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“Bonjour” is the go-to greeting for most situations in French. It’s the standard and most formal way to say “hello” and is appropriate for any setting, from business meetings to social gatherings. To pronounce “bonjour,” say “bohn-zhoor” with a slight emphasis on the “zhoor” sound. Remember to use a polite tone and make eye contact when greeting someone with “bonjour.”
When the sun sets, switch to “bonsoir” to greet people. “Bonsoir” means “good evening” and is a formal and polite way of saying “hello” when meeting someone after work or during a nighttime event. To pronounce “bonsoir,” say “bohn-swahr” with a slight emphasis on the “swahr” sound.
If you’re greeting a friend or family member in a casual setting, “salut” is a great option. It’s a more informal way to say “hello” and is commonly used in everyday conversation. To pronounce “salut,” say “sah-loo” with a rising tone at the end. Note that “salut” is not appropriate for formal situations or with people you don’t know well.
Looking for a playful and casual way to say “hello”? Try “coucou.” This greeting is often used on the phone or between close friends. To pronounce “coucou,” say “koo-koo” with a rising tone at the end. Note that “coucou” is not appropriate for formal settings.
If you want to welcome someone to a new place or event, use “bienvenue.” This means “welcome” and is a friendly and inviting way to say “hello.” To pronounce “bienvenue,” say “byen-vuh-noo” with a slight emphasis on the “vuh” sound. Use a warm and welcoming tone when using “bienvenue” to greet someone.
By learning how to say “hello” in French, you’ll be able to start conversations with confidence and show respect to those around you. Remember to consider the situation and relationship with the person before choosing a greeting. Whether you opt for the formal “bonjour” or the playful “coucou,” using the right greeting can set the tone for a positive interaction. Practice your pronunciation and don’t be afraid to experiment with different greetings to find your favorite. For more articles, learn more on how to book a table in French or how to say my name is in French.