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Engaging In A French Conversation: Opening Lines And Tips

Have you ever try to engage a conversation in French with a French native speaker? Worst, when this latter has a kind of accent and speaks truly fast!

It is not easy, I know.

Let's start then!

The main point we are going to talk about are :

  • How to start a conversation in French? 
  • How to engage a French person? 
  • How to talk about yourself and keep the conversation flowing naturally?

These are small tips from my experience and some from my neighbourhood's one.

French Conversation Opening Lines

If you want to start a conversation in French, you can talk about the place, the weather, ask why the person is there.

– if you are at a party, how you know the hosts… then try to merge such a statement with a direct question for example.

These are some expressions you may use to catch the person's attention :

  • C’est joli ici : c’est la première fois que je viens ici, et vous ? (How nice (it is) here: it’s my first time here, and you?)
  • Pierre est vraiment un bon cuisinier. Son buffet est délicieux. Est-ce que vous aimez cuisiner ? (Pierre is really a good cook. His buffet is delicious. Do you enjoy cooking?)
  • Ce petit restaurant est vraiment une bonne trouvaille. Est-ce que vous venez souvent ici ? (This little restaurant is really a great find. Do you come here often?)
  • Ahhh, comme il fait beau. Enfin du soleil ! C’est bien agréable, vous ne trouvez pas ?(Ahhh, it’s so nice out. Sun, at last! It’s so pleasant, don’t you agree?)

French Conversation Starters – Direct Approach: Introduce Yourself

The following expressions are basic to start a simple conversation. You may use these sentences :

  • Bonjour, je m’appelle Claude. Pierre est un collègue. C’est la première fois que nous nous rencontrons, n’est-ce pas ? (Hi, my name is Claude. Pierre is a colleague (of mine). It’s the first time we meet, right?)
  • Bonsoir, je m’appelle Anne. Il me semble qu’on s’est déjà vus quelque part. Je suis la femme de Jean, et une bonne amie de Marie. Et vous ? Comment connaissez-vous Marie et Pierre ? (Hi (in the evening), I’m Anne. I believe we’ve already met some place. I’m Jean’s wife, and a good friend of Marie. And you, how do you know Chantal and Pierre?)
  • Salut, moi, c’est Raissa. On se connaît de vue je crois. Je viens souvent ici, il me semble que je t’ai déjà aperçu(e). (Hey, I’m Ingrid (informal). I’ve seen you before I think. I often come here and I believe I’ve seen you around.)

Talking About Yourself in French – OK, but Don’t Forget to Return the Questions!

In a real-life situation, if you do not ask questions to your interlocutor, you are going to come out as a selfish person. It will be like you do not care about him or his life, etc. So, a tip here is to return the question back to your interlocutor. Talk briefly about yourself, then ask “et toi / et vous”? (and you).

Starting a Conversation in French – A Bilingual Story

The weather is always a good conversation starter. Food is too… and travel, hobbies, sports, questions about family, etc.

Current events are OK but stay away from politics and religion, or anything too personal/deeper questions: keep the conversation light.

You can check out some French audiobooks to see/hear typical conversation vocabulary and topics used in context.

And then your conversation is on the right wheels and go on. I hope that these previews tips will help you master the French language. You can also check Bora Teaher's website

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