide the recipes and the language, you provide the style. Bon appétit !

French Expressions About Love
Try expressing your love in French with these romantic phrases from France, Cameroon, Canada, Haiti, Senegal and other French-speaking countries.

7 Struggles French Learners Understand All Too Well
When half the letters aren’t even pronounced? Truly rude. Here are 7 struggles you might relate to as a French learner.

A Helpful Guide To French Animal Sounds
With a meugle meugle here and a grogne grogne there, here’s our guide to animal sounds in French.

Miscellaneous French Facts

In addition to writing about learning French basics, we also have lots of information about French and French culture.

How Many People Speak French?
Did you know that French is one of the fastest growing languages in the world and that about half of all French speakers live in Africa?

Top French-Speaking Countries Besides France
So you want to immerse yourself in the French language? Great news: you’ve got plenty of options.

How Hard Is It To Learn French?
Do you adore la vie en rose? Or perhaps you’re yearning for a year in Provence? Whatever your motivation, here’s the lowdown on how hard it is to learn French.

The History Of The French Language
Where does French come from and how long has this Romance language been around for? We investigate.

The History Of Québécois
Québécois, the variant of Canadian French spoken in Québec, has its own unique characteristics and fascinating history far removed from its European roots. Here’s a portrait of the language and its evolution.

Do You Need To Speak French In Quebec?
It’s not clear whether you need to speak French if you’re planning to work, live or just visit Quebec — it really depends on what you plan to do there.

Differences Between French And African French
There are a lot of different dialects of French, especially in the continent of Africa. Here, we look at how different Benin french is from “Standard” French.

Differences Between French And Martinique’s French Creole
French may be the official language of Martinique, but the Martinicans’ mother tongue is Martinican Creole, a language largely based on French but totally incomprehensible by les Métropolitains in mainland France.

What Is Bastille Day?
Celebrating revolution with fireworks, parades and parties? You might think you’re in the United States if you’re not paying attention…

Why Does French Have So Many Unpronounced Letters?
Ever struggled with French pronunciation? We explore why French spelling and speaking don’t match up, and how you can learn to live with that.

What’s The Deal With French Spacing?
Ever wondered why there’s always an extra space before most punctuation marks in French?

Why Isn’t French The World’s Lingua Franca?
It might seem like a given that English is the world’s lingua franca, but how did it get to be that way and whatever happened to French?

The Top 5 Reasons To Learn French
It’s not all about sounding classy when you order a baguette. Here are five of the top reasons for learning French.

10 Myths About The French Language
We looked into 10 myths about French words to see which stories hold up and which don’t.

Jargon Watch: The Language Of Ballet
If your French lessons are making you feel clumsy, you can always up the difficulty level by taking a ballet class.

The Dialects And Regional Languages Of France
Do you know how many regional languages there are in France? No fewer than 75!

Is French Still The Language Of Molière?
400 years after the greatest French playwright was born, the name Molière is associated with the French language more than ever.

Go beyond French basics with Babbel Live

OK, so you’ve spent some time reading through these handy resources for grasping the basics of French. Ready to go beyond Bonjour and put what you’ve learned into action? Start speaking today with Babbel Live. With options for newcomers and more advanced learners, you can work on your French conversation skills with up to six peers in live, online tutoring classes led by an expert teacher.

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