Learning a new language, French in this case, will feed your mind with new knowledge and this will surely give you many reasons to celebrate how your brain works! Likewise, knowing how to refer to the different parts of your body will be useful in plenty of common situations: going to the doctor during a trip to France or Canada, buying clothes, going to the gym, practicing sports, etc. Once you have finished reading this article, you will be able to:

  • name in French the parts of your face
  • the parts of your body from top to bottom and:
  • some idiomatic expressions in French which contain body parts (learning to use them will allow you to sound like a French native speaker!)

Now without further delay, let’s get started!

If you wish to take the tests DELF, DALF or TCF, revising all our french vocabuary worksheets is always a great idea!

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First things first: The Head, The Face

We can recognize people by their voice, their height, the way they walk… but what makes us unique, visually and individually  recognizable is our face features. Let’s study the following table to learn how to say in French the parts of the head and the face.

Remember: Contrary to English, in French possessive adjectives are not used to accompany the parts of the body. Instead, you must use a definite article.

In English you say: I wash my face before going to bed.

In French you must say: Je me lave le visage avant d’aller me coucher.

List Of The Parts Of The Head And The Face

Parts Of The Head And The FaceLes parties de la tête et du visage
the headla tête
the facele visage
foreheadle front
skullle crâne
brainle cerveau
hairles cheveux
napela nuque
neckle cou
eyesles yeux
cheekla joue (les joues)
mouthla bouche
a tooth, teethune dent, les dents
lip, lipsla lèvre, les lèvres
tonguela langue
chinle menton
earl’oreille
nosele nez
nasal fossaeles fosses nasales

The Eyes: An Extension Of Our Soul

Let’s dedicate some time to study how to say in French the parts of the eye.

List Of The Parts Of The Eye

Eye, The EyesL’oeil, les yeux
eyebrowle sourcil
eyelashle cil
upper eyelidla paupière supérieure
lower eyelidla paupière inférieure
lacrimal ductla caroncule lacrymale
irisle iris
the pupilla pupille

The Upper Body: The Upper Extremity And The Torso

Now, what about learning some more vocabulary in French to refer to the torso and the upper extremities? Let’s go!

List Of Upper Extremities And The Torso

Upper Extremities And The torsoLes parties du haut du corps
shoulderl’épaule
shoulder bladel’omoplate
armle bras
elbowle coude
forearml’avant-bras
wristle poignet
handla main
fingerle doigt
armpitl’aisselle
nipplele mamelon
breastle sein
chestla poitrine
thoraxle thorax
navelle nombril
abdomenle ventre
backle dos
trunkle tronc

Some Internal Organs

Why don’t we learn some essential words in French to refer to these important internal organs.

List Of Internal Organs

Some Of The Main Internal Organs Of The Human BodyQuelques-uns des principaux organes internes du corps humain
brainle cerveau
cerebellumle cervelet
throatla gorge
right / left lungle poumon droit / le poumon gauche
liver le foie
stomachl’estomac
pancreasle pancréas
colonle côlon
heart le coeur
right / left kidneyle rein droit / le rein gauche
urinary bladderla vessie

The Lower Extremity Of The Body

Did you know that each of our lower extremities has more than 30 bones and 40 muscles? That’s fascinating, isn’t it? It shows how perfect our bodies are and reminds us to take care of our bodies by eating healthy food and doing exercise regularly. Now, let’s continue with our French learning!

List of Lower Extremity Vocabulary

Lower Extremity Les parties du bas du corps
waistla taille
hipla hanche
pubisle pubis
groinl’aine
buttokla fesse
legla jambe
thighla cuisse
kneele genou
calfle mollet
anklela cheville
heelle talon
footle pied
toel’orteil

From head to toes: French Idioms With Body Parts

Are you comfortable with yourself? So, you can say in French that you are “bien dans ta peau”.  Like English, French is rich in colloquial expressions that include body parts and which do not make sense literally. These idioms are used to express an endless number of feelings and also to describe situations in a graphic, sometimes ironic, sometimes funny way.  Learning idioms will help you understand how French people think, their cultural references and their humour. If you want to sound like a native French speaker, continue reading and try to incorporate idioms into your daily French practice.

If you want to say:Use this French idiom:Example in French
(Exemple en français)
Translation into English:
to think very hardse creuser la têteJe me suis creusé la tête pour trouver la réponse à sa question. I thought really hard to try to find an answer to his question.
to be angry, to poutfaire la têteFred fait la tête car son père ne lui a pas prêté sa voiture.Fred is angry because his father didn’t lend him his car.
not easily scaredne pas avoir froid aux yeuxIsabelle adore les sports d’aventure, elle n’as pas froid aux yeux.Isabelle loves extreme sports. She is very brave.
Yeah, sure!mon oeil!Oui, tu es en retard à cause du tram… Mon oeil! Je sais que tu as fait la fête hier soir!Yeah, sure, you’re late because of the tramway… I know you were partying last night!
to keep really concentratedne pas lever le nez Depuis que j’ai commencé le projet, je n’ai pas levé le nez.Since I’ve started the project, I haven’t stopped to make a pause!
to keep something to yourself, to keep a secretrester bouche cousueJe ne dirai rien à ton père, je resterai bouche cousue.I won’t tell your father,I’ll keep it to myself.
to have a frog in your throatavoir un chat dans la gorge
Ava a pris froid et maintenant elle a un chat dans la gorge.Ava’s got a cold and now she's got a frog in her throat.
a little bird told memon petit doigt m’as dit-Comment as tu su que Manuel et moi avions rompu?
-Mon petit doigt m’as dit.
How did you know I had broken up with Manuel?
A little bird told me.
to be generousavoir le coeur sur la mainM.Roche a le cœur sur la main, il nous a donné son vieux ordinateur qui marchait encore très bien.Mr. Roche is very generous. He gave us his old computer which was still working very well.
to be well-connectedavoir le bras long
Grâce à Stéphanie, j’ai pu travailler chez cet éditeur, elle a le bras long.Thanks to Stéphanie, I could work for this publishing house, she’s well-connected.
to be hungryavoir l' estomac creuxMon ventre gargoullait en cours, j’avais l’estomac creux car je n’avais pas pris mon petit déjeneur. My stomach was gurgling in class, I was hungry because I didn’t have any breakfast.
to get on sb's nervescasser les pieds à quelqu’unMon voisin fait trop de bruit, il me casse les pieds!My neighbor is too noisy. He really gets on my nerves!

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Take some times to read more articles we have written for you to enrich your French vocabulary and improve your language level.

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