10 ways to say “Oui” or “Yes” in French

Bonjour !

Ca va? La forme?

Sometimes, when I record Comme une Française TV episode, I’m frustrated because I realise my English vocabulary is very limited. It makes my speech weaker as I can’t express nuances.

A bit like trying to paint La Joconde with your fingers…

You know this feeling of being like a 5 year old when you speak?
In English, when asked a question, you can answer yes, no… And everything that’s in the middle : Yes I’d love to. Not really. No way…
But in French, you lack these shades.

ARGH. SO frustrating. I feel this in English so I imagine you do too, in French.
Do you?

Want to have your own toolbox of « oui »?
Want to be say « Yes indeed » and « Oh yeah » in French?
Want to agree politely with your boss in French and enthusiastically to a friend?

Click to watch « 10 kinds of Oui »:

What about you?
What nuances do you miss when you speak French?
Do you also feel like a 5 year old? What kind of vocabulary do you want to master in French?

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 Française.com and leave your email to receive my weekly video tips to master unwritten society rules and speak Real-life French. It’s free!


Join the conversation!

  • Really enjoyed my first video. It manages to be both informative and entertaining which isn’t always easy. Helps to make speaking French more spontaneous & less stilted.

  • Hi
    It is very useful, especially as I was taught languages very formally in school (a long time ago). I read French quite well but have great difficulty understanding the spoken word. Everybody speaks so rapidly.
    However, I can’t download the videos. I have an IPad and very good WiFi.

    • Glenn – Are you still having audio issues on this video? We haven’t changed anything here recently and it’s playing fine on my machine. Let us know – thanks!

      Colin @ CUF

  • Just a thought……the word ‘Volontier’ might be better translated as ‘Gratefully’. It seems to fit better than the other words… “Would you like another piece of pie?” – “Volontier!”

  • Merci beaucoup Geraldine… (without Google translate thats about as far as I can get… lol). Your lessons are exactly what I need… living in the countryside of France its often the nuances that make a difference. We are lucky that the village in which we live and the surrounding area are very inclusive and very patient. I am sure that I must sound like the policeman character in ‘allo ‘allo… I look forward to future lessons…

  • Im pretty basic with my French. (certainly not upto a comment in French.. yet!) I did 3 years french at school over 50 years ago, none since …but retired and back eager to learn more. I love the language. I have been doing duolingo off n on for couple years… its been OK but doesnt explain anything really. so I have been stuck on the future tenses. I found your ” clips “by chance and sat for several hours listening and making notes. THANK YOU I now understand a lot more and I have a better idea of the french accent. I do find that the French speak very fast….Im pleased you repeat everything slower after the first take.!! Im looking forward to your lessons. cheers Rose in Australia

  • I have been studying French every dday for 2 years, and will be in France for a few days in June. I have just attended my first French conversation session – I was too scared before – and now I’ve discovered Comme Une Française. What a treat!
    Watching this Oui video I have realised that I’ve come across all the choices (‘carrément’ only in the last few days) but hadn’t grouped them as alternatives for ‘oui’. Thank you

  • I have not studied French before so I need to practice pronunciation. I can understand the written words from having studied Spanish. But hearing them and speaking them is a challenge!

  • Great video I will try very hard to learn to speak french can you surjest any good books to read for beginners level

  • Merci Geraldine. J’ai vu la video et J’aime beaucoup, but I am glad you slowed down a little also. Je n’ai pas parler en francais depuis beaucoup des annes. Je m’en oublier beaucoup.

  • Une des phrases que j’ai appris en regardant la serie de Netflix, Plan Coeur (que j’adore), c’est carrement. Je l’utilise souvent maintenant. J’aime beaucoup ces videos, Geraldine.

  • Bonjour Geraldine! Thankyou so much for these videos. Looking forward to learning more about the French people and how to communicate effectively. Merci! Merci!

  • Merci Géraldine! Tes petits leçons sont très utiles. Il me plait beaucoup de les suivre. Peter de Vermont

    • I’m so happy to have “discovered” Geraldine! Merci!! By the way, Peter Brink, do you have a brother, David, who graduated Hobart? That David Brink was my good friend back in the day. If another P.B., best wishes, too!

  • Merci beaucoup Geraldine . I am so happy with comme une française. I totally look forward to deep diving into French.with you and Comme une française. A bientôt.

