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12 phrases every tourist must know before coming to France

As summer arrives, here is what you need to know before your summer holiday in France

Read our language survival guide to help you during your summer trip to France Pic: Song_about_summer / Shutterstock

It is always best to have some French phrases to make your travels in the country go as smoothly as possible.

Here are some phrases which might prove useful for your summer trip to France. 

1. Je prends … (une baguette/deux croissants/trois verres de vin), s’il vous plait - I’ll take … (a baguette/two croissants/ three glasses of wine), please

This is used when ordering food or drinks in a boulangerie, cafe or restaurant. It is like the English equivalent to “I’ll have…”

2. Ça sera tout - That will be all 

Often when ordering in a boulangerie, the person serving will ask “avec ça” meaning “what do you want with that”. If you have finished ordering, you can say in response “Ca sera tout”. 

3. Une carafe d’eau - a jug of water

This is a good way to order tap water in a restaurant instead of having to pay for bottled water. 

Read also: Tips on how to practise your French conversation skills in France

4. Je voudrais faire une réservation pour X personnes, s’il vous plaît   - I would like to make a reservation for X people, please

France can get busy with tourists and holidaymakers in the summer so this one will come in useful when planning for dinner. 

5. Pouvez-vous prendre une photo, s’il vous plaît ? - Can you take a photo, please?

If you want to ask someone to take a photo of your group, you can use this phrase.

6. Où sont les toilettes ? - Where are the toilets? 

7. Je ne parle pas français, parlez-vous anglais ? - I don’t speak French, do you speak English? 

Remember in spoken French you can drop the “ne”. 

8. L’addition, s’il vous plaît - The bill, please

Read also: Which new words have made it into the latest French dictionary?

9. Par carte - by card 

You may be asked by the person serving how you would like to pay. If you are paying by card, you can say “par carte”. 

10. En espèces - in cash 

Meanwhile, if you are paying with cash, you can respond “en espèces”. 

11. Ça coûte combien ? How much does it cost?

12. Ça marche - That works 

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