Part 1: Informal Greetings
In this lesson you will learn basic informal greetings in French. This is a conversation between Marc and Sylvie, two good friends who meet in the street. Listen to the phrases and repeat.
Marc: Salut Sylvie, Ça va?
Marc: Hi Sylvie! How’s it going?
Sylvie: Bien, merci. Et toi?
Sylvie: Fine, thank you. And you?
Marc: Ça va. Tout va bien!
Marc: I’m okay. Everything is going well.
Sylvie: Très bien! À bientôt!
Sylvie: Very good! See you soon!
Marc Salut, Sylvie!
Marc: Bye, Sylvie!
Part 2: Formal Greetings
In the second part of this lesson we introduce a conversation between Madame Dubois and Monsieur Dupont. They are two adults and are just acquaintances. Therefore, they have to use the formal or “vous” form of verbs. Also, they call each other “Madame” (m’am) and “Monsieur” (sir). Furthermore, they say “Bonjour” and “Au Revoir” (Hello and Good-bye) rather than Salut (informal hi and bye).
Madame Dubois: Bonjour, Monsieur. Comment allez-vous?
Madame Dubois: Hello, Sir. How are?
Monsieur Dupont: Bonjour, Madame. Très bien, merci. Et vous?
Monsieur Dupont: Hello, M’am. Very well, thank you. And you?
Madame Dubois: Je vais très bien. Au revoir, Monsieur.
Madame Dubois: I am very well. Good-bye, Sir.
Monsieur Dupont: Monsieur Dupont: Au revoir, Madame.
Monsieur Dupont: Good-bye M’am.
Further explanation of the usage of “Aller” (to go) in greetings
In the French language the verb to go (aller) is used when asking ‘how are you’. (Here you can see our lesson on the irregular ER verb aller). So, rather than saying “I am fine” you would say, “I go fine”. Here’s how to ask somebody how they’re doing using both the tu form (informal) or vous form (you plural and formal for somebody who you don’t know):
- Informal: Comment vas-tu? – How are you?
- Formal: Comment allez-vous?
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