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Bonne année

Updated: May 19

“Bonne année” is how to say Happy New Year in French.

Quite easy.

But it highlights an interesting relationship between certain pairs of words: there are two words for year, day, evening, where one is considered sufficient in English.

“Hello” is surely one of the first words that you learn in a foreign language, and any student of French will know “Bonjour”. Put it into the feminine form – “Bonne journée” – and you are now able to say “Have a good day”.

Exactly the same applies for evening: “Bonsoir” is the initial greeting, and “Bonne soirée” is to wish someone a good rest-of-the-evening.

Wishing someone well is extremely efficient in French, and the phrases below have become standard greetings. You can simply put bon/bonne (masculine/feminine) followed by a particular word. The English translations below are quite loose, but you get the idea:

* Bonne route – Safe travels

* Bonnes vacances – Have a nice holiday

* Bon courage – Good luck! Hang in there! Stay strong!

* Bon retour – We wish you well as you go back

* Bonne continuation – Good onward travels

* Bonne nuit – Good night

We are starting a new online course for French beginners: Thursdays 7:30pm, starting next week (January 13th). Contact us here if you would like to reserve a place.

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