This is one of the important lessons in the Effective Vocabulary Series. The English language uses others languages’ phrases as well in speaking and writing. So, You should learn the following French Phrases in your English to sound more like a native speaker. Learn, practice, and improve skills in communication.

1. coup de grâce

[ kooduh –grahs ]

Blow of mercy


Any blow that puts suffering and greatly weakened animal, person, or institution out of its misery is a coup de grâce.

2. De trop

[ duh –troh ]

Too much

Anyone who is in the way, out of place, or not wanted is de trop.

3. Double entendre

[ doo-blahn-tahn-druh ]

Double meaning

In a sophisticated conversation, slightly off-color or improper remarks are sometimes made in terms that seem innocent. Any word or phrase that has two meanings, one of them is an indicated one, is called a double entendre.

4. En rapport

[ ahn ra-pawr ]

In harmonious relation

You are en rapport with someone when there is a perfect meeting of minds and a complete absence of friction.

5. Esprit de corps

[ e-spree duh –kawr ]

Spirit of the body

A cooperative spirit on the part of a group, combined with enthusiastic submergence of self-interest for the sake of the common good, is called esprit de corps. A crack regiment is sometimes famed for its esprit de corps.

6. Par excellence

[ pa-rek-se-lahns ]

By excellence

Napoleon proved himself to be a leader par excellence.

Escoffier noted the word over for his cuisine, was a chef par excellence.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, we might say, was the interpreter of Plato par excellence.

7. Qui vive

[ kee –veev ]

Who lives

If your mind is perfectly attuned to your surroundings if you are alive and alert to all that is going on around you if you are on guard, wide awake, eager, expectant, you are on the qui vive.

8. Potpourri

[ poh-pooreepoh-poo-ree ]

Rotten pot

A medley of things, an assorted and heterogeneous mixture of great variety, is called a potpourri.

9. Faux pas

[ foh –pah ]

False step

10. Savoir-faire

[ sa-vwar-fer ]

To know how to do

Have you ever made a man or woman with perfect poise? Do you notice how he or she says exactly the correct and charming thing at the proper time? Never is such a person guilty of a faux pas, an embarrassing mistake; on the contrary, your sophisticated, cosmopolitan friend is the possessor of savoir-faire.

Previous Lessons in the Effective Vocabulary Series:

  1. How to talk about personality types.
  2. How to Talk About Doctors.
  3. Different Types of Practitioners.
  4. Talk About Science and Scientists.

Review – Lisa from Hungary:

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