Oui, oui! You already know how to speak French.

The English language has borrowed a great number of French words and expressions over the years and some have been absorbed by English speakers. However, English speakers might not realize its origins as those words are not pronounced according to French rules of phonology and several of them are no longer used by French people. 

Voilà a list of French words/expressions commonly used in English :

•    à la carte = "on the menu". If you want something that is not on the set menu you order from the menu called in French “la carte”. 

•    à la Française = in the French manner

•    au contraire = on the contrary

•    au pair = at par. A person who takes care of the children in exchange for a room at the family’s house.

•    bon appétit = good appetite/Enjoy your meal

•    bon voyage = good trip/Have a good trip

•    brunette = small, dark-haired female

•    café au lait = coffee with milk

•    carte blanche = blank card. Ability to do whatever you want.

•    c'est la vie = that is life

•    cuisine = food style

•    déjà vu = already seen

•    du jour = of the day. Example, "Soup du jour" is an elegant version of "soup of the day."

•    eau de toilette = toilet water. Eau de toilette is a very weak perfume.

•    encore = again. An additional performance requested with audience applause.

•    fiancé, fiancée = engaged person, betrothed

•    garçon = boy. Note that it is no longer acceptable to call a French waiter garcon. Instead, you should use 'Monsieur'.

•    je ne sais quoi = I don't know what. Used to indicate a "certain something," as in "I really like Linda. She has a certain je ne sais quoi that I find very appealing."

•    mardi gras = fat Tuesday. Refers to events of the Carnival celebrations.

•    oh là là = oh dear

•    potpourri = rotten pot. A scented mixture of dried flowers.

•    prêt-à-porter = ready to wear

•    rendez-vous = go to. A date or an appointment.


Did you know those words? Which one do you use? Do you know some more?