First Impressions: A Guide to Stellar Introduction in French

Ellison Clapton6 min
Created: Apr 26, 2024Last updated: May 1, 2024
 Introduce Yourself in French

Effective communication is key when crossing cultures, and in France, the first impression matters. What is a better way to begin than with a friendly introduction in French? It can make all the difference in building strong relationships with native speakers. This article will break down the basics of French introductions. You’ll learn simple phrases to make a great first impression and start a conversation with ease. 

Introducing in French: Start with Greetings

Every conversation begins with a greeting in French. These simple words help you seem nice and set the stage for a polite introduction. They vary by time of day and formality level. Below are the most popular phrases to introduce yourself in French:

  • Bonjour [bɔ̃ˈʒuʁ] – Good morning/Good day. The standard greeting used during the day.

Bonjour, je m’appelle Marie. [bɔ̃ˈʒuʁ, ʒə mapɛl maˈʁi] (Good morning, my name is Marie.)

  • Salut [saˈly] – Hi/Hello. A casual greeting used among friends.

Salut, ça va? [saˈly, sa va] (Hi, how are you?)

  • Bonsoir [bɔ̃ˈswaʁ] – Good evening. Utilized in the evening instead of bonjour.

Bonsoir, enchanté de vous rencontrer. [bɔ̃ˈswaʁ, ɑ̃ʃɑ̃ˈte də vu ʁɑ̃ˈkɔ̃tʁe] (Good evening, pleased to meet you.)

  • Comment allez-vous? [kɔˈmɑ̃t‿‿alɛˈvu] – How are you? (formal). Great in formal contexts or when speaking with someone you don’t know well.

Bonjour, comment allez-vous aujourd’hui? [bɔ̃ˈʒuʁ, kɔˈmɑ̃t‿‿alɛˈvu‿‿oʒuˈʁdui] (Good morning, how are you today?)

  • Ça va? [sa va] – How’s it going? A more casual variant of asking how someone is doing.

Salut, ça va? [saˈly, sa va] (Hi, how’s it going?)

  • Comment ça va? [kɔˈmɑ̃ sa va] – How is it going? Similar to Ça va? but with a more formal touch.

Bonjour, comment ça va ce matin? [bɔ̃ˈʒuʁ, kɔˈmɑ̃ sa va sə maˈtɛ̃] (Good morning, how is it going this morning?)

How to Introduce Yourself in French: Phrases for Sharing Basic Information

Like the French alphabet, knowing how to share basic information about yourself is essential. Next are steps on offering information like your name, where you’re from, and your job. You may require certain expressions to accomplish this. Here are the phrases:

  • Je m’appelle [ʒə mapɛl] – My name is. The most straightforward way to tell someone your name.

Bonjour, je m’appelle Thomas. [bɔ̃ʒuʁ, ʒə mapɛl to’ma] (Hello, my name is Thomas.)

  • Je suis [ʒə sɥi] – I am. This phrase about me in French describes your profession or nationality.

Je suis professeur. [ʒə sɥi pʁɔfɛ’sœʁ] (I am a teacher.)

  • Je viens de [ʒə vjɛ̃ də] – I am from. Useful for sharing your country or city of origin.

Je viens de Californie. [ʒə vjɛ̃ də kali’fɔʁni] (I am from California.)

  • J’ai [ʒe] – I have. Used for mentioning something you possess, such as a job or the number of children.

J’ai deux enfants. [ʒe dø zɑ̃’fɑ̃] (I have two children.)

  • Mon numéro de téléphone est [mɔ̃ nymeʁo də telefɔn ɛ] – My phone number is. Important for business or meeting new people.

Mon numéro de téléphone est le 0123 456 789. [mɔ̃ nymeʁo də telefɔn ɛ lə ze’ʁo duz tʁwɑ kat sɛ̃k sis sɛt yit nœf] (My phone number is 0123 456 789.)

  • J’étudie [ʒetydi] – I study. Useful for students who want to share what they are studying.

J’étudie la biologie à l’université. [ʒetydi la bjɔlɔ’ʒi a l‿ynivɛʁsi’te] (I study biology at the university.)


Expand Your Connections: How to Discuss Occupations and Interests

Discussing your occupation and interests is very helpful to deepen your connections. It allows you to share more about your daily life. Also, it’s a great conversational bridge to discover shared activities or career paths. In this section, we look at how do you introduce yourself in French and discuss your job and personal interests:

  • Je travaille dans [ʒə tʁaˈvaj dɑ̃] – I work in. Specifies the industry or field you work in.

