We all know that there are many different ways to say hello in English, and the same goes for French. Learning some everyday greetings in French will be very useful no matter which stage of French learning you are at. Below are 10 different ways to say hello in French that will cover a variety of situations. So buckle up and read on to get ready for your first French conversation!
Some common ways to say hello
This is the most universal greeting. It can mean “good morning”, but it can also mean the same as “hello” in English. You can’t go wrong using it at any time. If you want to be polite, you can add ”madame” (Mrs), “monsieur” (Mr), “mademoiselle” (Miss) or the person’s name after “bonjour”.
“Bonjour, tout va bien?” (Hello, how is everything?)
“Bonjour, monsieur!” (Hello, Sir!)
When you answer someone’s greeting, you can answer the same way by saying “bonjour“, or “Comment allez-vous?“, meaning how are you, which is a formal way.
2. “Salut” or “Coucou”
When greeting a familiar friend or family member, many french people use “Salut” or “Coucou“. They are informal ways of saying “hey” or “hi”. The response to “Salut” is very simple: you can just repeat “Salut!”. Be careful never to use them with your boss or strangers!
“Salut tout le monde!”(Hi everyone!)
3. “Ça va?” Or “Comment ça va?”
They both mean “how are you”, “how’s it going”, or”What’s up”. When people ask you “Ça va”, you can respond with “Ça va bien”, meaning “it’s going well” in English.
These two sentences are also used often in conjunction with “Salut” :
“Salut, ça va?” ( Hi, how are you?)
“Salut, comment ça va?” (Hi, how’s it going?)
This is a good way to greet someone when you meet them for the first time. It means “nice to meet you/nice to know you” in English. It is pronounced in French as [a(n) sha(n) tay]. This word should look quite familiar to English speakers as the English word “enchant” is derived from enchanté in French.
Be sure to distinguish between its feminine and masculine forms: if you are a man, you use “enchanté“, if you are a woman, you need to use “enchantée” adding an “e” at the end.
“Allô” is used to greet people on the Phone. It is similar to “hello, how are you?”. It can also be used when you want to confirm that the person is on the line, which means “hello, are you there?”
Greetings at different times of the day
Having learned some most basic ways to say hello in French, now, let’s see how to greet others at different times in a day.
1. “Good morning” in French
In French, you can simply use ” Bonjour”, which means “good morning”.
“Bonjour, tu as bien dormis?” (Good morning, did you sleep well?
2. “Good afternoon” in French
You can say “Bon après-midi” in the afternoon as an expression of “hello”, or stick with “bonjour” before the evening. The use of “Bon après-midi” is more commonly used to mean “have a nice day” when you say goodbye to the others.
“Mesdames et messieurs, bon après-midi et bienvenue.”( Ladies and gentleman, good afternoon and welcome.)
3. “Good evening” in French
Like the classic “bonjour”, “bonsoir” is a universal greeting for evening that applies to most social settings. Once twilight falls, it’s time to switch from “bonjour” to “bonsoir”.
“Appelons ma mère pour dire bonsoir à Emma.” ( We should call my mom and say goodnight to Emma.)
What else you can say to impress people
It is used to welcome the person, when someone enters your house or office or arrives in a new city/country, it means “welcome!”
“Bienvenue à Paris.” ( welcome to Paris.)
It is an informal term used mainly for phone calls or when we greet someone we know very well as friends or family members. It has a similar meaning to “hey” in English.
“Hé, mon cherie!”(Hello my dear!)
Have you learned all these greetings? Let’s have a final refresher below!