Basic French Phrases For Travelers – Je Suis, Je Veut, J'ai Besoin

I am. I want. I need. You'll have extra fun on your trip, and feel like you're fitting in a bit more, if you learn to express yourself with basic phrases in French like "I am, I want, I need."

It's a bit disconcerting feeling tongue-tied when entering a Paris shop or restaurant. But by memorizing just a few basic French phrases, you'll be able to order a meal, make a reservation and find the bathroom. Bon Courage! Good luck!


The Best Evenings at the Moulin Rouge

Dinner Cruise and Moulin Rouge Show with Hotel Pick-up
The magic and wonder of Paris: a classic French dinner at a private table on a river boat. After the show your driver is waiting to take you across town to the iconic Moulin Rouge.
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Seine River Dinner Cruise + Eiffel Tower + Moulin Rouge
Experience the best of Paris in one fun-filled evening with dinner on the river, a skip-the-line visit to the Eiffel Tower, and the amazing Moulin Rouge cabaret.
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The Three Verbs to Know

The Three Verbs to Know

In French, as in most other languages, the two most important verbs are avoir (to have) and etre (to be).


I Am…

Je suis is the first person ("I am") of etre.
You'll use je suis to communicate basic information about yourself.

Je suis (jzeu swee) — I am.
Je suis Americaine — I'm American (woman).
Je suis docteur — I am a doctor.
Je suis vegetarienne — I'm a vegetarian.


I Want…

Je veut… — I want…
Je voudrais… — I would like… (the more polite way of asking)
Je voudrais une boisson, s'il vous plait — I'd like a drink please.


I Need…

J'ai besoin de… (jzay beh/zwan deh) — I need…
J'ai besoin de quelque chose a boire — I need something to drink.
J'en ai besoin — I need some.


Skip the Lines at the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower Guided Tour to Level 2
Why waste your precious time in Paris standing in line? Take our Insiders advice and book this skip-the-line, guided tour of the Eiffel Tower. While others wait in line, you'll be enjoying the views.
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Eiffel Tower Summit, Priority-Access
For the ultimate Eiffel Tower experience, this guided tour walks you past the long lines, into the elevator, and up to the very top of the tower for stunning birds-eye views of Paris
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Other Basic French Phrases

Other Basic French Phrases

Tout suite! — Right away!
Depechez-vous, s'il vous plait! — Hurry up please!
Allons-y — Let's go!

Aide-moi! — Help me!
Pouvez-vous m'aider? — Can you help me?
Je suis perdu — I'm lost.

J'ai faim — I'm hungry.
J'ai soif — I'm thirsty.

Basic French Phrases in the Restaurant

Basic French Phrases in the Restaurant

Avez-vous une table ce soir? — Do you have a table for tonight?

J'ai une reservation — I have a reservation.

Je voudrais une table pres de la fenetre — I'd like a table close to the window.

Je voudrais une coupe de champagne — I'd like a glass of champagne.
Encore — Another one.
Ou sont les toilettes? — Where is the bathroom?
Qu'est-ce que c'est? — What is it?
Pas encore — Not yet.
Je voudrais un cafe, s'il vous plait — I'd like a coffee, please.
L'addition, s'il vous plait — The bill please.
Acceptez-vous les cartes bancaire? — Do you accept credit cards?


Problem Solving at the Restaurant

Ce n'est pas ce que j'ai commande. — I didn't order this.
Le service est-il compris? — Is the tip included? [By the way, the tip is always included in the menu prices.]
C'est trop froid — It's too cold.
C'est trop chaud — It's too hot.
C'est pas frais — It's not fresh.
C'est saignant — It's rare.
C'est trop cuit — It's overcooked.
C'est delicieux — It's delicious.


The Most Popular Ways to Visit Versailles

Best of Versailles. Skip the Line, with Hotel Pick-up & Lunch
This day trip from Paris gets you inside the royal estate without waiting in the long lines. Included is a 3-course traditional lunch by the Grand Canal.
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VIP Versailles Tour with Private Viewing of the Royal Quarters
Skip-the-Line entrance to the chateau through a VIP entrance, plus a private tour of the royal chambers and opera house not open to tourists.
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Basic French Phrases – Weather & Time

Weather & Time

In French, when describing the weather, the verb faire (to make or do) is used, literally translated to something like, "It makes nice".

Quel temps fait-il? — How's the weather?
Il fait beau — It's nice.
Il fait froid — It's cold.
Il fait du vent — It's windy.
Il fait chaud — It's hot.

Note these French weather expressions that do not use faire
Il neige. — It's snowing.
Il pleut. — It's raining.

In France, the 24 hour clock is the most common way to tell time. 20:00 is 8 PM, 14:00 is 2 PM, etc.
Quelle heure est-il? — What time is it?
Il est midi — It's noon.
Il est minuit — It's midnight.
Il est 14:00 moins quart — It's 1:45 pm. ("2:00 pm minus a quarter.")

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