Hello in French

How many ways can you say Hello in French? Most people know that it's Bonjour. But what about Hi in French? The more casual way of saying Hello in French is Salut. Important! Salut is only used with people you know!

Listen to the audio and follow the French pronunciation. And don't be shy - go ahead and practice each French hello aloud! Before you know it you'll be feeling confident with pronouncing French hellos!

Hello in French

How to say Hello in French

Greetings like “good morning” or “good afternoon” are incredibly important in French. As the French culture is more formal, going through the ritual of greeting another person is an important way of showing respect. The French shake hands while saying “Bonjour” or “Bonsoir” depending on the time of the day. You are expected to greet every person individually, even if they’re in a group. That means that if you’re walking along the road and pass a group of five people, you’ll have to say, “Bonjour,” and shake hands five times!

Once you know them, you may kiss them on the cheeks. It is usually on both cheeks but in some regions it is up to four times so keep an eye of how many times people kiss on the cheeks.


How to pronounce Bonjour

There are two ways of addressing someone in French: a polite or formal way using “Vous” and a more casual way using “Tu”. The same concept applies to greetings.

Remember to always use the following formal greetings when entering a French store or cafe. This level of politeness is expected and something as small as this can change your whole experience of French people!

Listen to the audio below to hear formal French greetings…

As you can see there is no distinction in French between 'good morning' and 'good afternoon', only once it’s dark you will have to greet saying 'good evening'. Nowadays it is quite common to use English greetings, like “hi” and “bye bye”, but these are considered to be casual. Listen to the audio below to hear some informal French greetings…

Casual hello in French

Informal ways to say hello in French

That’s it for today’s lesson. Using different French salutations will make you sound more fluent, so try to remember as many as you can.

Check this lesson out if you want to know how to say Goodbye in French!

À bientôt!
Marie-Claire Rivière and the Rocket French Team


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