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French Body Parts Vocabulary

French Body Parts Vocabulary

This page teaches a complete list of French body parts vocabulary. Learning the parts of the body is an essential part of basic vocabulary learning. Here are the most important words to know:

French body parts vocabulary

French Body Parts Vocabulary

Notes on body parts in French

The most important and commonly mentioned part of the body are:

  • la tête head
  • les yeux eyes
  • le nez nose
  • la bouche mouth
  • le bras arm
  • la main hand
  • la jambe leg
  • le pied foot

Note on hair: les cheveux

Pay attention to the word for hair, les cheveux. This word is always plural. Also, be careful of the word for hand, la main, which appears to be masculine but is really feminine.

The same goes for tooth, which is la dent.

In French, articles must proceed all nouns. This goes for body parts. For example:

  • Elle a les cheveux bruns. She has brown hair.
  • Il a les yeux bleus. He has blue eyes.

Talking about your body

When combining reflexive verbs with body parts, make sure to use the definite article for the body part and not a possessive adjective. For example, we’ll take the sentence “I brush my teeth”.

This page covers reflexive verbs and this page covers the definite article (le, la, les).

  • Correct: Je me lave les dents.
  • Incorrect: Je me lave mes dents.

To express having pain, use the expression “avoir mal à + le/la/les body part name”. You must contract à + definite article. For example:

  • Elle a mal à la tête. She has a headache.
  • Il a mal au dos. He has a backache.
  • Elle a mal aux pieds. Her feet hurt.
French body parts vocabulary in pictures
There are the names of the parts of the body in French.

Complete vocabulary List

Head – la tête

A few notes about words for the head. You will immediately notice that the word for the eyes is different in the singular and plural form.

An eye is “un œil” while eyes in the plural form is “les yeux”. Interestingly, the word for tongue is “la langue”, which also means language.

"La tête" means "the head".

Midbody

A few notes about words for the midbody. You will immediately notice that word for finger, le doigt, has a strange spelling that does not resemble any other French words.

The word “doigt” comes from the old Latin word “digitus”, which means digit. Another fun note: The word for thumb, “pouce” also means inch, as in the measurement.

Lastly, the word for belly button is “le nombril”. You can pronounce this word both with and without the -l.

"Le nombril" means "belly button"

Lower body

Here are few fun notes on the lower body. The word “fesses” means backside or buttocks. The related verb to this noun is “fesser”, which means to spank or hit somebody’s backside.

The word for knee, “genou” comes from the Latin word “genuclum”, which is related to the English “genuflect”, which means to get down on one’s knees.

"Les pieds" means "the feet"

Let’s review the body parts in this video lesson:

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

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