  • 30 août 2022

    Merci beaucoup Géraldine ! J’étais étudiante en français à l’université et, à l’été 1967, j’ai travaillé pour le Groupe Printemps Prisunic, à Paris. Quelle expérience fantastique ! À la fin de l’été, alors que je cherchais des cadeaux à rapporter à New York, plusieurs employés de magasin m’ont demandé d’où je venais. Je leur ai dit que je venais des États-Unis. Et quel frisson c’était quand chacune de ces personnes a dit : “Non, de quelle partie de la France êtes-vous ?!” OMG, c’était probablement le moment le plus fier de mes 20 ans ! Je savais que je l’avais cloué quand je me suis retrouvé à PENSER en français ! Avance rapide de 55 ans. Aujourd’hui j’ai 75 ans et j’ai décidé de “réapprendre” la langue que je n’ai jamais cessé d’aimer ! J’étudie le programme French Pod 101 ainsi que le programme French4Me. Mon triste manque de neuroplasticité est maintenant une frustration constante ! Et maintenant, je vous ai “découvert” ! Vous êtes un enseignant doué et je voulais vous remercier pour vos nombreuses vidéos merveilleuses éducatives et DIVERTISSANTES ! Et merci de suggérer les émissions de télévision et les films français ! (Je voulais que “L’Agence” dure éternellement !) J’aime particulièrement les “infos culturelles de l’intérieur” que vous donnez ! C’est là que se trouve le “vrai langage” ! Vous êtes une source d’information extraordinaire, tant linguistique que culturelle, et je voulais juste vous féliciter et vous remercier pour votre beau travail ! *(Veuillez noter que j’ai triché et que je n’ai pas rédigé ce message par moi-même. C’est encore bien au-delà de mes capacités. Mon bon ami, Google Translate, est gracieusement intervenu pour faire le travail.) Encore une fois, merci beaucoup d’avoir ouvert ce message vieux cerveau grinçant.

    • Un grand merci pour ton message, Angela.

      Bravo pour ton temps au Printemps, ça a été efficace pour ton français. Mais je suis sûre que tu avais travaillé dur pour atteindre ce niveau.

      Ravie que Comme une Française te convienne.

      Je suis contente de te compter parmi mes étudiantes.


  • Oui oui! Je sens comme j’avais seulement 5 ans quand j’essaye utiliser mon français dans un situation réelle! Par exemple, je suis allé un jour dans un restaurant à emporter au Québec. Contrairement à un restaurant où l’on s’assied et il y a du temps d’étudier le menu et de préparer la commande, le serveur me regardait, et m’attendait… et m’attendait… c’était énervant!!

    Merci pour les leçons!

  • Je suis heureuse d’apprendre que “carrement” signifie OUI, certainement. C’est un mot nouveu pour moi!

  • Bonjour Geraldine !
    Thank you for the lessons, it is very interesting. A small doubt, do we not use the expression ‘Si’ to express the meaning of ‘If’ ? Am i right, if so can you kindly explain to the relevance in using ‘Si’ for If as well.
    Bien Merci !

    • Bonjour Usha,

      Indeed, « si » in French can be used to mark an hypothesis. Here is an example:

      Demain, si tu veux, on ira au parc. –> The “si’ highlights there is a condition “si tu veux”, and then, the result will be “on ira au parc.”

      I hope this helps.

      Comme Une Française Team

  • You said you can answer “si” for a negative question. Does that mean only a negative question? and does that mean answering “si” means you do like it?
    Tu n’aimes pas les pates? You don’t like pasta?
    Si. I do (like pasta).
    We could use something like this in English and don’t have anything.
    My mom likes to throw out questions that have different answers.
    You’re not going to the store or are you going to the store?
    Did you go to work or are you not going today?
    I would be nice if we had one word like “Si.” meaning Yes, I am going to the store or Yes I did go to work…. We don’t. In English, we have to answer with a full sentence to answer the barrage of questions. 🙂

    • Bonjour Angela,

      That is exactly the case when “si” is used.

      Merci et bonne journée,

      Comme Une Française Team

  • A very useful expansion of an extraordinarily commonly encountered situation. Je l’ai trouve tres utile.
    Cependant, je n’ai pas encore pu utiliser “Alt + 0233 pour e aigue – desole!

    • Try: [alt]+130 for é; [alt]+138 for è.
      If this works, here are a few common ones: [alt]+
      133 à; 132 ä; 135 ç; 136 ê, 140 î; 147 ô; 131 â; 150 û; 151 ù. So – « désolé » has two 130s.
      (174 … 175 gives « … » )
      This is on Windows, not Mac.
      I do have a complete list including caps, but as I’m new here I’m not sure how to drop it in. (It’s in a Word doc.)

  • Funny, In dutch means oui oui (ja ja) most of the time: if you say so or I didn’t
    Did you clean your room? Oui oui (= not)

  • Salut a tout le monde,
    J’ai l’impression d’avoir 2 ans quand j’essaye de compredre le francais. Quand j’ai envie d’ecrire c’est pas si mal. Je t’aime lecon sur les facons de dire oui en francais. Je me sens plus en confiance maintenant pour dire oui en francais.
    Merci beaucoup,
    Norma Vargas

  • Imagine, I used to live in France but it’s amazing how much you can lose when you don’t use the language every day. Your videos are engaging and I look forward to revising with Comme une française.

  • I really like your lecture but you are very fast in it at times it is difficult but I will improve with time

  • Merci beaucoup, Geraldine. Moi, j’aime ton explication, très utile! Je pense que je profiterai beaucoup de tes cours. Je suis étudiante à Alliance Française ici en Australie, c’est un cours en ligne parce que j’habite a la campagne, mais plus je peux étudier, mieux c’est.

