How to say hello in French

Learn to pronounce the 2 most used ways of how to say hello in French: ‘salut’ and ‘bonjour’ and learn when it’s appropriate to use these French words.

We already mentioned there are French flash cards on our site and in the shops with in built memory techniques. Another way of learning French words is using post-its. On any object in the house, you can put a post-it with the French translation of the English word.

And for those who have been on a holiday to France or to any French speaking country, you will have noticed you can buy all sorts of souvenirs like a coffee cup that greets you each morning saying "salut", which translates to "hello". I am sure you can buy them online as well 🙂

The easiest way how to say hello in French

A cup showing the French word 'Salut' which translates in Hello in English


The end letter ‘-t’ in salut is not pronounced and you have to pucker your lips as if you are about to give somebody a kiss, to get the correct "u" sound.

Listen to the pronunciation of "U" at 6 minutes 10 seconds in the above French video. You can practise the complete words when you click here for more French greetings.

What’s great about the French word salut is that you can use it both in casual situations:

  • to say Hi as well as
  • to say Bye (both in a casual way).

Most used of all French greetings: bonjour : Good day! Good morning! Good afternoon! Hello!… All can be translated with Bonjour!

How to answer a French greeting

French greetings are some of the first phrases that will you need when learning French. Equally important are the responses to the greetings. If you have a sharp ear, you can get by with just repeating the same phrase as the one you hear when French people greet you.

When you study French in France or travel to a French speaking country, you will hear these greetings and expressions on a daily basis, so they will quickly become internalized.

How to say hello in French summarized

  • Casual ‘Hi", ‘Hello’ : Salut
  • Casual and formal : Bonjour
  • Hello on the phone when you want to make sure that the line is clear: Allo?

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