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The Complete Guide to Introducing Yourself in French

When you meet a French speaker for the first time, it’s important to make a good first impression by properly introducing yourself in French - the locals will really appreciate it! So, without further ado here’s the complete guide to introducing yourself in French!

One phrase that you might need when meeting people is je me présente, meaning “let me introduce myself”. This is a nice introduction to your introduction.

Then, you can head into some French greetings.


Greetings, like with all conversations is how an introduction in the French language will start. A standard greeting that you can’t go wrong with is bonjour (good day). Though it translates to “good day” it is as universal as the English “hello.” Bonjour can also be used at most times of the day, and can in both formal and informal scenarios.

For more specific times of the day, you can say bon matin (good morning) or bonsoir (good evening). Bonne nuit (good night), however, is generally used to say goodbye when it’s late at night or when you’re heading to bed so best not to use this one as a greeting.

For a greeting not bound to any particular time of the day, you can use the trusted salut (hello). Lastly, if you’re talking to someone on the phone, it’s customary to answer with âllo (hello).


Your Name

If someone asks you for your name, they will say comment t’appelles-tu ? (What is your name?). This is the informal option. The formal version of this question is comment vous appelez-vous ? (What is your name?).

To answer this question, begin your sentence with je m’appelle… (I call myself…) and then say your name. You could also say je suis… (I am…) and then your name.

In return, it’s always polite to ask for the other person’s name. Remember to think about whether the formal or informal version of the question is more appropriate. Alternatively, you could simply ask et tu ? (and you?) for informal situations and et vous ? (and you?) for formal situations.

Your Basic Information

Now that you’ve got the pleasantries out of the way and your conversation partner knows you by name, it’s time for them to get to know you a little better. Sharing basic information is the first step to making French friends and acquaintances!

Where are you from?

The common questions you might get asked include d’où venez-vous ? (where are you from?), or the informal version d’où viens-tu ?. This question is generally asking for your country or region of origin, but it’s also appropriate to name a major city such as New York or London.To answer this question, you can say ** je viens de…** (I am from) followed by the name of the place.

You may also get asked où habitez-vous ? (where do you live?) or the informal version où habites-tu ?. You can answer the question by saying J’habite à… (I live in…) followed by the name of the city, town or village where you’re currently living.


What do you do?

Another common topic of conversation when getting to know eachother better is asking “what do you do for work?” In French, you can say quel est ton travail ? (what is your job?) or the more formal version quel est votre travail ? To answer, you can simply say je suis… (I am) followed by the name of your job or profession. Here are some common job titles in French:

Gérant/Gérante - Manager

Enseignant/Enseignante - Teacher

Infirmier/Infirmière - Nurse

Écrivain - Writer

Peintre - Painter

Boulanger/Boulangère - Baker

Coiffeur/Coiffeuse - Hairdresser

Do you have any hobbies?

Okay, the conversation is going well, good job! You’ve nailed the basics and now you just need something interesting to talk about - your interests and hobbies!

Questions around this topic may sound like qu’est-ce que tu aimes faire ? (what do you like to do?) or the formal qu’est-ce que vous aimez faire ?. To answer this question, you can say j’aime… (I like) and then list a noun or a verb. For example, j’aime voyager, lire et étudier les langues étrangères (I like to travel, read and study foreign languages).

You could also say** je m’intéresse à…** (I am interested in) and then name a noun or two. For example, je m’intéresse à la culture française (I am interested in French culture).


To politely end the conversation (or when the conversation has come to a natural end), you can say enchanté (charmed) to indicate that you’ve been happy to meet someone. In formal contexts, c’est un plaisir de faire votre connaissance (it is a pleasure to make your acquaintaince) or c’est un plaisir de vous rencontrer (it is a pleasure to meet you) would be more appropriate.

Then, to say goodbye, you can say au revoir (goodbye) or the less formal à bientôt (see you later).

And there you have it, you have just made a nouvel ami français (new French friend)!

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