  • Bonjour Geraldine,
    I love this first lesson very much! I cannot wait for the other ones. I just wish I knew about you years ago, when I started learning French. But I will take it from the beginning and will order your first course. Even though I have been learning French for years, I am not able to speak or understand French at all, beyond “bonjour” or “merci”. I could read a bit but a conversation in French is a missing link for me.

  • Geraldine, how terrifically helpful! Such a simple lesson, yet immensely useful. I really appreciate your effort. Thank you so much ! I wish I could visit France this summer to practice.

  • Bonjour Géraldine. Ma première leçon de langue française a commencé aujourd’hui. J’ai eu une leçon pour la dernière fois à l’école il y a plus de 55 ans. J’ai trouvé votre leçon délicieuse et très utile pour réveiller mon cerveau endormi. M. Google est chargé de m’aider à m’exprimer, je suis donc certain qu’il y aura de nombreuses erreurs.

    Veuillez accepter mes excuses. Le français semble toujours si fluide et beau à mon oreille et j’adore visiter la France pour goûter à la nourriture et à la culture chaque fois que je le peux. J’attends vos instructions avec impatience et j’espère pouvoir paraître intelligent en français. À bientôt.

    • Bravo Jeff !

      Continuez à apprendre, bon courage !

      Une excellente journée,

      – Arthur, writer for Comme une Française

  • Bonjour Géraldine! J’ai trouvé votre première leçon vidéo très utile et intéressante.

    I will be eagerly looking forward to the rest of the lessons in your helpful series.

    Merci beaucoup!

    Alastair (Melbourne, Australia)

  • Merci,Geraldine.C’etait tres Bon,le video.Il est difficile de trouver des lecons pratical comme vous donner.Je suis tres contente maintenant.
    I am sure I have made some mistakes here,but you are giving me the confidence to express myself in French.Would appreciate feedback and corrections.Thanks again

  • I have been practicing my French while watching these short videos and I find them easy to follow and right to the point and with my 10day every day French crash course emails I can go back and forth to learn anything I may have missed so I have been finding the course to be of great help to myself in my French learning and I have been working very hard to overcome any obstacle s so a big thank you or I mean merci beaucoup

  • À propos de votre entretien avec Mme Geri Metz, elle a qualifié la langue française d’ennuyeuse. Je pense qu’elle avait tort, chaque mot en français est en soi musical et la combinaison de l’alphabet. Ch, G, OI etc. par exemple, Parapluie, Chaleur, Oiseau etc. Vous pouvez même le jouer avec un instrument de musique. Ou même en ajoutant juste pour améliorer le son. Où va-t-on?

  • I like the content of conversation but she speaks too feast to grasp the words. I need the repetition as well. The suggestion of when used are great. Thanks.

  • I think you are a born teacher, passionate about what you do. So very happy to have discovered
    you. Each morning, I look forward to two things, your wonderful videos and my cafe au lait.
    Next time I will write in French. From a senior who really appreciates your teaching.

  • I loved my first class Geraldine. I studied French many years ago in school and college and am trying to learn again as it is such a beautiful language. Thanks for making it fun! Merci!!

  • I´m really enjoying this. I live in Spain, so mostly speak Spanish, but used to be good at French when I was younger and would like to understand as much as possible. I´m also working, and learning Dutch, but will fit in some French as well. It´s a lovely language.

  • Thank you for my first lesson! I used to live in France – the Gers for many years and am worrying that my french is starting to stumble when I phone my french friends, so this refresher course is perfect, although being an “oldie” saying ouiap to my aged friends might be a step too far!

    • Use whatever suits you personally has always worked for me. I´m probably even older but love languages and refuse to stop learning.

  • Thank you so much for this video Geraldine! My dad speaks french and I really like the way it sounds when people speak in french so that inspired me to learn it

  • Thank you so much for this Geraldine! I would like so much to meet my cousins in Quebec and see where my Mom grew up in Montreal. This is going to open that door for me!

  • Salut géraldine, j’ai aimé beaucoup ce que vous avez dit à propos de ” oui”.
    Votre explication est très intéressant.

  • C’est phenomenal! J’adore ces videos, j’avait besoin de quelleque chose comme ça, ces sont pour moi tres utiles et j’essayerai de les ’employer la prochaine fois je nous voyageons à Paris. Merci, merci beaucoup!

  • Great. Merci beaucoup. I have just joined. J’etudie les francais.. on Duolingo and been at it for 256 days. Au revoir, a demain.

  • Thanks for the opportunity to refresh my French. Your methodology is very good and I therefore hope to become fluent in the shortest possible time.

  • Hi Geraldine! I wanted to thank you for the free videos they are really helpfull, in the other hand sometimes I have a hard time trying to follow you becouse you speak so fast in french. send you a hug!!

    • Hi Andrea!

      Send an email as a reply to a Comme une Française email, you’ll get an answer from the wonderful Jen on our support team. She’ll be able to help you (though she might be on a holiday this week).

