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Learning French: what you need to know

There are plenty of possibilities for you to learn French online. Here is our selection:

  • Make a plan: when learning on their own, people often lose their motivation and end up studying inconsistently. To avoid this situation, make sure you make a structured plan beforehand with weekly goals and study programmes! 
  • Start with listening: when learning French, you should keep in mind the significant difference between spoken and written French. Depending on the specific skills you would like to focus on, we advise you to listen to French podcasts, French songs and watch French movies to familiarize yourself with spoken French.
  • Diversify your reading material: while academic resources are important to improve your grammar, make sure you also read news articles and other media outlets to expand your vocabulary and make your learning process more dynamic and culturally enriching!

Take online classes: one of the best ways to stay motivated is to take online classes. With GlobalExam, you can choose between individual and group classes and start planning your revisions according to your own schedule!

There are many best ways to help learning French. Here is our Top #3: 

#1: Travel to France! 

From Marseille, to Nice, Lyon, Paris and Lille, there are plenty of places where you can travel to improve your French. In immersing yourself in a fully French environment, you will interact in French on a daily basis and improve your French in no time! Last but not least, you will be able to discover the classics of French culture, including its cuisine and arts. 

#2: Find a language buddy 

If you cannot travel to France, don’t you worry! You can also find a native French speaker online or in your community. You can set weekly meetings with themes to prepare and discuss over a conversation of 30 minutes. While this might seem very little, interacting on a weekly basis will significantly improve your French. It will also allow you to expand your vocabulary and gain confidence.

#3: Make it fun! 

In addition to academic material, there are plenty of resources you can use to improve your French. This includes French TV series such as “Les Aventures de Tintin” (beginner to intermediate level) or “Fais pas ci, Fais pas ça” (intermediate level). You can also listen to French podcasts such as the “DailyFrenchPod”, “the Coffee Break French” or “French Podcasts.com” – all available online! 

When you start learning French, pronunciation rules can seem a bit tricky. No worries! Here are some steps you can follow to improve your pronunciation: 

1) Start small: practice your pronunciation of individual sounds

This is particularly true if you’re an absolute beginner in French. After listening to the correct pronunciation of a sound or combination of letters such as “eau” or “ai”, repeat them until you’ve remembered them. In any language good pronunciation indeed comes from muscle memory!

2) Repeat complete sentences

Once you become familiar with individual sounds, turn them into actual words! Repeating basic sentences will improve your fluidity when speaking. You can also pick up French songs you like and repeat the sentences you hear!

3) Record yourself 

While this may seem a bit intimidating, recording yourself is often the best way to evaluate your progress and spot your shortcomings. For instance, you can repeat a short paragraph of three or four sentences. When listening to the recording, take notes of the words or sounds you struggle with and repeat all over again! 

In this section, you will find basic French words that you may use in your everyday life. These are classified according to three different themes: cooking, the house, family and friends.

French kitchen and cooking

French word

English translation 

Un boulanger 

A baker 

Un boucher 

A butcher 

Un supermarché 

A supermarket









Le lait 

The milk

L’huile d’olive

Olive oil

Un onion 

An onion 



Une tasse

A cup


To cook

An oven 

An oven 

Un oeuf 

An egg

Une poêle

A frying pan

La cuisine 

The kitchen 

Le poivre 

The pepper 

Le sucre

The sugar

Le sel

The salt 

The house

French word 

English translation 

Le salon

The living room

La chambre

The bedroom

La salle de bain

The bathroom 

Le canapé

The sofa

La table

The table

La lampe

The lamp


The staircase 

La porte

The door

La chaise

The chair

Le jardin

The garden

La maison

The house 


The apartment 

Le grenier

The attic

La cave

The cave 

Le lit 

The bed 


The pillow

Le radiateur 

The radiator 

Les toilettes 

The toilets 

La douche 

The shower

La baignoire

The bathtub 

Family and friends

French word

English Translation 

Le père 

The fater

La mère

The mother 

Le fils

The son

La fille

The daughter

Le frère

The brother 

La soeur

The sister

Le mari / L’époux 

The husband 

La femme / L’épouse 

The wife


The uncle

La tante

The aunt 

Le grand-père 

The grand-father

La grand-mère

The grand-mother 


The friend 

Le petit ami


La petite amie 


Le/la cousin(e)

The cousin

La belle-mère 

The mother-in-law

Le beau-père 

The father-in-law

Le/la meilleur(e) ami(e)

The best friend 

Practice exercise

Now that you have become familiar with some common French vocabulary, let’s practice

In the following sentences, choose the appropriate word in accordance with the context: 

1) Je suis dans la ……. (cuisine/salon). Viens me voir!
2) J’aime beaucoup le … (poivre/chocolat) dans les ….. (oignons/gâteaux). 