Je travaille dans l’éducation. [ʒə tʁaˈvaj dɑ̃ le.dyˈka.sjɔ̃] (I work in education.)

  • Je suis passionné de [ʒə sɥi pa.sjɔˈne də] – I am passionate about. Great for expressing what you are passionate about.

Je suis passionné de photographie. [ʒə sɥi pa.sjɔˈne də fo.toˈgʁ] (I am passionate about photography.)

  • Mon travail consiste à [mɔ̃ tʁaˈvaj kɔ̃ˈsist a] – My job involves. Explains the main responsibilities in your job.

Mon travail consiste à écrire des articles. [mɔ̃ tʁaˈvaj kɔ̃ˈsist a eˈkʁiʁ de.zaʁˈtikl] (My job involves writing articles.)

  • Je dirige [ʒə diˈʁiʒ] – I manage/direct. Useful when describing a leadership or management role.

Je dirige une petite équipe. [ʒə diˈʁiʒ yn pəˈtit eˈkip] (I manage a small team.)

  • Mes hobbies incluent [me ɔ.bi z‿ɛ̃ˈklɥ] – My hobbies include. A casual way to share your interests or hobbies when you introduce yourself in French.

Mes hobbies incluent la lecture et le voyage. [me ɔ.bi z‿ɛ̃ˈklɥ la lɛkˈtyʁ e lə vwaˈʒaʒ] (My hobbies include reading and traveling.)

  • Je pratique [ʒə pʁaˈtik] – I practice. Often used to talk about sports or activities you engage in.

Je pratique le tennis chaque semaine. [ʒə pʁaˈtik lə tɛˈnis ʃak s(ə).mɛn] (I practice tennis every week.)

Other Vocabulary for Introductions in French

Beyond the basics of name, nationality, and job, there are many more French words to know. They let you share enjoyable details about yourself or ask about others. Check out these few more words and phrases below that could come in handy when introducing yourself in French:

  • Enchanté(e) [ɑ̃ʃɑ̃ˈte] – Pleased to meet you. Used after meeting someone for the first time.

Bonjour, enchanté de faire votre connaissance. [bɔ̃ˈʒuʁ, ɑ̃ʃɑ̃ˈte də fɛʁ vɔtʁ kɔ.nɛˈsɑ̃s] (Hello, pleased to meet you.)

  • Quel est votre nom? [kɛl ɛ vɔtʁ nɔ̃] – What is your name? A formal way to ask someone’s name if it wasn’t provided upon meeting.

Excusez-moi, quel est votre nom? [ɛk.skyˈze mwa, kɛl ɛ vɔtʁ nɔ̃] (Excuse me, what is your name?)

  • D’où venez-vous? [du v(ə).ne vu] – Where are you from? This phrase helps you learn more about the person’s background.

D’où venez-vous? Je suis de Paris. [du v(ə).ne vu ʒə sɥi də paˈʁi] (Where are you from? I am from Paris.)

  • Quel âge avez-vous? [kɛl aʒ vu] – How old are you? Often used in more personal conversations to understand the age of someone you’ve just met.

Quel âge avez-vous, si je peux demander? [kɛl aʒ vu, si ʒə pø d(ə).mɑ̃ˈde] (How old are you, if I may ask?)

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French introduction phrases are key when you need to connect with native speakers. These expressions can help you say hello or share something about yourself. Learning them gives a chance for solid first impressions and engaging discussions. Pay attention to context and remember that small changes, like formal style or what time of day it is, can make a difference.


How can intonation affect an introduction in French?

Intonation impacts the perceived sincerity and friendliness of an introduction. Rising intonation can make questions more engaging, while a steady tone conveys confidence and respect.

What role do gestures play in French introductions?

Gestures are integral to French communication. A handshake or cheek kisses (depending on the region) often accompany verbal introductions, and maintaining eye contact signals sincere engagement.

How does age affect the use of formal and informal greetings in French?

Younger people often use informal greetings among peers. Formal language is preferred when addressing older individuals or those in authority positions.

Where can I learn French vocabulary?

Explore online dictionaries like LarousseReverso, and Collins. Each offers comprehensive entries with pronunciations, definitions, and usage examples.