Good Morning in French: Your Guide to Morning Greetings and Phrases
For some of us it’s a hot cup of coffee and a hearty breakfast.
For others, it’s a 5-step skincare routine.
Regardless of which camp you fall into, we all have a preferred way to start our mornings. And for the French, it’s a greeting as soon as anyone enters the room. Even a room full of strangers.
Start your day on the right foot with these seven ways to say “good morning” in French, and three additional phrases worth adding to your morning routine.
- 1. Bonjour — Good morning
- 2. Bonne journée — Have a good day
- 3. Bonjour tout le monde — Good morning everyone
- 4. Bonjour à toutes et à tous — Good morning ladies and gentlemen
- 5. Bonjour + Title or Pet Name
- 6. Bon matin — Good morning
- 7. Bonne matinée — Have a good morning
- Other Morning Greetings and Phrases
1. Bonjour — Good morning
Bonjour is the first thing that you learn when you start studying French, and for good reason. It’s formal, which means it’s always suitable for any crowd. And it’s also simple, for native speakers and beginners alike.
Throughout this list, you’ll learn a few variations on this word for different contexts. However, when in doubt, you can never go wrong with a simple bonjour whenever you see someone.
Bonjour Pierre, ça va ? — Good morning Pierre, how are you?
2. Bonne journée — Have a good day
Don’t be fooled by the similar appearance between bonjour and bonne journée. While they have similar meanings, they are not used in the same way. Think of it as each phrase framing opposite ends of the same conversation.
Bonjour is a greeting, said before starting a conversation. However, bonne journée is a farewell, said once the conversation is over and someone is leaving. While you’d never enter a room with this phrase, don’t hesitate to use it to spice up your goodbyes in French.
Je vais au travail. Bonne journée ! — I’m going to work. Have a good day!
3. Bonjour tout le monde — Good morning everyone
The phrase tout le monde literally translates to “all the world” but in languages such as French and Spanish, it’s how one says “everybody.”
What’s ideal about this phrase is that it allows you to address an audience, without specifying the gender of that audience.
Therefore, if you need to address an entire room (as opposed to specific people) or you don’t know who you’re addressing, this is the ideal blanket statement to have at your fingertips.
Bonjour tout le monde. Tout va bien ? — Good morning everyone. All is well?
4. Bonjour à toutes et à tous — Good morning ladies and gentlemen
Technically, this phrase is similar to bonjour tout le monde in that it addresses a crowd, indicated by the words tous and toutes (which are the masculine and feminine plural of the word “all,” respectively). The difference is that this phrase is gender specific, addressing a crowd of men and women.
Likewise, the phrase can be split to address a single-sex crowd. Namely, bonjour à toutes to address an all-female audience. And bonjour à tous to address an all-male audience.
Bonjour à toutes et à tous, vous êtes prêts à commencer ? — Good morning ladies and gentlemen, are you ready to begin?
5. Bonjour + Title or Pet Name
In the very likely event that you will need to address someone specifically, whether they are a professional or someone close to you, the French have you covered.
The formula is simple; pair Bonjour with one of the myriad of pet names or titles which exist in the French language. And there are plenty to choose from. Almost every imaginable situation can be navigated with a Bonjour Monsieur or Bonjour Madame , unless the person has a specific title such as Bonjour Docteur .
And there is no shortage of pet names to refer to your significant other, family member or close friend. So you can start simple and common, such as bonjour ma puce (my darling, literally “my flea”) or bonjour mon chou (my cabbage or puff pastry). And if you’re really in love, bonjour mon coeur (my heart) or bonjour mon trésor (my treasure) will definitely show the intensity of your feelings.
Bonjour Monsieur Dupont, je voudrais acheter une pomme. — Good morning Mr. Dupont, I would like to buy an apple.
Bonjour ma puce, tu as bien dormi ? — Good morning my darling, did you sleep well?
