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French sayings and phrases

french sayingsFind out which are some of the most French sayings and phrases and their meanings!

One of the best ways to get to know a People and their culture is through their language. If you pay attention to when people say certain things, you will get to know all the use of a word or of a phrase.





French phrases

Here are some of the most famous words and phrases that you will listen to for sure in a French restaurant but probably also elsewhere!

  • Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup
    “Eat well, laugh often, love abundantly.”


  • La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin
    “Life is too short to drink bad wine”


Here are some words you will surely listen to in France, but you may listen as well in other parts of the world since their meaning is universal.

  • À la carte literally means ‘on the menu’. Its meaning has come to refer to ordering individual items from the menu instead of a fixed-price meal.
  • Amuse-bouche is something amusing/pleasing to the mouth
  • Crème de la crème means ‘the best of the bests’ and it’s a phrase that is translatable to ‘the cream of the cream’ (‘cream of the crop’)


Ssayings about life philosophy

  • C’est la vie literally means ‘that’s life’ and that’s a French phrase that invites you to accept the circumstances
  • Chef d’œuvre means a masterpiece
  • Comme il faut stands for As it should be
  • Déjà-vu is a phrase that refers to the experience that you have when you think you have already seen that situation
  • Je ne sais quoi is a French phrase that indicates something essential, although un-nameable, characteristic
  • Joie de vivre is how French people describe joy and happiness derived from life
  • Savoir-faire is the words to say to describe someone who knows what to do