How to pay at the market in France

Imagine: you’re at the market in France.

Every person around you speaks French while buying vegetables, eggs and flowers.

It’s casual French. When you hear it, you notice that everybody uses the SAME phrases.

As if it was « automatic phrases ». These scripted conversations all French know and use. Like the ones YOU use in English!

What are these phrases French people use while shopping and paying at the market?
This is what we’ll see in today’s episode of Comme une Française TV.

Click to watch « Pay at the market »:

Et toi?

Your French will improve ONLY if you take action on what you learn on Comme une Française TV.

Share your experience by leaving a comment below this video :

What do you say when you go to the market?
Which phrases did you notice when going to the market?

The comment section is the best area to start discussions and ask questions!

A bientôt !


Join the conversation!

  • I blogged about these “automatic phrases” last summer! I had to learn “Sur place ou emporter?” and “Avez-vous une carte de fidelité?” as well as “Vous avez la monnaie?” I just end up saying “Pardon?” a lot because those automatic questions come out really fast, and often the marchand is not looking right at you while speaking.

  • Merci for your videos, trés charmant and useful! When I last visited France, I found it difficult to understand when someone said the price. I looked to see if the total might be on the cash register or someplace. My daughter, fluent in French, translated for me. I will have to sharpen my hearing. I wonder, if I keep asking to repeat (or write) the price, will I appear rude? It could look as if I am questioning the price. Maybe you have some advice on this?

    • Bonjour Robin,

      Numbers in foreign languages are often difficult.
      I remember how I feared people giving me a phone number in England!

      When you don’t understand, you can ask for the vendor to repeat or even to write it down for you.
      Repeat : “Vous pouvez répéter s’il vous plaît ?”
      Write : “Vous pouvez me l’écrire s’il vous plaît ?”

      Of course, it’s better if you carry a notebook and pen with you. 🙂

  • Hi, your lessons are just the right size and easy to put into practice. One question though for this lesson, my neighbours tell me never to reply to Bon Journee with Bon Journee and they tend to laugh when an English person responds like that. They say it should be vous aussi. Possibly this is what is used here in Normandy.

    • Hi Leslie,
      Great to hear from you!
      You can answer “Bonne journée” by “Vous aussi” or “Bonne journée”.
      I think it’s the same.
      If your neighbours prefer the first option, then first option it is!

  • I love your videos. I am able to share culturally “real” experiences with my classes and they love learning new phrases!

  • I’d like to know the phrases at a grocery store or food mart check out. This is my video… for 6th graders (12 ans). I tell them to say, “Bonjour. Je voudrais cela, s’il vous plaît.”. Would the cashier say, “Et avec ça”? Could the customer say, “Voilà”, instead of “Tenez”? What would be a better conversation to teach them?

    • Bonjour Jo,

      Le vendeur peut dire “Et avec ceci ?” ou “Et avec ça?” equally.
      Yes absolutely: the customer will say “Voila” or “Tenez”.

      There is no “true” or “real” answer. It depends on the person speaking.

      A personal recommendation would be “Je vais vous prendre” something.
      It is VERY French.

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