6. Bon matin — Good morning
Bon matin is used in the same way as bonjour—a greeting prior to launching into a conversation. After some reflection, this phrase feels more apt given that the word matin translates to “morning.” Regardless, there is an important caveat which will determine how appropriate it is to use this phrase in the first place.
Based on my research, bon matin is bonjour’s French Canadian twin. And I’m inclined to trust the research given that in all my time living in France, I’ve never heard it used. Therefore, be careful where you use either phrase, depending on whether you’re in Europe or Canada.
Bon matin Luc, ça va ? — Good morning Luc, how are you?
7. Bonne matinée — Have a good morning
Harkening back to my analogy about bonjour and bonne journée framing opposite sides of a conversation, and given what we’ve learned about bon matin, naturally bonne matinée is bonne journée’s French Canadian twin. Therefore, the same rule applies in that it’s used at the end of a conversation. And you likely won’t need it in France, but it will come in handy in Québec.
Je pars, bonne matinée ! — I’m leaving, have a good morning!
As you can see, it’s important to take context into account when learning and using French, and a great way to learn how to use these phrases is by immersing yourself in French content.
There are plenty of resources you can use to hear them used in context, from French TV shows to a language learning program like FluentU.
FluentU uses authentic French videos, like movie trailers and interesting talks, to teach you the language in context through immersion. You can use the interactive subtitles that accompany every video to assist your language learning by simply hovering over them to find a quick definition of a word used in the video.
One particularly useful feature is the contextual video dictionary, which allows you to search for specific words and phrases and find videos where they appear. You could try searching for some of the phrases listed in this post on FluentU and see how they are used by native French speakers.
Other Morning Greetings and Phrases
Salut — Hi
At the top of this list, I noted that bonjour is an ideal word to remember because it works in every situation. However, because it’s so formal, it’s not the best word to use if you’re greeting a friend, family member or close acquaintance.
I still stand by my statement that bonjour is your best bet if you’re ever in doubt. However, if you know you’re greeting someone close to you, it’s fine to drop some of the formalities with a simple salut, always remembering that the “t” is silent.
Salut Sarah, quoi de neuf ? — Hi Sarah, what’s up?
Vous avez bien dormi ? — Did you sleep well?
What better follow-up to a morning greeting, or a unique morning greeting in its own right, than to ask someone how they slept?
Clearly, this is best used if you’re seeing someone immediately after they’ve woken up. So maybe not the question to pose as soon as you walk into work or your local bakery. Unless you’ve previously had a conversation with your baker about sleep habits.
This phrase takes place in the past tense, indicated by the helping verb avoir (to have) and the conjugation of the word dormir (to sleep). It also uses either the formal vous form and the informal tu form, depending on the audience.
Therefore, if you were asking this question to a group or awkwardly to a stranger, you would ask vous avez bien dormi ? But in case you’re used to talking about sleep habits with your local baker, maybe tu as bien dormi is a more suitable option.
Coucou Léa, tu as bien dormi ? — Hi Léa, did you sleep well?
Bonjour Docteur, vous avez bien dormi ? — Good morning Dr, did you sleep well?
Réveillez-vous ! — Wake up!
No post about morning greetings would be complete without a forceful wake-up call. In French, you would use the verb réveiller (often seen as the reflexive verb se réveiller ) which means to wake or awaken.
To use this phrase, you would have to employ either the tu or vous conjugation of the verb réveiller, being the informal and formal or plural version of the verb.
Case in point, if you were using this phrase on one person that you know very well, you would say réveille-toi ! As opposed to using this phrase on someone you aren’t as familiar with, or a group of sleeping people, you would say réveillez-vous ! Yelling is optional.
Réveille-toi ! Il est temps d’aller à l’école. — Wake up! It’s time to go to school.
Réveillez-vous Madame, vous allez être en retard. — Wake up Ma’am, you’re going to be late.
The first morning you wake up bright and early in a francophone country, rest assured that you can confidently greet everyone you see with a few phrases from this list.
Keep the momentum going throughout the day by learning greetings that are useful anytime. And let your parting words be as polite as your greetings by learning different ways to say goodbye.