      Have a great day,
      – Arthur, writer for Comme une Française

  • Merci , je ne parle pas francais !! Je apprende un beu
    I hope i wrote that in correct way !! Thx again

  • ” Un ciné, ça te dit ? ” : Ça est trop idiomatique pour moi. I might broadly translate this as ” A movie, what say you ?, ” but the subtitle said ” Do you fancy going to the cinema ? “

    • Carrément 🙂

      It’s a little bit colloquial. We also use “Absolument” as a (little bit more) formal synonym.

      Have a great day,
      – Arthur, writer for Comme une Française

  • Bonjour mon professeur je ne parle pas français. You will have to forgive me for writing in English. I had taken up an interest in learning French at the start of the UK lockdown. I switched my phone and sat nav in my car to French listening to French music some good some not so good sorry. I had looked over the YouTube channel and found you on there. I am getting okay at reading some French and found a French Singer called Joe Dassin trying to learn songs in French is a challenge. I love learning new things and I am definitely determined to learn French. My ambition is to be fluent in French before I holiday there in 12 months time is this possible if I study for two hours a day seven days a week? I really hope so wish me bon chance 😉.

    • Good luck!

      Use flash cards, tests and practice 🙂

      (We’ll soon open a program that you might find especially interesting, with one-on-one practice; keep your eyes peeled!)

      – Arthur, writer for Comme une Française

  • Si j’aimerais de tarte, oui s’il vous plait.
    Désolé je n’ai pas de clavier français pour les accents.

  • Bonjour, Geraldine et merci beaucoup! On this first lesson the audio is only coming through on one side of my headphones. I thought they were the problem but when I went on to some of your other You Tube videos the total sound returned. Just an “fyi”. 🙂

  • C’etais un peu frustrant quand j’avais seulement les mots comme absoluement et certainment. Quelqu’un m’a dit que ce sont trop formals.

  • Plusieurs réponses à la question, “Tu ne veux pas de tarte?”
    1. Non, merci. J’ai bien mangé.
    2. Non, merci. Je n’ai plus faim. (Ou, j’ai plus faim.)
    3.Si, merci!
    C’est vraiment nécessaire de revoir les bases de temps en temps, quoi?

  • Your lessons and presentations are wonderful. My only concern is that it is sometimes difficult to understand, not because of the content, that is a different issue, lol, but it seems to be the quality of the microphone. It might be helpful to try a different method of amplification.
    Again, this is one of the best instruction methods I have found, thank you.

  • Je suis retraité et actuellement confiné a la maison grâce au virus. D’habitude je passe pas mal de temps chaque annee en France, mais pas possible de nos jours- c’est donc un plaisir de m’occuper de ces clips et de garder au courant mon francais.

  • Pardon. Tu ne veux pas de Tarte? Si. 👍 My laptop keeps automatically changing my spelling. These tips are so helpful. Merci Geraldine.

  • From now on, I try to say “ evidament” or “voulantiers” instead of “oui” which may be small start to speak French better.

    • That’s much more elegant, yes ! 🙂

      “Évidemment” (pronounced “évidamen”) means “Of course / Obviously.”
      “Volontiers” means “With pleasure / I’d be happy to.”

      Have a great day,

      – Arthur, writer for Comme une Française

  • Ca t’a plu? Carrement! Ouaip! Bien sur.. evidemment. D’accord? Tu es une bonne enseignante – Geraldine. Merci!

  • Merci Géraldine! Cette vidéo a été très utile car je me sens vraiment comme un enfant de 5 ans quand je parle. Merci encore!

  • Bonjour Géraldine; merci à tes explications du OUI. Tu as super.
    A la porchain fois, salute.

  • Bonjour Geraldine et merçi pour les leçons! Je veux parler et comprendre le français que puis j’ais 12 ans. Maintenant, j’ais 60 ans, et je ne peux pas parler très bien en conversation. J’ais été une chanteuse classique et j’aime chanter les mélodies de Ravel et Debussy. Je chante et comprend ces poêmes de cette musique, mais je ne peux pas parler avec les personnes françaises. J’espere apres votre course je peux parler et comprend bien le françaises. Merçi beaucoup, à demain!
    Connie Devivic

  • Bonjour Geraldine, Je voudrais apprendre les “subleties” de subjunctive et aussi le utilisation de renverser les pronouns i.e pourquoi on dit “semblait-t-il” dans la parole mais il semble quand on ecrit. Merci!

  • Hi again Géraldine,
    The resond was due to an old version of iOS on my ipad
    I can watch and hear it from my phone now , thanks !
    Merci boko 🙂

  • Bonjour Géraldine,
    I thought ‘évidemment’ meant ‘obviously’ and could have a slightly sneering connotation. For example, if someone asks if you are watching television when they can clearly see that’s what you are doing, the answer might be, ‘évidemment’.

  • I tend to use “exactement” or its abbreviation “exact” – I don’t remember why I started saying that! Is that a word that is regularly used?

    • Bonjour Stuart,
      Exactement and exact are 2 existing words. “Exact” is not an abbreviation.
      On their own:
      exact = true
      exactement = precisely
      They have roughly the same meaning but they’re a little bit different.

