French Conjunctions & Audio Pronunciation Recordings

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

French conjunctions and other linking words will help you connect ideas and make better transition. 58 common French connecting words with examples and audio.

Where you looking for French conjugations? Follow the link!

What is a Conjunction?

A conjunction is a word that connects sentences, such as “if, but, and” in English. 

7 French Conjunctions

Examples of conjunctions in French are “mais, ou, donc, or, ni, car”.

  1. Mais – but
  2. Ou – or (ou without accent not to be mistaken with où: where which is used in the sentence…)
  3. Et – and
  4. Donc – so
  5. Or – yet (as in a comment, “yet I don’t know where he leaves”)
  6. Ni – nor
  7. Car – because

​​To remember this, French kids have imagined a sentence.

Mais où est donc Ornicar ?
​You need to imagine “Ornicar” would be a name: ​but where indeed is Ornicar? 

What are “Connecteurs” in French?

In this article, I don’t wish to go explore difficult French grammatical concepts and explain the difference between coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, conjunctive phrases, prepositions, adverbs or locutions. I’d rather call them “linking words”.

French Linking words help you connect ideas and sentences, make smooth transitions. In French, they are called “connecteurs” and are often “conjonctions, prépositions, adverbes ou locutions”. It’s not really important that you know “what” they are grammatically, what matters is that you know how to use them!

Knowing these French linking words often make THE difference in your French speaking skills, and convey meanings that can nuance the whole sentence.

Click on the audio link to hear my recording.

58 French Connecting Words

The first 30 French connecting words examples were written by my Skype French student Sandeep. Thank you so much Sandeep!

1 – vers (around/toward)

  • Je dîne vers 1 heure. (I have lunch around 1).
  • Il vient vers moi. (he is coming toward me).

2 – depuis (since, for)

  • Nous parlons depuis 10 minutes. (we’ve been talking for 10 minutes).
  • J’habite à Paris depuis juillet. (I’ve been living in Paris since July).

Depuis is ONGOING – the action started in the past and is still going on now. You cannot translate from English, you need to understand the French logic.

3 – pendant / durant (during, while, for)

  • Pendant que je travaille, il s’amuse. (he’s having fun while I am working).
  • Il pleut pendant deux heures (It rains for 2 hours).

Pendant expresses a duration of time. It may be in the past, the present, the future, but it’s followed by a duration: it’s not ongoing now.

4 – après ≠ avant (after ≠ before)

  • Après vous ! (after you).
  • Je dîne avant de sortir. (I have dinner before I go out).

5 – jusqu’à (until, up to).

  • Je travaille jusqu’à 5 heures. (I work until 5).
  • Sa propriété va jusqu’à l’arbre. (his lot goes up to the tree).

6 – d’abord (first) – et puis (then).

  • D’abord, vous étudiez la leçon, et puis vous faîtes les exercices. (you first study the lesson, then you do the exercises).

7 – quand (when – mostly used in questions).

  • Quand arrive-t-il ? (when does he arrive ?).
  • Je ne sais pas quand il arrive. (I dont know when he arrives).

8 – lorsque (when – used for simultaneity).

  • Il est content lorsqu’il mange. (he’s happy when he eats).

9 – Il y a (ago/there is-there are).

  • Je suis arrivé il y a 3 semaines. (I arrived 3 weeks ago).
  • Il y a une pomme sur la table. (there is an apple on the table).

10 – environ (approximately).

  • Il est environ minuit. (It’s approximately midnight).

Master the Time in French with audio recordings.

11 – avec (with).

  • Il est avec elle. (he is with her).

12 – sans (without).

  • Il ne peut pas lire sans lunettes. (he cannot read without glasses).

13 – pour (for, in order to).

  • Je travaille pour elle. (I work for her).
  • Je travaille pour gagner de l’argent. (I work in order to earn money).

14 – mais (but).

  • Je parle français mais je ne parle pas espagnol. (I speak French, but I don’t speak Spanish).

15 – contre (against).

  • Mettez la table contre le mur. (put the table against the wall).
  • Il est contre le racisme. (he is against racism).

16 – au contraire (on the contrary).

  • Il pense que j’aime Paul. Au contraire, je le déteste ! (he thinks I am in love with Paul. On the contrary, I hate him !).

17 – en fait (in fact).

  • En fait, je le trouve stupide. (in fact, I think he is stupid).

18 – en plus (furthermore).

  • En plus, il sent mauvais. (Furthermore, he smells bad).    

19 – quant à (as for).

  • Quant à Pierre, il est laid. (as for Pierre, he is ugly).

20 – en effet (indeed).

  • En effet, tu es difficile (you are picky, indeed).

