66 Ways to Say “Good Luck” in French

“Break a leg.”

“Best wishes!”

“I’ll keep my fingers crossed.”

In English, these are all variations of “Good luck!”, and are used for very different situations.

“Good luck” in French works the same way.

Today might actually be your lucky day (pun intended), because we’re about to break down all the different ways you can wish someone luck in French.


Most Common Ways to Say “Good Luck” in French

Bonne chance

In French,  bonne chance is the simplest and most direct translation of “good luck.” It’s the phrase you’re most likely to find in online translators and phrasebooks. For most occasions, it’s a meaningful way to express your good wishes.

As you’ll see below, it’s often paired with the prepositions pour (for), avec (with) and dans (in). For a refresher on how to use these French prepositions, take a look at our handy guide.

Bonne chance pour…

Sometimes, you want to add a bit more to your sentence to specify exactly what it is that you’re wishing the person good luck for.

The phrase Bonne chance pour… can be used to wish someone luck with a particular event or experience.

Some examples:

Bonne chance pour ton entretien ! — Good luck with your interview!

Bonne chance pour le match ! — Good luck with the game!

Bonne chance avec…

This is quite similar to Bonne chance pour. However, you generally use avec when referring to a concrete thing or person (as opposed to an event, which is a bit more abstract).

Here are some examples:

Bonne chance avec ta nouvelle maison. — Good luck with your new house.

Bonne chance avec ta belle-mère. — Good luck with your mother-in-law.

Bonne chance dans…

Generally, bonne chance dans is used the same way as bonne chance pour.

There is one slight difference: Bonne chance dans is more often applied to actions that are already going on or in progress.


Bonne chance dans ton travail. — Good luck with your work.

Bonne chance dans ce projet. — Good luck with this project.

Meilleurs vœux

This phrase, which literally means “best wishes,” is a popular statement on greeting cards, especially during the winter holiday season.

However, it can also be used for many other occasions—birthdays, graduations, weddings, new houses, new babies and just about any exciting life event.

For example:

Meilleurs vœux pour votre nouveau bébé. — Best wishes for your new baby.

Meilleurs vœux pour ton nouveau travail. — Best wishes for your new job.


Yes, you read that right. This favorite French profanity is also a legitimate way to wish someone good luck.

As with the English expression “break a leg,” we have the theater community to thank for this colorful way of wishing someone “good luck.”

Traditionally in theater, it’s considered bad luck to wish someone good luck before a performance. (You could say it’s almost like tempting fate). That is where the tradition of wishing someone good luck by telling them to “break a leg” started.

The French use the word merde (which means “cr*p” or “sh*t”) in exactly the same way.

This also harks back to the days when people came to theater performances in a horse and carriage. The more carriages there were, the more horse excrement could be found in the street near the theater.

Weirdly, the amount of merde actually was a reliable indicator of the success of the performance. Presumably, the longer the audiences stayed in the theater, the more time their horses had to, you know, heed the call of nature.

Je croise les doigts

Some symbols of good luck transcend language and culture.

One of the most universal is the four-leafed clover. The same goes for an upside-down horseshoe hanging over the door. Conversely, a black cat is a traditional symbol of bad luck in most of the Western world—although they’re also a popular mascot of French culture!

The gesture of “crossing one’s fingers” is another of those universal, time-honored symbols of luck.

If a friend or loved one is going through a difficult time and the outcome seems uncertain, you can assure them with the phrase Je croise les doigts (“I’m crossing my fingers.”) This conveys that you’re visualizing a positive outcome for them.

Je touche du bois

If you’re the slightest bit superstitious, you’ve probably said “knock on wood” at some point.

This is a popular saying when everything seems to be going so well that you wonder when the other shoe’s going to drop.

Traditionally, the remark is accompanied by the superstitious gesture of touching (or knocking on) a piece of wood.

This superstition is also well-known in France. So, if something is going well and you want it to stay that way, go ahead and say je touche du bois. Don’t forget to put your hand on a nearby wooden shelf or table for emphasis.

Bon courage

There are times when saying something like bonne chance or je croise les doigts seems just a tiny bit heartless. For these times, you need bon courage.

Literally translated as “good courage,” this is an ideal expression when you want to tell someone not to give up and to hang in there even if something is hard.

Whether your friend is afraid of losing their job, your family member is facing a medical crisis or your significant other is about to take a really hard test at school, bon courage can become your new go-to for offering a little luck with a lot of encouragement.

Other Ways to Say “Good Luck” in French

Of course, wishing someone the best of luck in French isn’t just limited to variations of bonne chance. Here are some more ways to spread the positive vibes all around.