  • J’aime bien le réponse ‘Si’ ! En Angleterre, les questions négatifs sont difficile à répondre avec clarité si on dit ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Je souhaite que nous ayons ‘si’ en Anglais!

  • Il y a aussi une autre expression util dans cette video: “Toujours partante”. Est-ce que on peut dire,
    Toujours partante pour ce soir? Are we still on for tonight?
    Toujours partante pour aller au cinema? Are we still going to the movies/the theater? Still up for seeing a movie?
    Est-ce que on peut l’utiliser pour une confirmation d’une activite?

    Merci Geraldine!

  • Quand je parle français, je suis plus comme une « femme de cave « (cave woman), mais je ne vais pas se rendre! Mon amie m’a dit de vous dénier semaine. Merci pour l’opportunité.

  • Surtout, vous avez l’air fantastique …!!!
    Votre maquillage est si bon pour vous …!!!
    Merci pour cette superbe vidéo.
    Les traductions en anglais ne sont pas exactement exactes …:)
    Cela n’a pas d’importance …:)
    M E R C I

  • J’ai trouvé cet video tres util. Je espère que ce que je écrit, ce correct.
    Comment dit Soprano dan vos chanson Géraldine
    “Grâce a vous, je me suis réanimé” pour apprendre le français par ce vos vidéos sont pragmatiques. Carrément !

  • Laissez-moi voir si je pouvez rejoin ici. Je suis un jamaicain et je veux apprendre et amelorie mon français but its so hard as i often get ignored when i try to join french learning sites or the like
    So let me see if this one is the same or it will be a better experience

  • I feel silly when I can’t express any more than yes or no in French, I use oui ou non enthusiastically to give the nuance, which I’ve learned to do living here, but it’s the added opinion/explanation that I get stuck at.

  • I get brain freeze..It’s very frustrating. If you say something in French and someone lights up and responds I can’t hear them. It’s a sudden shock. I want to get over this dilemma.

  • Thank you Géraldine. Enjoyed that run through of oui alternatives which often escape me in the heat of the moment. Just need to get using them!

  • Merci bien, Geraldine! J’aime beaucoup beaucoup la langue française, mais quand j’écoute des français, ca marche trop vite pour moi de comprendre ! Votre leçons sont très utile pur ça. Merci encore !

  • Thanks very much Geraldine. Your emphasis on native speaker language is fascinating for me. Although I speak French fluently and lived in a French-speaking country for 10 years, my husband tells me that I sometimes sound like a book.

  • Mille Mercis Géraldine-
    Ce qui me dérange le plus est que je dois prendre le temps de réfléchir avant de répondre. La spontanéité est perdue!

  • Carrément!! Feeling like a 5 year old when I am speaking French is totally EXACTLY how I feel, and exactly how I have always described it to others! It’s been 10 years since I last spoke any French and although I can still understand written French, I can’t remember how to speak it any more (I’ve been learning Italian for the last 2 years!) – I think your videos etc will be super helpful for this and I am looking forward to the next ones. Thank you!

  • I’m just starting, an absolute beginner (debutant?) so, I decided French as my third language. Knowing what makes you feel better and motivated learning a new language, your lessons are exactly what is needed… Thanks for existing!!! Love and abundance for you.

  • Merci Geraldine, I’m nearly 70 and I’m coming back to French after 30 years or more of not using it. At its best it was schoolboy French with bits I’d picked up from holidaying there, so I’m really looking forward to improving it. as with many who learned the way I did, my French reading is way in front of my speaking ability.
    I work in tourism now, at a top UK site, York Minster, and would like to be able to converse with our French visitors in their language, rather than relying on their English, or even worse, their bad English & my mangled French! 🙂

  • Salute Géraldine, I am so glad I discovered your program. I have been trying to learn French off and on for almost 30 years. I first began in Paris by attending Alliance Française, but quit when my teacher told me I had “le cerveau dun oiseau.” I recently began again (at Alliance Française de Los Angeles) with a young woman who has been very supportive during our 1-1/2 hrs private class. I have made good progress with my reading and writing skills. However, even though we have tried to do some role-play during our sessions, speaking is my stumbling block.
    By the way I am 72 years old. My brother has lived in France for nearly 50 years, and his sons speak English better than he. But I now have a grand-niece on the way and since I am retired I would like to spend more time in France getting to know that branch of the family. And knowing French seems the most delightful way to do that.
    I am hopeful that joining your community will lead me in the right direction. You seem to be so very positive and supportive in your approach. Thank you for being there.

  • Bonjour Géraldine, j’espère que tu vas bien. Merci pour l’opportunité de améliorer ma française par moyen de cette leçon simple. Je suis très content. Je commence apprendre la langue française depuis cinq ans mais, c’est difficile de parler. Cette leçon chaque semaine est bon pour moi. Merci encore. Juliet.