3) Ma … (grand-père/grand-père) habite avec mon …. (grand-père/grand-mère) dans les Vosges.
4) Ma …. (père/mère) aime beaucoup cultiver des légumes dans son…. (salon/jardin).
5) J’ai une douche dans ma …. (cuisine/salle de bain). Je n’aime pas les … (baignoire/escaliers)
6) Mon amie à une très grande … (appartement/maison). Tu l’as déjà visité ?
7) Mon … (frère/sœur) habite encore avec mes parents.
8) J’adore le … (fromage/sucre) avec le pain. C’est très français !
9) Je peux avoir un peu de …. (sucre/sel) dans ma tasse de thé s’il te plaît?
10) Les oreillers sur mon … (chambre/lit) sont très confortables.

Now that you have completed the exercise, let’s check your answers! Here is the correction:

1) Cuisine
2) Chocolat; Gâteaux
3) Grand-mère; Grand-père
4) Mère; Jardin
5) Salle de bain; Baignoire
6) Maison
7) Frère
8) Fromage
9) Sucre
10) Lit

Although grammar may not seem as fun as you would like, learning French grammar is essential to master the language. If you plan to learn French well, you will benefit massively if you gradually educate yourself about grammar. Here are three reasons why:

  • French grammar is more complex than English grammar: knowing its complexities will allow you to be confident when you speak and fully understand the context wherever you are
  • French grammar helps make your sentences structured so that others will understand you better 
  • Knowing French grammar (or at least the basics) will allow you to continuously improve by trying new structures and ways of saying what you have in mind. And no worries, making mistakes is part of the learning process!

While you must have heard that French grammar is quite difficult, how to make it easier? Here are some tips

  1. 1) Learn what you need to know: don’t start reading the entire French grammar book, you will feel lost and unmotivated. Instead, learn what you need! As you advance, grammar will become easier and you will learn new grammar rules as you go!
  2. 2) Be patient: French grammar (or any grammar) cannot be learnt perfectly over night! Accept that learning a language requires time and patience!
  3. 3) Stay consistent: Try to learn and practice your grammar as regularly as possible. This way, you will be able to continuously advance your level. Some grammar rules will even become natural to you before you know it!

Last but not least, we have some general advice for you to improve your French:

  • Read everyday: whether these are academic or news articles, it does not matter – just get reading! You can also choose topics you like such as cooking, literature or art. For newspapers, make sure to have a look at Libération or Le Monde!

  • Listen to French Radio: As previously mentioned, spoken French is significantly different from written French. Hence, an essential part of your home-study must include listening to French. From political talks to discussions on theatre and music, you can listen to a variety of French programs!

Talk to yourself in French: while this may seem a bit strange, it works! Think about common things we say to ourselves such as “Where are my keys” or “Let’s go” and try to translate them to French!

With our online classes, you will be able to: 

  • Follow your language classes no matter where you are and according to your own schedule
  • Practice your oral comprehension and speaking skills
  • Continuously improve thanks to highly quality feedback 
  • Benefit from the experience of qualified language teachers – all native speakers! 
  • Be able to see your learning developments and improvements through your personal file 
  • Be able to share multiple learning resources and collaborative white boards 

GlobalExam is the first e-learning platform for languages! In addition to online courses, you will have access to a wide range of learning material through your online account. This will allow you to practice independently whenever you want. With our online platform, improve your French and work the skills of your choice!

On our online platform, you will have access to:

  • Academic practice material but also fun courses through which you will gain confidence and stay motivated 
  • Detailed corrections for each exercise allowing you to learn and continuously improve 
  • Revision sheets to improve your grammar and expand your vocabulary at any point in time

Unlike traditional classes, our online classes and online platform will allow you to learn at your own pace and according to your own schedule. So, what are you waiting for? Start learning French with GlobalExam and embark on your learning journey!