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Monsieur Pronunciation & Meaning: Sir, Mister (Mr) in French

Monsieur Pronunciation & Meaning: Sir, Mister (Mr) in French

Today we’ll have a look at a word which every visitor to France must know: Monsieur, which means both “sir” and “mister” (Mr.). Specifically, we’ll look at the pronunciation which confuses many students.

Monsieur

Sir, Mister, Mr.

Monsieur Pronunciation & Meaning: Sir, Mister (Mr) in French

Monsieur Pronunciation & Meaning

Word origin and pronunciation

According to Wikipedia.org, the modern French monsieur (sir, mister) comes from Middle French mon sieur, meaning “my lord”. This had been a title used in the royal court. Sieur comes from from the Old French sire, which is related to sir and sire in English.

The following video explains the pronunciation of monsieur very clearly. Do not pronounce the -mon with a nasal -on sound. It sounds more like -mih. The final -r is barely pronounced. The video makes it clear.

Video credit: Julien Miquel

Example sentences

This first example uses the formal form of excuse me: excusez-moi. This lesson covers the various ways to say “excuse me” in French in detail.

Excusez-moi, monsieur. Où est la gare, s’il vous plaît ?

Excuse me, sir. Where is the train station, please?

This second sentence uses demain (tomorrow), which we covered in this lesson. Note that monsieur in French can be abbreviated as M. Hence, M. DuPont.

Monsieur DuPont arrive en France demain.

Mr. DuPont is arriving in France tomorrow.

In French, the plural of monsieur is messieurs, literally “my sirs”.

Mesdames et messieurs, puis-javoir votre attention s’il vous plaît ?

Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please?

Conclusion

Et voilà ! Now you know how to use monsieur (sir, mister, Mr.) in French! Now check out our lesson covering another very important title in French: Maman (mom, mommy)!

How to use "monsieur" in French: Bonjour, monsieur ! = Hello, sir!
Bonjour, monsieur ! = Hello, sir!

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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, FrenchLearner.com, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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