  • Bonjour Géraldine, j’espère que tu vas bien.
    Tu ne veux pas de tarte…mais si, j’en aime, salée ou sucre !
    Merci pour votre leçon 1et la vidéo.
    A bientôt Julia

  • Merci Geraldine, I have always loved “the sound” of French. When for instance watching tv5monde . I like to guess what is said. But I am mostly, more or less at a loss when trying to engage in conversation in Paris. I kind of know what I am saying, but it is a bit of rag tag bunch of words. The spirit of conversation was enjoyed by all, like you said about engaging French people in French. But I now kind of have a chance with the feel and nuance you bring to the table. . . Fred

  • Bonjour Géraldine,
    I live in New Hampshire, United States. I spent a lot of time in Quebec, in the L’Estrie, between 2001 and 2015. I even took French lessons over the first 2-3 years. I had no trouble learning to read French and prononce it, but to actually have a conversation was impossible. I was fortunate (or unfortunate, depending how you look at it!) to make friends with English speakers.
    I grew up in Finland but have lived here in the USA for a very long time.
    Over my lifetime I have studied several foreign languages and found French the most difficult. I had almost given up ever been able to understand French speakers when I came upon your charming lessons quite by accident on YouTube. You have given me new hope! I’m very excited, because, did I mention, I always wanted to learn French. It was, like we say, on my bucket list.
    Merci beaucoup, Géraldine! I look forward to improving my French with you!

  • Bonjour Geraldine,
    I am just beginning your ‘Beginner’s’ class. This was an interesting video, BUT, it went by to quickly for me to formulate and connect the sounds to the words themselves. Perhaps speaking slower and giving us the chance to speak aloud the words and sentences as you go along ? Unfortunately, I have no one to share with who knows French. So, I must learn on my own … with you.
    By the way, you mentioned you were experimenting with make up during this time. For what it is worth. I happen to like the way you look in this video. It is a soft look, and lovely for your face.
    I must get back to my lesson now! Au revoir.
    Terry … [email protected]

    • A tip: if you need a youtube video to be slower, you can go to “settings” (the gear icon) and adjust the speed anywhere from 0.25 to 2x — this way, initially you can hear the dialog slowly and once you’ve watched a video numerous times, increase it to whatever pace you want.

  • En suèdois, il y a un mot exactement le même comme 《si》, “no”.

    “Vill du inte ha kaffe?”

    “Don’t you want coffee?”
    “Yes, I do!”

  • Yes, feel like a 5 year old! I want to learn the basics building blocks of every day conversation.
    Love your lessons – so clear, concise and always fun!

  • This is me starting on your 10 lessons (having stumbled across you looking on google for how to wish someone ‘get better soon’). I looked at this at breakfast time, and my husband joined in, and now we are saying ‘yes’ in French to each other, such fun! Thank you!

  • Thank you, Geraldine. I am just getting started on your 10 free lessons. “Tout a fait” equals “en effet”? I always thought it meant “all done”. I want to write the DELF A2 exam in April and I know I will learn a lot from you.

  • Does évidemment have the same connotation in French that evidently and obviously have in English? (A bit negative, as if the person asking the question should have already known the answer) I don’t hear it often, excepting the song🙂. And I’ve been afraid to use it for fear of offending.

  • For me, the best example of using the expressive “SI” is on 22:46 in Episode 6 of French Extra. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePwwpjNXHyM) The boys say, “Oh, non!” and the girls answer, “Oh, si!” By the way, on 8:07 of the same video there is a good example of the “plus” negation. Sasha says, ” Plus travaille, plus de patrons” (No more work, no more shefs.)
    Oh Geraldine, it is so interesting to find video illustrations to your teaching!

  • Geraldine veux tu m’epouser? Je suis tellement heureux de vous rencontrer, je adore tout – tes leçons, tes videos, ton style. Comment nous disons en anglais: keep it coming, s’il vous plait : )

  • Oh Géraldine I am not so smart. Had I read your text fully before watching the video I would have had my answer. Thank you!!!!!

    7. “Si !”

    “Si” is a special word for the French language. It doesn’t really exist in English.

    It’s used to answer a negative question or sentence, and to flip the assumption towards positivity. To express “On the contrary, I do”.

    « Tu n’as pas fait la vaisselle ?
    – Si ! »

    “You didn’t wash the dishes?”
    “I did!”

    It’s logically useful! Without it, “Yes” and “No” would be ambiguous answers to negative questions. Does it mean “Yes you’re right I didn’t do the dishes” ? Or “No you’re wrong I did do the dishes” ? Well, French “Si” is the lexical answer to this problem.

  • Hi Géraldine! You brought up a topic that I, as a native speaker of English, never know how to answer in English – a negative question. For me I can not simply answer with a yes or a no. “You don’t like pasta?” If I just say “no” does that mean I do like pasta? Or if I answer “yes” does that mean “Yes. I don’t like pasta?” So I usually always further define my answer with “No, I like pasta” or “Yes, that is correct. I don’t like pasta.” I am guessing that “Si” to a negative question in French means “Yes, I do like pasta.” Am I understanding this correctly? I still don’t know the correct answer in my own tongue. 😉

    • Salut Jim
      The answer can be both yes or no it is tricky. Remember the rule…. negative is to positive.
      In the case of “you don’t like pasta”??? Is a question of surprise. One might suggest or exclaim they do not like a particular pasta dish, the other person is surprised and would then ask the negative question.. Don’t you like pasta.. or you don’t like pasta??? The reply is then turned to a positive by a reply of yes, I like pasta (but I don’t like this… ) to explain more clearly. Or no, I don’t like pasta. Which is an indefinite positive response.
      Or you can have fun with this and answer yes or no to confuse the person. It is ambiguous.
      I do hope this was helpful.

