Ask How Are You In French: 24+ New Ways To Learn

Ling Learn Languages
5 min readJan 25, 2023

Original blog post: https://ling-app.com/fr/how-are-you-in-french/ (with audio🔊)

You’re not alone in your journey to learn French. In fact, French is the second most studied language and the fifth most spoken language in the world.

Knowing how to say how are you in French is important as it’s one of the basic phrases in any language. You’ve probably heard some terms already such as comment ça va? Or comment allez vous? Just as likely, you’ve already come across some common replies to these questions, such as ça va bien, c’est bon, or Comme ci comme ça.

The first lesson in this article will be about formalities in French. Unlike English, when speaking French, you must address people differently. There are formal and informal ways to address people when in France and generally when speaking French.

Throughout the article, you’ll also notice blue buttons. These are there to help you listen to French pronunciation and learn to communicate like a native.

Let’s get going!

French Pleasantries And Culture

It’s a cultural norm to ask how you are in French. You can use it as a general greeting. You can ask strangers or people you know well. The response you can expect to get will range from a short answer to a detailed conversation, depending on who you ask and what the situation is.

Formalities In French — Asking How Are You & Answering How Are You

The French have formal and informal pronouns for ‘you.’

  • vous formal French version of you
  • Vous should be used when addressing strangers, authority figures, work colleagues, and elders. Also important to note, you should use vous when speaking to groups of people i.e. the plural you.
  • tu — informal French version of you
  • Tu is meant to be used when speaking with friends, family, and children.

When reading and studying the examples below, keep in mind that you’ll need to switch out the pronouns for you (vous/tu) depending on the situation and who you’re talking with.

How To Say How Are You In French — Formal Situations

There are actually only two ways that the French consider to be more formal than others and they are:

  1. Comment allez-vous ? (How are you?)
  2. Comment vous sentez-vous (How do you feel?)

As you can see, both use the formal pronoun vous. The first expression literally means how are you and can be used as a passing greeting or a more serious one. Comment vous sentez-vous is asked to someone you know to have been unwell or is currently under medical care.

How To Ask How Are You In French — Informal Situations

Well, I hope you’re ready for this! There are more than two dozen different ways to ask someone how they are in the French language. Each of these has a time and place, but all can be used casually.

There are a few ways to ask how are you in French that deserve some explanation because, at first glance, they don’t necessarily make sense!

  1. Ça baigne?
  2. It bathes?
  3. This is a colloquial phrase which actually means are you all right? Are you okay?
  4. Ça roule?
  5. It’s rolling?
  6. It seems odd to ask someone how they’re rolling, but it makes sense to the French. Essentially you’re asking if everything is going smoothly. It’s kind of similar to the English phrase, how’s it hanging?
  7. Quoi de beau?
  8. What’s beautiful?
  9. I don’t know! What’s beautiful? This colloquial phrase actually has nothing to do with beauty at all but rather is a fancy way to ask what’s up.

How To Respond To How Are You In French

Here are some great ways to respond in French to how you’re doing if you’re doing well.

Of course, you may not be feeling that great so here are ways to answer in that fashion.

How To Ask Someone In Return How They Are In French

Thankfully, this is really simple! Just keep in mind of the situation is formal or informal.

Et vous? Et vous? (formal “and you?”)

Et toi? Et toi? (informal “and you?”)

Merci Beaucoup — Thank You For Reading This!

We hope you learned a lot. We know that language learning isn’t easy, but Ling would love to help you speak French fluently.

We know making friends and not making missteps with cultural language issues is important, especially among French speakers. That’s where Ling comes in to save the day!

Ling is a really popular language app with over 10 million downloads. It offers French, just one of over 60 languages offered by Ling.

You’ll get reading, speaking, flashcards and writing practice. We have an interactive whiteboard that allows you to write the letters of the alphabet right on your device!

At Ling, we also strive to make learning fun! Head on over to check it out and learn even more French language skills.

Download Ling today and start speaking confidently in French!

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Ling Learn Languages

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