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French Phrases: Basic French nouns referring to people

Basic nouns referring to people

The following are very generic words for people:

hommeɔmman
femmefamwoman
garçongaʁsõboy, lad
fillefijgirl
adulteadyltadult
enfantɑ̃fɑ̃child
bébébebebaby
tout petittuptismall child, toddler
adolescentadolɛsɑ̃teenager
personne1pɛʁsɔnperson
personne1 âgéepɛʁsɔn aʒeelderly person
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Notes:
1. The word personne is always gramatically feminine even when it refers to a male: une personne âgée.

Family members and relationships

The following refer to different family members or people with a particular relationship to you in French:

amiamifriend (male)
amieamifriend (female)
père1pɛʁfather, dad
mère1mɛʁmother, mum
filsfisson
fillefijdaughter
frèrefʁɛʁbrother
soeursœʁsister
marimaʁihusband
femmefɛmwife
partenairepaʁtənɛʁpartner
parentpaʁɑ̃relative
parentspaʁɑ̃parents
oncleõkluncle
tantetɑ̃taunt, auntie
grand-pèregʁɑ̃pɛʁgrandfather
grand-papagʁɑ̃papagrandpa, grandad
grand-mèregʁɑ̃mɛʁgrandmother
grand-mamangʁɑ̃mamɑ̃grandma
grands-parentsgʁɑ̃paʁɑ̃grandparents
copainkopæ̃friend, mate (male); boyfriend
copinekopinfriend, mate (female); girlfriend
copine normale (Informal)kopin nɔʁmalfemale friend (to distinguish from 'girlfriend')
cop (Informal)kɔpboyfriend
petit amipətitamiboyfriend
petite amiepətitamigirlfriend
fiancéfjɑ̃sefiancé
fiancéefjɑ̃sefiancée
collèguekɔlɛgcolleague
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Notes:
1. The words père and mère are a little less formal-sounding in French than father and mother in English, so that they can also be the equivalent of 'dad' and 'mum' in English.

Saying my... in French

To say my... in French, you use the word mon before the word for a male person, or ma before the word for a female person. In the plural, the word is mes. However, if a singular French word begins with a vowel, then mon is always used, and the final -n is pronounced. Here are some examples:

mon frèremõ fʁɛʁmy brother
ma soeurma sœʁmy sister
mon père1mõ pɛʁmy father, my dad
ma mère1ma mɛʁmy mother, my mum
mes parentsme paʁɑ̃my parents
mon cousinmõ kuzæ̃my (male) cousin
ma cousinema kuzinmy (female) cousin
un amiæ̃ namia (male) friend
mon amimõ namimy (male) friend
une amieyn amia (female) friend
mon amiemõ namimy (female) friend
mes amisme zamimy friends
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Page written by Neil Coffey. Copyright (c) Javamex UK 2014. All rights reserved.