  • Thank You Geraldine for your presentation. I am starting to catch up on the french that I learned a few years back. Your written and audio-video series is a perfect complement to what I already know. Merci beaucoup!

  • Thank you, yes, it is difficult speaking french. My mind often goes blanc and not a singel word comes to my mind! Terrible! The vocabulary I want to master must be polite, so politeness is good. ”Avec plaisir” when being offered drinks or food seems even nicer than ”Oui, merci”! – Yes?

  • Ouaip! I feel like a big dummy when I try to put my thoughts into french. I like your instructions. Merci beaucoup, je me sens déjà mieux

  • Bonjour Geraldine
    I learned French at school many years ago and wanted to refresh – I took a course locally but there is nobody in my neighbourhood who speaks French except the instructor. I have just discovered your site and already I am happy to say that even though I may have to hold a conversation with the walls – I am improving my conversational French – it doesn’t sound like I am talking from a grammar book ! Merci beaucoup a toi

  • In three months’ time my son will marry a French girl, and the wedding is in Cape Town. I am panicking because the parents don’t speak English, and my French is book-ish and inadequate. It seems I am to be the designated interpreter/interface. Your lessons are a lifeline. What about perhaps a topic on tour guide stuff.. like: “Would you like to take a bus tour? Do you need an ATM or a bank to draw cash? Shall we take a break for a snack? What kind of food would you like to have? Let’s go to the beach to watch the windsurfers…” oooo my panic meter just went up a few notches

    • Bonjour Rosalie,
      Thank you for your message.
      First, don’t panic. They’ll be delighted to visit Cape Town. And happy to meet you.
      And they’re French. If they need something, they’ll ask for it. 🙂
      My best advice is to buy a conversation phrasebook, highlight the phrases you think you’ll need. So that you can say or show them.
      You can buy them one too. So that they can show you (or say) the words/phrases they’ll need as well. That’s a lovely thoughtful present.
      Your French will be more than perfect to show them your country. They’ll be impressed. Don’t worry about it being “too book-ish”, it won’t matter a bit.
      Good luck and feel free to ask me any question. I got an Episode on weddings that might be useful for you.

  • This is so very helpful, Geraldine, and your teaching method is brilliant! My problem is ‘small talk’ with people.

  • A great help. I can speak a little French, but it is all textbook french and I am shy when I speak. I look forward to more.

  • je m’apple Rafee je vians d’afghanistan merci de vous beacoup quest ce quest ca vout dire less expression.
    1- Ca me gave
    2- quelles nouvelles
    3-la p^eche
    4-ca Boume
    5- Ca Gaze

  • Hi Geraldine,
    Numero 11.
    Quand je regarde le Journal a la tele, le presentateur dans le studio parle du situation ou se trouve le reporteur.
    Le reporteur reponderais souvent, “Effectivement” pour dire Oui vous avez raison.

  • Merci beaucoup Geraldine! J’ai passé trois mois en Alsace et tout le temps j’ai parlé comme un enfant de cinq ans!!! Je aimerais votre aide avant! Robyn

  • Très bien Geraldine; j’ aime bien votre maquillage et le lecon étais très bien aussi: Je suis heureuse trouver votre website ‘Commeunefrancaise’ J’en réjouis étudier avec vous:
    merci beaucoup mon amie nouveau:

  • I often hear something like ‘bah ouai’ or ‘beh ouai’ which I guess means something like ‘yeah, sure’. I live in Pays du Loire where the French is meant to amongst the most pure in France!

    • Bonjour John,
      Thank you for your message. The “purity” of French is more of a cliché than a truth.
      It’s normal for the French language to evolve, even in le Pays de Loire ! 🙂

  • Thanks! These tips are helping to improve my confidence. I personally prefer the exclamation or interjection “Mais Oui” to mean “Sure!” or “Of course!” in place of “Bien sûr.”

    However, I sense that depending on the tone in which it is said, it could carry a sense of the “irritated YES!”

    Qu’est-ce que tu dit de ça, Géraldine?

  • Bonjour Geraldine ! Je vous remercie pour cette leçon ! Alors, ma rèponse à votre question «Tu ne veux pas de tarte ?», c’est «Si, merci !».

  • Just watched the really interesting ‘Yes in French’. Saying ‘yeah yeah’ in English is usually a brush off way of giving the expected yes response to a question but conveying a disinterest in doing it.. Maybe not even doing it. “Will you take the rubbish out later?”, “Yeah yeah”. Does this translate in the same way with ‘Ouias Ouias’ or ‘Oui oui’? Just curious ????

