How to talk about your husband in French

Bonjour !

Ca va super ?

Do you have a boyfriend? a partner? A husband? A wife?
Whether he’s (or SHE) French or not, it’s kind of useful to be able to include him in the conversation.

In English, you use “my husband” or “Michael”. But in French, you hear your friends using lots of other words.

How to use them without sounding vulgar? Is it ok for couples married? Or not married? Will you sound like a teenager with some of them? So many questions!

Here are your answers, with explanations. So you can use them. I’ll quickly cover women as well. (hi guys!)

Click to watch « How to talk about your husband in French »:

What about you?
What words do you use to talk about your partner in French?
Tell me in the comments how you talk about him depending on the situation: your neighbour, your friends…

Tell me in the comments how it went. Share your story so we can discuss in the comment area below the video.

If you are not yet a member, click to join the community on Comme une Franç and leave your email to receive my weekly video tips to master unwritten society rules and speak Real-life French. It’s free!


PS: Do you have burning questions you can’t solve in France? You can now hire me for private consulting by going here.

Join the conversation!

  • I was out to a restaurant recently with a female friend. She went to the toilet and the waiter came to take our order, so I told him that I wanted to wait until my friend got back from the toilet. In this situation, I said, “Ma copine est allée aux toilettes. Je veux l’attendre,” or something like that. Does this seem to imply that we’re in a romantic relationship? It didn’t seem right to say “une copine,” because she had already arrived and he had seen her as we were seated. I was just waiting for her to come back. If it does imply this, how would you say it better? (Not that it matters if the waiter thought she was my girlfriend, but it made me realize that I want to understand the implication of what I’m saying…)

    • Bonjour Dana,

      I would simply say: “Je voudrais/vais attendre que mon amie revienne (des toilettes) avant de commander.”

      Comme une Française Team

  • Hello!
    I’m wondering how common it is in French to use such words of endearment between friends? I’m from a country where all such words all reserved for the special someone, not your friends. My boyfriend however is french and I often see girls writing him messages with lines such as: bisous bisous mon chou etc. It really bothers me since I would never say anyhing like this to a guy in my language but he simply shrugges his shoulders when I comment on it. Is it really that common in French to talk like this between even not so close friends (classmates etc)?

    Thanks x

  • Salut, Geraldine !

    J’adore ce site, ça m’aide bcp ! Merci à vous ! Vous êtes vraiment adorable 😉
    Ce vidéo est chouette, mais j’ai une question : les français utilisent-ils le mot “un petit ami” ou bien “une petite amie” comme “boyfriend” ou “girlfriend”?

    Merci encore une fois 🙂

  • When talking to other people about one another, my french boyfriend and I strictly use ma copine/mon copain (we’re young) but when talking to me, he pretty much makes anything into a nickname… mon ptit cassoulet, mon ptit citron, but usually mon amour or mon coeur. I find it funny and kinda cute that the french have such random/silly nicknames! But I loved this post…although his english is great I try to speak to him in french as much as I can. Your posts really help give me the confidence to do so!

    • Bonjour Katrina,

      Glad it helps!

      For more nicknames, check out the song “les mots d’amour” by Benabar. 🙂

  • Is it possible that a son (33 years) uses the expression “gris bosous mon amour”in a text message sent to his mother? Please let me know. Thanks

    • Hi Helene,

      “Gros bisous mon amour” contains “Mon amour” so it’s only for your husband/wife/partner.

      “Gros bisous” is ok for any relative.

  • My website is still under construction but will be up soon
    I very much want to speak French as we go twice a year to visit in our camping car

  • I remember I read once in a book that someone called his girlfriend “mon petit haricot vert” though I think it was a term of endearment. I have also heard a phrase “mon chou chou”, but I don’t know if it is used much for people. Thank you for your lovely site and style!

    • Hi Valeria,

      Thanks for sharing!

      In French as in many other language, affectionate names can be anything. 😀 “Mon chou” / “Mon chouchou” / “Mon coeur” / “Mon amour”… etc, are mostly used from one partner to the other so I didn’t cover them in this video. Maybe one day!

  • I tend to stick with mon copain. I’ve been told I should say mon petit ami, but you had better believe I would never call him “my little friend.”

    • Hi Joy,
      Mon copain is absolutely fine. Always use what suits you best, you are right.

      To go a little bit further: I understand the translation of “petit” might sound strange to you. But always keep in mind that in French, petit/grand/gros carry much more than just a size appreciation. “Petit” is very affectionate and implies simplicity like in “Une petite robe”. “Une petite robe” doesn’t mean “a small dress”, it has a implied meaning of “a dress I consider easy to wear and I feel cute in it”. For example, “Une petite robe” can be a black very sophisticated Chanel one! 🙂

  • Merci Géraldine, thank you for explaining the nuances behind all the different terms as it can be hard to know what connotations the words have. I have a question about “mon petit ami / ma petite amie” – I remember learning this at school as an alternative to “mon copain / ma copine”. Is it very old-fashioned now?
    Bonne journée!

    • Hi Sue,

      Mon petit-ami is nice to hear but a little old-fashion. 🙂
      It’s a word parents/grandparents could use for their children when they are still young. Such as “petit copain”.
      It’s cute but weird after 12! (Unless the use is deliberate of course)

  • Get My Weekly Lessons

    In Your Inbox

    Join the 30,000+ French learners who get my premium spoken French lessons for free every week!

    Share this post!


    Download this lesson as a PDF!

    Please enter your name and email address to get the lesson as a free PDF!