helpful french words and phrases

34 Helpful & Fun French Words and Phrases

Last Updated on April 10, 2024 by Pamela MacNaughtan

Contrary to rumours, you do not have to speak French to visit Quebec City, however, knowing some French or Québécois words and phrases can be helpful. A bonjour and a smile can go a long way at times. I struggle with my French daily, but having lived in this city for over four years I’ve learned that making an effort and failing is better than walking around assuming the locals will speak English. Not many people do the latter, but it happens and I find myself cringing each time I witness their folly.

Some words and phrases below are français français (french French), while others are strictly Québécois. All are used and understood in Quebec City (as well as throughout the province).



Bonne journée

Have a good day


Good evening (welcome)

Bonne soirée

Good evening (as a goodbye)

S’il vous-plaît



Thank you

Comme tu t’appelles?

What’s your name?

Je m’appelle

My name is …

Je parle un peu français

I speak a little French

Parlez-vous anglais?

Do you speak English?

Je ne comprends pas

I don’t understand

Ça va?

How are you? / Are you okay?

À tantôt!

See you soon (short future)

Où sont les toilettes?

Where is the toilet?

J’ai besoin d’aide

I need help

Je suis malade

I am sick



Parlez lentement s’il-vous-plaît

Please speak slowly

Facture, s’il vous-plaît

Check, please

Pour ici

For here / eat here

Pour emporter

Take away


How much?

Puis-je avoir un bière/soda?

Can I have a beer/soda?

Puis-je avoir un menu?

Can I have a menu?




Damn it!

Lendemain de veille



For sure!

T’es ben chix!

You’re hot!


Move your ass!

Elle m’a choké!

She stood me up!

T’es faite à l’os

You’re dead meat

Tu me gosses

You’re annoying me

Tu te prends pas pour de 7UP flat

You’re full of yourself