    • Hi Charlotte, I have the same problem and I think the best solution is to find a french conversation group in your area. check out Next Door or even Meet up to find one near you. 🙂

  • Thx a lot. Yes, I agree with Thomas below that your very useful summing up has an audio problem – Only one of my headphones caught your excellent messages. Bonne Noel

  • Merci Géraldine. Lamentablement, le audio ne funcione pas ni dans votre blog ni dans You Tube. S’il vous plaît laissez-moi savoir s’il y a un moyen d’écouter cette

  • Bonjour Géraldine, I’m so happy I joined. I love your delivery (style). Your passion for your subject clearly comes through. I look forward to more of your cool and useful French.

  • Ok so I am precocious and feel 4.5 years old. The speed of conversation leaves me “in the dust,” an English idiom that expresse the sense that everyone else is racing ahead. Ok I know learning isn’t a competition but it still feels like incompetence.

    • Bonjour Sam,

      It’s normal to struggle, please don’t worry about that. Your French will improve step by step, at your own pace.
      I recommend you set yourself a goal. Knowing why you want to learn French and what you want to achieve with it is fundamental.

  • Thank you for the video; it was incredibly helpful. When it comes to speaking French, I lack confidence so listening to your pronunciation in these videos is a big plus!

  • This episode was my first experience with your website. Je am very very beginner at apprendre française. I vraiment liked your style. As a turkish origin person the pronounciation of french afraids me. Mais i am decided i will learn your beatiful language.
    Your video was very helpful for me as a starting point. I mean “volontiers”. Thank you Geraldine.

  • This video is so helpful to expand one’s vocabulary. Merci!

    Sometimes I wish I could say more about how my day went or how so feel about it. I say « bien » or « ca va » or « ca va bien » but I’m not sure that covers it. – Lauri

  • When I can’t express myself, I start using a lot of hand gestures to illustrate what I cannot say. Its comical, I guess.

    • Sounds perfect, Paul! (I do the same. I had to mime “octopus” in a restaurant last year and the waiter laughed)

  • Bonne nuit Géraldine! Merci pour votre léçon. Je veux parler Francais comme ma grande-mère et je veux conner les dits des vie “everyday”.

  • Salut! J’mapelle Chad! I am still new to learning French. As an American I think Quois de neuf? translated as “What’s up?” Lacks the ability to tease (joke about) the idiom itself. For example, someone says “What’s up?” The proper responses are “What’s up?”, “Nothing much?” “I’m just chilling/relaxing” etc. A slightly more silly response is “The Sky” “The Ceiling” “That way!”(pointing upward!”, “The opposite of down.” etc. Saying “Quois de neuf” seems quite rote/conventional, but then again I’m sure there are some American English expressions that seem rote/conventional to a native French Speaker. I find in most languages idiomatic expressions contain the most nuanced variables.

    I definitely feel like a toddler with French, but that is to be expected when learning a new language.

    Another American English example is “kicked the bucket” (I.e. “to die.”) [[I think in Britain it’s can]]

    Person A: Did you hear that Michael Jackson kicked the bucket?
    Person B: Oh yeah? How far did he kick it?
    Person A: Six feet, six feet under (six feet is the most common legal regulation depth for burial plots in the USA.)

    Are there any French expressions you can tease the expression itself in a similar manner?

    Note: “Kicked the bucket.” is colloquial idomatic slang and certainly not appropriate in every situation (e.g Don’t use at a funeral. Just don’t. It’s not just bad taste..it’s just terrible and could be offensive.) This expression should only be used when the situation is relaxed, casual, jovial and totally informal.

    Are there any French idomatic expressions that you can joke with the expression itself?

  • Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you so much, However I amm
    having ifficulties with yourr RSS. I don’t know why I cannot join it.

    Is there anybody having the same RSS problems?
    Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond?

    • Bonjour Trish,

      On dit “Pas trop cuite”. 🙂
      “Pas bien cuite” means it’s not properly cooked.

  • C’est ma vie de française ! (which I am sure is wrong!!)
    I always feel, with my limited vocabulary, that people are waiting for me to expand upon my “oui”…. This vocabulary lesson was very
    helpful!!! One step to age 6.

  • I feel like 3 year old child.. I used to learn french, long time ago but now i only remember some words. Unfortunately not grammar. Now i started to learn it again, i try to do it every day. My boyfriend is french, we live in Kraków in Poland. And in one month we r going for holidays to his home place in Lorraine. Im extremely nervous about it 😀 I want say something to his parents and friends who dont speak english.
    I try to learn french as i did with english. By watching movies with french subtitles, listening french songs. I hope it will help me 😀
    I also spend a lot of time on your website, i love it !
    Thank you Geraldine !

  • Yes I feel like a, not so smart 5-year old, a lot of the time!
    Now that I am in France, I realize that all my listening to French radio has helped. I read magazines and understand a lot of what is written. But yes! The nuances in speaking French are hard to get.
    I try to speak French every day.
    In time I know it will help but right now I do feel like a oui!woman often! When I read about the other options, I do understand some of the nuances but using them is quite different!
    You are putting your finger on a obvious problem area Geraldine.
    You know because you were there!
    I do get some consolation out of that. Thanks!

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