In the wild world of language, English is like a melting pot where different elements mix and mingle, creating a fascinating linguistic lang-scape. But did you know that one of the most surprising influences on English comes from French? That’s right! French expressions have sneaked into our everyday speech, adding a touch of sophistication and cultural flair. Here are the top 20 French phrases used in English vocabulary:

1. C’est la vie

“C’est la vie” is like saying “That’s life” in French. It’s all about accepting that life can be unpredictable and tough, but it’s also about being strong and bouncing back from challenges.

In English, it’s like giving a philosophical shrug when things don’t go our way. It’s a reminder to stay calm and keep going, no matter what life throws at us.

C'est la vie

2. Faux pas

A “faux pas” is when you mess up socially, like saying or doing something embarrassing. It’s breaking the rules of how you’re supposed to behave.

When we use this French phrases used in English, it shows that we care about manners and behaving properly. It’s a reminder that there are consequences when we don’t follow the accepted rules of society.

Faux pas

3. Coup de grâce

“Coup de grâce” is a French phrase meaning a final, mercy blow. In simpler terms, it’s like the last punch that puts an end to a fight. In English, we use it to talk about a big, decisive move that ends a tough situation.

It’s like the game-winning shot or the final move in a chess match. It’s all about finishing things off in style and coming out on top!

Coup de grâce

4. Rendezvous

“Rendezvous” comes from French words meaning “to present” and “you.” Originally, it meant a planned meeting. In English, it’s about meeting someone on purpose. It often feels exciting or mysterious, like there’s something romantic or intriguing about it.

So, when you hear “rendezvous,” think of a special meet-up full of anticipation and maybe a hint of romance!


5. À la carte

“À la carte” means “from the card” in French. Prominent across hotel and restaurant industry French phrases used in English. It started with restaurant menus, where you can pick individual dishes instead of a set meal. In English, it’s about having options and making choices that suit you. It’s like picking and choosing what you want, making things just the way you like them.

So, when you see “à la carte,” think of a menu full of possibilities waiting for you to customize your experience!

À la carte

6. Déjà vu

“Déjà vu” means “again” in French. It’s when you feel like you’ve experienced something before, even though you haven’t. In English, it’s about that weird feeling of familiarity, like you’ve been here or done this before. We talk about it a lot because it’s so mysterious and intriguing.

So, when you hear “déjà vu,” think of that strange sensation that makes you wonder if you’re living in the Matrix universe!

Déjà vu

7. Bon appétit

“Bon appétit” is like a fancy way to say “enjoy your meal” before digging into tasty food. It’s like a little wish for everyone to have a great time eating together. You can imagine a big table with friends and family, all smiling and ready to eat.

It’s like saying, “Hey, let’s have a good time eating this yummy food!” So next time you hear it, just smile and get ready to chow down!

Bon appétit

8. Cliché 

You may have heard Cliché as one of the French phrases used in English so many times that it may itself become Cliché. But did you know that it came from French? “Cliché” refers to an overused or predictable phrase, idea, or expression. It means “stereotype.”

When something is described as a cliché, it’s often because it lacks originality or freshness, having been used so frequently that it has  become 


9. En route

“En route” is like saying, “I’m on my way!” when you’re heading somewhere. It makes the journey feel special, like you’re about to go on an adventure. It’s not just about getting from one place to another; it’s about the excitement of the trip itself.

So, next time you’re off to somewhere exciting, say “en route” and feel the thrill of the journey ahead!

En route

10. Au revoir

“Au revoir” is like a fancy way to say “goodbye.” It’s like waving to someone as they leave, but with a touch of elegance. When you say it, it’s like wishing someone well until you see them again.

It’s a friendly way to part with someone, whether it’s for a short while or a long time.

Au revoir

11. RSVP

“RSVP” originates from the French phrase “répondez s’il vous plaît,” which translates to “please respond” in English. It’s commonly used in English invitations to indicate that the host requests a response regarding attendance.

So, when you see “RSVP” on an invitation, it’s a polite way of asking guests to let the host know if they will be attending the event.


12. Pièce de résistance

“Pièce de résistance,” directly translated as “piece of resistance” in English, is used to highlight the most outstanding or impressive feature of something. Originally from France, it’s often employed to emphasize the main attraction or highlight of a meal, event, or artistic work.

So, when you hear someone refer to the “pièce de résistance,” they’re drawing attention to the most remarkable aspect that stands out from the rest.

Pièce de résistance

13. À la mode

“À la mode,” which means “in fashion” or “stylish” in French, has an interesting usage in English. While it originally referred to something being fashionable, it’s most commonly associated with a dessert served with ice cream.

So, when you order a dessert “à la mode,” you’re getting something delicious topped with a scoop of ice cream, adding a delightful twist to the dish.

À la mode

14. Chef d’œuvre

“Chef d’œuvre” translates to “masterpiece” in English. It’s used to describe an exceptional work of art, literature, or craftsmanship. When something is referred to as a “chef d’œuvre,” it signifies that it’s of the highest quality and represents the pinnacle of creative achievement.

So, whether it’s a painting, a novel, or a piece of music, calling it a “chef d’œuvre” acknowledges its outstanding brilliance and enduring significance.

Chef d'œuvre

15. Café

Imagine a cozy place with yummy smells and happy chatter—it’s a café! From France, “café” means more than coffee; it’s where friends meet and stories begin. Whether for a quiet break or a fun chat, cafés are like magic spots where good times brew.

So, when our beloved CCD said café coffee day, they meant coffee coffee day and what a wonderful day that would be.


16. Fiancé

Fiancé originates from French. One of the known French phrases used in English, it refers to an engaged man eagerly awaiting marriage. It’s like a promise of forever, a glimpse into a future filled with love. When someone introduces their fiancé, it’s like sharing a piece of their heart’s journey.

So, whether it’s a whispered proposal or a joyful announcement, the word “fiancé” sparkles with anticipation and love.


17. S’il vous plaît

“S’il vous plaît” is like a magic phrase that opens doors to politeness and courtesy. It’s French for “please,” adding a touch of elegance to requests. Whether ordering a coffee or asking for a favor, “s’il vous plaît” is the key to showing respect and consideration.

So, next time you need something, sprinkle a little “s’il vous plaît” and watch kindness bloom!

S'il vous plaît

18. Vis-à-vis

“Vis-à-vis,” derived from French, means “face to face” or “in relation to.” It’s used in English to describe a direct encounter or comparison between two things or people.

Whether discussing ideas or arranging seating at a table, “vis-à-vis” adds a touch of sophistication, conveying a sense of direct interaction or relationship.


19. Ensemble

Imagine a symphony of style and sophistication—welcome to the world of “ensemble”! With its French flair, “ensemble” evokes a vision of unity and harmony in fashion. Like a carefully orchestrated melody, each piece comes together to create a stunning composition.


20. Merci beaucoup

“Merci beaucoup” is a heartfelt way to say “thank you very much” in French. It’s like wrapping your appreciation in a warm embrace. A Prominent French phrases used in English to express gratitude.

So, whether for a small gesture or a grand favor, “merci beaucoup” lets gratitude shine bright. After all, a little “thank you” goes a long way in spreading joy and kindness!

Merci beaucoup


Mixing French words into an English conversation is like adding a fancy touch to our language. It’s like putting a cherry on top of our words, making them sound cool and classy.

It’s neat how different languages blend together, making our talks more interesting and fun!

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Similarities & Differences Between English and French