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Français / française – How to say “French” in French

Français / française – How to say “French” in French

In today’s lesson we’ll cover the adjective for “French” in French: français / française. We’ll also look at the name for the French langauge (le français), as well as the words for a Frenchman (un Français), a French woman (une Française) and the French people (les Français).

français / française


French lesson teaching how to use "français", which means "French" in French.

Français / française – How to say “French” in French

Word origin

The modern French word français (French) comes from the Middle French françois and Old French franceis, which in turn comes from the Latin franciscus (the Frank, Frenchman).

Example sentences

As mentioned, when talking about French in the context of the langauge name, français is written in the lowercase and must be preceded by the definite aritcle, le (the).

J’apprends le français en ligne.

I’m learning French online.

When discussing the French langauge but not in the context of learning or studying, the definite article is not needed. Hence, “Vous parlez bien français” (You speak French well).

The next two sentences provide examples of the masculine and feminine adjectives for French: français and française. In this lesson we cover the adverb beaucoup (a lot) in detail.

J’aime beaucoup cet auteur français.

I like this French author a lot.

The following sentence uses the feminine noun bagnole, which is slang for “car”.

Martin veut acheter une bagnole française.

Martin wants to buy a French car.

For these next two examples, français(e) must be capitalized: un Français (a Frenchman) and une Française (a French woman). The verb se marier means “to get married” and always apprears in the reflexive form.

Thomas se marie avec une jolie Française.

Thomas is getting married to a pretty French woman.

Sylvie se marie avec un Français de Paris.

Sylvie is getting married to a Frenchman from Paris.

When referring to French people or the French population as a whole, use the capitalized les Français.

Les Français sont très fiers de leur patrimoine.

The French are very proud of their heritage.


Et voilà ! Now you have a much better grasp of how to use français/française (French). Now check out our lesson covering the word pays (country).

Example of how to use the word français: La femme française tient le drapeau français. = The French woman is holding the French flag.
La femme française tient le drapeau français. = The French woman is holding the French flag.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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