Are you planning a trip to France anytime soon? If so, don’t forget that while you’re there, you might need to clearly communicate your personal contact information. If you have been studying French, you should be able to do so without too much effort. However, it’s not always as easy as one thinks. We’ve noticed with our students at Learn French at Home that many French learners who can already express themselves in different situations in French have a difficult time spelling their names or their email address! For example, if a person asks for your email address, would you be able to give it to her/him with confidence?
Take time to review these basics :
1) Your name (votre nom)
When someone asks Quel est votre nom ? (What’s your name?), you can assume that the person is asking for your last name: Nom de famille.
Mon nom de famille est Johnson. = My last name is Johnson.
Quel est votre prénom ? = What’s your first name?
Mon prénom est Julie. = My first name is Julie.
Mon nom de jeune fille est Wilson. = My maiden name is Wilson.
You might hear French persons asking you to spell your full name (nom). They might ask:
Comment épelez-vous votre nom ? = How do you spell your name?
OR: Comment écrivez-vous votre nom ? = How do you write your name?
Of course, to be able to spell, you have to be comfortable with the French alphabet. If you’re not, then we suggest that you listen to it, get familiar with communicating the letters of your name, home address and email. Repeat it as many times as you need to:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
2) Your address (votre adresse)
You might have to give your full address over the phone or during check-in at a hotel, for example. If someone wants to ask for your address, she/he will ask you:
Quelle est votre adresse ?
You’ll probably need to know the following phrases:
J’habite aux Etats-Unis, au 32 Oakpark Avenue… = I live in the USA, at 32 Oakpark Avenue…
La ville est Ventura. = The city is Ventura.
Le code postal est 93001. = The area code is 93001.
This means that you should know your numbers, both single digits and double digits.
Do you need to refresh your memory on how to say the double digits?
11 to 20 = onze; douze; treize; quatorze; quinze; seize; dix-sept; dix-huit; dix-neuf; vingt; vingt et un.
30; 40; 50 = trente; quarante; cinquante.
Note: When we add the number “one” to “twenty”, “thirty”, “forty”, “fifty” and “sixty”, you’ll also need to add et (and). Not for the other numbers!
31 = trente et un; 41 = quarante et un.
32 = trente-deux; 42 = quarante-deux.
3) Your cell phone number (votre numéro de mobile/portable)
Now that you’ve reviewed the numbers, you should be able to communicate your cell phone number. You might hear Quel est votre numéro de portable ? Or Quel est votre numéro de mobile ? The French have the tendency to say the numbers 2 digits at a time. However, if you’re more comfortable with 1 digit, that’s fine.
Example: Mon numéro de portable est le 04-50-40-61-23.
Note: To give the country code, this is how you say it:
L’indicatif du pays est… = The country code is…