This lesson should be read along with the attached audio lesson.

Greetings - Les salutations

When talking to one’s peers or to children, Salut is used as a greeting. Its English equivalents would be hi and hey. Bonjour, literally meaning good day, should be used for anyone else. One way of remembering these greetings, is that they come in masculine/feminine pairs. One is upon arrival, the other upon departure.

jour : bonjour / bonne journée matin : bonjour / bonne matinée (early in the morning), bonne journée (early or late in the morning) après-midi : bonjour / bon(ne) après-midi (early in the afternoon), bonne journée (early or late in the afternoon), bonne soirée (late in the afternoon) soir : bonjour, bonsoir / bonne soirée (early or late in the evening), bonne nuit (very late in the evening) nuit : bonjour, bonsoir / bonne nuit

The French never say Bon matin, They do use matinée, journée, soirée but never use nuitée.

Goodbye - Au revoir

In addition to being used as an informal greeting, Salut also means bye. Again, it should only be used among friends. Another informal greeting is ciao, an Italian word commonly used in France. Au revoir is the only formal way to say Good-bye. If you will be meeting someone again soon, use À bientôt or À tout à l’heure. À demain is used if you will be seeing the person the following day.

Vocabulary - Names

Tu t’appelles comment ? is used to informally ask someone for his or her name. It is normal to just reply by stating your name, however you may also respond with Je m’appelle [name]. meaning I am called….

How are you? - Ça va?

Listen to the audio lesson for this section.

Ça va? is used to ask someone how they are doing. The phrase literally means It goes?, referring to the body and life. A more formal way to say this is Comment allez-vous?. You can respond by using ça va as a statement; Ça va. in this case is used for I’m fine. The adverb bien (/bjɛ̃/) is used to say well, and is often said both alone and as Ça va bien.Bien is preceded by certain adverbs to specify the degree to which you are well. Common phrases are assez bien, meaning rather well, très bien, meaning very well, and vraiment bien, meaning really well. The adverb mal (/mal/) is used to say badly. Pas (“not” /pɑ/) is commonly added to mal to form Pas mal., meaning Not bad. Comme ci, comme ça., literally translating to Like this, like that., is used to say So, so.

To be polite, you can add merci (/mɛʁ.si/), meaning thank you, in your responses to the questions e.g., très bien, merci.