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Common French Words

A list of the most common French words ordered by their frequency of use. You can use this list to learn words efficiently, ensuring you cover the basic vocabulary of French.

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1 de
     1. prep. of (expresses belonging)
           Paris est la capitale de la France. - Paris is the capital of France.
     2. prep. of (used to express property or association)
           Œuvres de Fermat - Fermat’s Works
           Elle est la femme de mon ami. - She is my friend’s wife.
mais boule de suif
quoi de plus simple
2 le
     1. art. The (definite article).
           Le lait du matin. - The milk of the morning.
           Je suis le valeureux Don Quichotte de la Manche, le défaiseur de torts et le réparateur d’iniquités. - I am the valiant Don Quixote of La Mancha, the undoer of wrongs and the repairer of iniqui
     2. art. Used before abstract nouns; not translated in English.
     3. art. (before parts of the body) The; my, your, etc.
dit le comte
le général
3 la
     1. art. the (definite article).
     2. pron. her, it (direct object).
     3. n-m. (music) la, the note 'A'.
la femme
la nuit qui tombait
4 et
     1. conj. and
et leur dit
et ajoutait
5 que
     1. conj. that (introduces a noun clause and connects it to its parent clause)
           Je vois que tu parles bien français. — I see that you speak French well.
     2. conj. (used with ne) only (ne ... que parses roughly as "(does) not / nothing ... other than")
           Je ne mange que des fruits. — I eat only fruits.
     3. conj. Substitutes for another, previously stated conjunction.
tandis que lui
on ne sut plus que faire
6 à
     1. Letter. A with grave accent, a letter used in French mostly to distinguish some homographs and in transliteration.
     2. prep. to (destination)
           Je vais à Paris. - I am going to Paris.
           aller au bout - go to the end / go all the way
     3. prep. to (until)
mais tout à coup
puis, tout à coup
7 les
     1. art. plural of le: the
     2. art. plural of la: the
     3. pron. plural of le: them
     4. pron. plural of la: them
ouvrit les yeux
les pieds sur la cheminée
8 ne
     1. part. (literary) not (used alone to negate a verb; now chiefly with the verbs pouvoir, savoir, cesser and oser)
     2. part. not, no (used before a verb, with a subsequent element following; see Usage Notes, below)
     3. part. Used in a subordinate clause before a subjunctive verb (especially when the main verb expresses doubt or fear), to provide extra overtones of doubt or uncertainty (but not negating its verb); the so-c
     4. part. In comparative clauses usually translated with the positive sense of the subsequent negative
           apprendre le français est plus facile qu'on ne pense - learning French is easier than you think
che ne feux pas
mais elle ne dit rien;
9 un
     1. art. an, a
     2. num. one
     3. n-m. one
     4. pron. one
un pli tombant
un officier allemand
10 se
     1. pron. The third-person reflexive and reciprocal direct and indirect object pronoun.
     2. pron.          (to) himself
     3. pron.          (to) herself
     4. pron.          (to) oneself
     5. pron.          (to) itself
il ne se leva pas
ils se retirèrent
11 il
     1. pron. he (third-person singular masculine subject pronoun for human subject)
     2. pron. it (third-person singular subject pronoun for grammatically masculine objects)
     3. pron. Impersonal subject; it
           Il pleut. - It’s raining.
il se tut
il sut rester
12 en
     1. prep. in (used to indicate space)
           J'habite en Angleterre. - I live in England.
     2. prep. by (used to indicate means)
           aller en bus - go by bus
           partir en voiture - leave by car
de temps en temps
si nous en faisions autant
13 des
     1. art. plural of un; some; the plural indefinite article.
     2. art. plural of une; some; the plural indefinite article.
     3. art. plural of du; some; the plural partitive article.
     4. art. plural of de la; some; the plural partitive article.
     5. art. plural of de l'; some; the plural partitive article.
des étoiles
des deux mains
     de
          1. prep. of (expresses belonging)
          2. prep. of (used to express property or association)
     les
          1. art. plural of le: the
          2. art. plural of la: the
          3. pron. plural of le: them
          4. pron. plural of la: them
     de l'
          1. art. Some; the singular prevocalic partitive article.
14 une
     1. num. feminine singular of un
     2. art. a / an (feminine indefinite article)
     3. n. front page (of a publication)
avec une émotion vraie
une des petites tables du café
15 qui
     1. pron. (interrogative) who, whom
     2. pron. (relative) who, whom (after a preposition), which, that
           La personne qui parle connait bien son sujet. - The person who speaks knows his/her subject well.
           Cette voiture bleue qui passe me plait beaucoup. - This blue car which is passing I like a lot.
           J’aime les chiens qui sont calmes. - I like dogs that are quiet.
qui l'eût su, d'ailleurs
qui ne venait pas volontiers
16 je
     1. pron. I
je vous le jure
je n'en sais rien
17 dans
     1. prep. in (inside)
           Il habite dans le quartier le plus riche de Paris. - He lives in the richest district of Paris.
     2. prep. in, into (from outside, to inside)
           Mettre l'argent dans la poche.
             Put money into one's pocket.
dans les ténèbres
et la cacha dans sa poche
18 ce
     1. det. this, that
     2. pron. it, this, that
ce qu'il veut
ce qu'ils disaient
19 du
     1. contraction. contraction of de + le (of the)
     2. contraction. contraction of de + le ; (forms the partitive article)
fendre du bois
les dames du fond
     de
          1. prep. of (expresses belonging)
          2. prep. of (used to express property or association)
     le
          1. art. The (definite article).
          2. art. Used before abstract nouns; not translated in English.
          3. art. (before parts of the body) The; my, your, etc.
20 pas
     1. n-m. step, pace, footstep
     2. n-m. (geography) strait (e.g., Pas de Calais, "Strait of Dover")
     3. adv. (ne ... pas) not
           Je ne sais pas. - I don't know
     4. adv. (colloquial, spoken) not
à tout petits pas
pas fait un geste;
Dictionary entries from Wiktionary