Common French Expressions That Mean "Good Luck"English Translation
Je te souhaite tout le meilleur Wishing you all the best
Bonne fortune à toi Good fortune to you
Que la chance soit de ton côté May luck be on your side
Fonce Go for it
À toi de jouer Knock 'em dead
Bonne route Godspeed
Je t'envoie des ondes positives Sending positive vibes your way
En espérant ton succès Hoping for your success
Que la force soit avec toi May the odds be ever in your favor
Vas-y Go for it
Réussis ton [événement/activité] Have a successful [event/activity]
Fais de ton mieux et brille Do your best and shine
À un résultat prospère To a prosperous outcome
Que tu réussisses dans [situation spécifique] May you thrive in [specific situation]
Pour un [événement/activité] sans accroc Here's to a smooth [task/activity]

Words of Encouragement in French

Although wishing someone luck and offering them encouragement have similar goals (i.e., providing motivation), they differ a bit in how they’re delivered.

While saying “good luck” means you want to send positive vibes in someone’s direction, giving them encouragement usually highlights personal (and positive) qualities of theirs that they should keep in mind going forward.

Without further ado, here are some sample words of encouragement in French.

Words of Encouragement in FrenchEnglish Translation
Tu es incroyable You are amazing
Ne lâche rien Don't give up
Tout est possible Anything is possible
Crois en toi Believe in yourself
Sois fort
Sois forte
Be strong
Tu peux le faire You can do it
Garde la foi Keep the faith
Rien n'est impossible Nothing is impossible
Va jusqu'au bout Go all the way
Aie confiance en toi Have confidence in yourself
Brille comme une étoile Shine like a star
Affronte tes peurs Face your fears
Sois courageux
Sois courageuse
Be brave
Reste positif
Reste positive
Stay positive
Tu es plus fort que tu ne le penses
Tu es plus forte que tu ne le penses
You are stronger than you think
Avance pas à pas Move forward step by step
N'abandonne jamais Never give up
Fais de ton mieux Do your best
Apprends de tes erreurs Learn from your mistakes
Donne le meilleur de toi-même Give your best
Dépasse tes limites Push your limits
Tu es exceptionnel
Tu es exceptionnelle
You are exceptional
La vie est pleine d'opportunités Life is full of opportunities
Réalise tes rêves Chase your dreams
Lâche prise Let go
Garde espoir Keep hope alive
Les épreuves font grandir Challenges make you grow
La persistance paie Persistence pays off
Pense positif
Think positive
N'écoute pas les doutes Don't listen to doubts
Vivez vos passions Live your passions
Reste concentré sur tes objectifs
Reste concentrée sur tes objectifs
Stay focused on your goals
Fais preuve de résilience Show resilience
Affirme-toi Assert yourself
La confiance en soi est la clé Self-confidence is the key
Rêve grand Dream big
Tu es à la hauteur You are up to the challenge
Transforme les obstacles en opportunités Turn obstacles into opportunities
Reste authentique Stay true to yourself
Sois fier de qui tu es
Sois fière de qui tu es
Be proud of who you are

Advanced Ways to Say “Good Luck” in French

The Verb Souhaiter

The verb souhaiter  means “to wish.”

As with English, you can use the verb souhaiter to wish someone luck.

This verb is conjugated as a regular -er verb, like danser or aimer .

Conjugations of the Verb "Souhaiter"English Translation
Je souhaite I wish
Tu souhaites You (singular, informal) wish
Il/Elle souhaite
On souhaite
He/She wishes
We wish (informal)
Nous souhaitons We wish (formal)
Vous souhaitez You (plural/formal) wish
Ils/Elles souhaitent They wish

Another important note about using souhaiter: Pay attention to pronoun placement. In French, indirect object pronouns (e.g. me, you, him, her, it or them) are placed before the verb that modifies them. This is different from English, where these pronouns are placed after the verb.

Here’s how this looks in action:

Je vous souhaite bonne chance. — I wish you good luck.

Nous te souhaitons bonne chance. — We wish you good luck.

Ils me souhaitent bonne chance. — They wish me good luck.

Keep in mind, though, that this is a bit formal and may sound strange in more casual settings. When talking to close friends or family, you’re better off just saying bonne chance.

For more examples of ways to say “good luck” in French, check out the videos on the language learning platform FluentU.

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Using the Subjunctive

The subjunctive mood is used to express subjective things like ideas, feelings or opinions. As such, it’s an ideal way to express your wishes for luck, health and happiness to those around you.

Here are a few examples:

J’espère que tu aies de la chance. — I hope you have good luck.

Je voudrais qu’elle réussisse. — I would like her to succeed.

Que votre famille ait une bonne santé ! — May your family have good health!

A caveat: Be careful about where and when you use the subjunctive this way. Similar to the usage of souhaiter, it can also be quite formal and even a bit dramatic.


So there you have it, a way to say “good luck” in French for every situation. We hope you have lots of fun (and of course, lots of luck) using them.

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