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Top French vocabulary

25 most frequently used French words
listed by part of speech


Top 25 French nouns Top 25 French adjectives
Top 25 French verbs Top 25 French adverbs
Top 25 French prepositions Top 23 French conjunctions
Top 25 French determiners Top 25 French pronouns
It is interesting to note that several of the top words are included in multiple lists because they function as multiple parts of speech -- which might in part explain their frequency.

See also: Top 100 French words

Source: A Frequency Dictionary of French. Core Vocabulary for Learners, by Deryle Lonsdale & Yvon Le Bras, 320 p. (2009).

Top 25 French nouns
1. être (m.) being 14. moins (m.) minus
2. avoir (m.) possession 15. temps (m.) time, times
3. pas (m.) footstep 16. savoir (m.) knowledge
4. pouvoir (m.) power 17. raison (f.) reason
5. son (m.) sound, bran 18. non (m.) no
6. dire (m.) saying 19. an (m.) year
7. devoir (m.) duty 20. monde (m.) world, people
8. avant (m.) front 21. jour (m.) day
9. deux (m.) two 22. monsieur (m.) mister, sir, gentleman
10. bien (m.) good 23. personne (f.) person, people, anyone, nobody
11. fois (f.) time, times 24. part (f.) share
12. nouveau (m.) new (thing) 25. pendant (m.) perndant
13. vouloir (m.) desire  


Top 25 French verbs
1. être to be 14. voir to see
2. avoir to have 15. demander to ask for
3. pouvoir can, to be able 16. trouver to find
4. faire to do, make 17. rendre to render, return, yield, give up
5. mettre to put, place 18. venir to come
6. dire to say 19. passer to pass
7. devoir to have to, owe 20. comprendre to understand
8. prendre to take 21. rester to stay
9. donner to give 22. tenir to hold
10. aller to go 23. porter to wear, carry
11. vouloir to want 24. parler to speak
12. savoir to know 25. montrer to show
13. falloir to take, require, need  


Top 25 French adjectives
1. un a, an, one 14. fort strong
2. sur sour (on, upon) 15. certain certain, sure
3. leur their (theirs, them) 16. fin fine
4. avant before 17. enfant child
5. même same 18. fait done, fact
6. bien well 19. tel such
7. nouveau new 20. droit right
8. moins less 21. quel which, what
9. aucun none, either, neither, not any 22. chaque each
10. quelque some 23. possible possible
11. pendant during 24. moyen medium
12. bon bon 25. plusieurs several
13. seul alone, only  


Top 25 French adverbs
1. ne not 14. encore again, yet
2. pas not 15. déjà already
3. plus then 16. grand great, big, tall
4. tout there 17. moins less
5. mais still, yet 18. très very
6. comme so, therefore 19. quelque some
7. si only 20. non no, not
8. y already 21. alors then, so
9. avant more 22. après after
10. même same, even, self 23. peu little
11. aussi too, also, as 24. bon good
12. bien well 25. depuis since, for
13. where  


Top 23 French conjunctions
1. et and 14. comment how
2. que that, which, who, whom 15. lorsque when
3. mais but 16. or now
4. comme like, as 17. cependant however
5. ou or 18. puisque since
6. si if, whether 19. toutefois however
7. aussi too, also, as 20. combien how much, how many
8. quand when 21. sinon otherwise, or else
9. donc so, then, therefore, thus 22. néanmoins nevertheless
10. soit either ... or 23. quoique although, though
11. car because  
12. pourquoi why Only 23 conjunctions appear in the
13. ni nor top 5000 French words.


Top 25 French prepositions
1. de of, from, some, any 14. pendant during
2. à to, at, in 15. depuis since, for
3. en in, by 16. contre against
4. pour for, in order to 17. sous under
5. dans in, into, from 18. jusque to, up to, until
6. sur on, upon 19. vers toward
7. par by 20. dès from, as soon
8. avec with 21. devant in front, ahead
9. avant before 22. chez at, with
10. entre between 23. près near, nearby, close by
11. moins less 24. selon according to
12. sans without 25. parmi among
13. après after  


Top 25 French pronouns
1. le him, her, it, them 14. leur them, their, theirs
2. un a, an, one 15. y there
3. en in, by 16. elle she, her
4. que that, which, who, whom 17. même same, even, self
5. ce this, that 18. celui that, the one, he, him
6. il he, it 19. where
7. qui who, whom 20. vous you
8. se oneself, himself, herself, itself, themselves 21. cela that, it
9. je I 22. me me, to me, myself
10. tout all 23. aucun none, either, neither, not any
11. autre other 24. lui him, her
12. on one, we 25. dont whose, of which
13. nous we, us  


Top 25 French determiners
1. le the 14. notre our
2. de some, any 15. certain certain
3. un a, an, one 16. trois three
4. ce this, that 17. tel such
5. tout all, very 18. quel which, what
6. son his, her, its 19. chaque each
7. autre other 20. plusieurs several
8. leur them, their, theirs 21. votre your
9. deux two 22. quatre four
10. premier first 23. cinq five
11. mon my 24. ton your
12. aucun none, either, neither, not any 25. dix ten
13. quelque some  


Source:

A Frequency Dictionary of French. Core Vocabulary for Learners,  by Deryle Lonsdale & Yvon Le Bras, 320 p. (2009).
This provides a frequency list of the most common 5000 words in the French language based on a 23 million-word corpus of contemporary French. Each entry lists the word's rank, part of speech, its English translation, a sentence demonstrating the word's usage in context, and the number of occurrences of the word per million words of the corpus. There is an additional alphabetical list of the 5000 words and ordered lists of those words by parts of speech: French adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs, as well as conjunctions, determiners, interjections, prepositions, and pronouns. Of interest are also the 27 thematically organized lists interspersed throughout the book (e.g., colors, professions, sports, adjectives describing positive, neutral and negative emotions, vocabulary usage by register) that rank and provide frequencies of the included words. This is a useful book for instructors and students alike.


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