21 – au sujet de (about, concerning)

Je dois vous parler au sujet d’Anne. (I have to tell you about Anne).

22 – d’après / suivant / selon (according to).

D’après lui, elle n’est pas française. (according to him, she’s not French).
Selon moi, la vie est magnifique. (according to me, life is beautiful).

23 – presque (almost)

Il est presque minuit.
It’s almost midnight.

24 – parce que (because – as an answer to pourquoi).

– pourquoi est-ce que vous étudiez l’espagnol ? (why are you studying Spanish ?)
– parce que je veux habiter en Espagne. (Because I want to live in Spain.)

25 – car (because – inside a sentence – volunteering some additional info)

J’étudie l’espagnol car je veux habiter en Espagne.
I study Spanish because I want to live in Spain.

26 – puisque (since).

Puisque tu ne parles pas espagnol, tu ne peux pas travailler en Espagne. Since you don’t speak Spanish, you cannot work in Spain.

27 – alors (then).

Alors, je suis partie.
Then, I left.

28- donc (therefore, so).

Je pense, donc je suis.
I think, therefore I am.

29 – si ≠ sinon (if ≠ if not).

Si Pierre gagne, c’est formidable, sinon, ce n’est pas la fin du monde.
If Pierre wins, it’s great, if not, it is not the end of the world.

30 – enfin (anyway / at last).

Enfin, tu comprends ? (anyway, you understand ?)
J’ai enfin terminé cette liste. (At last, I finished that list).

The best way to learn these little words is to learn them in context.

Check out my downloadable French audiobooks: my bilingual novels are recorded at different speeds and enunciation, and focus on today’s modern glided pronunciation. My French audiobooks are exclusively available on French Today.

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More Details & Audio Samples

Same idea, but now it’s Dianna who took French Zoom lessons with me who worked hard on this list with me. Thank you Dianna!

Click on the audio link to hear my recording of the French connecting words.

You will notice that many of these French expressions are followed by the French Subjunctive.

31 – ainsi – thus, in this/that manner

  • La fée transforma ses jambes en queue de poisson, et ainsi, la princesse devint une sirène.
    The fairy transformed her legs into a fish tale, and thus, the princess became a mermaid.

32 – c’est ainsi que – it’s this way

  • Elle a travaillé dur pendant dix ans. C’est ainsi qu’elle a gagné la compétition.
    She worked hard for 10 years. She won the competition that way. 

33 – alors – then, so, hence

  • Jean Noël ne pouvait pas supporter le bruit dans le club, alors il est sorti.
    JN couldn’t bear the noise in the club, so he went out.

34 – alors que – while, whereas, when

  • Alors que Sophie aime le jazz, Marie déteste ça.
    Whereas Sophie loves jazz, Mary hates it.

35 – aussitôt que –as soon as

  • Aussitôt que la chatte s’est endormie, les souris se sont montrées.
    As soon as the cat fell asleep, the mice showed themselves.

36 – d’autant plus – all the more

  • Il partageait sa passion de la danse. Elle l’aimait d’autant plus.
    He shared her passion for dance. She loved him all the more.

37 – d’autant plus que – even more so since

  • Je suis vraiment déçue. D’autant plus que je lui avais dit de venir chez nous.
    I am really disappointed. Even more so since I told him to come to our house.

38 – bien que – even though (*followed by the subjunctive)

  • Elle l’a fait, bien qu’elle n’en ait pas eu envie.
    she did it even though she didn’t feel like it.

39 – si bien que – hence

  • Ils parlaient à demi-voix si bien qu’elle ne pouvait pas les entendre.
    They spoke softly, hence she couldn’t hear them.

40 – cependant – nevertheless, meanwhile, however

  • Je ne suis pas de son avis. Cependant je le suivrai.
    I don’t share his opinion. Nevertheless I will follow it.

41 – dès – since, from

  • Dès ce moment, il a refusé de parler d’elle.
    From that moment, he refused to talk about her.

42 – Dès que – as soon as

  • Je te téléphonerai dès qu’elle arrivera.
    I’ll call you as soon as she gets here.

43 – en tant que – as (a)

  • En tant qu’ingénieur, elle est très précise.
    As an Engineer, she is very precise.

44 – lorsque – when

  • Ils ont cueilli les cerises lorsqu’elles étaient mûres.
    They picked the cherries when they were ripe.

45 – malgré – despite

  • Malgré son effort, cela n’a pas suffi.
    Despite her efforts, it wasn’t enough.

46 – même si – even if

  • Il ira même si elle n’y va pas.
    He’ll go even if she doesn’t.

47 – à moins que – unless

  • Vous ne pourrez pas voir la directrice à moins que vous ayez un rendez-vous.
    You will not be able to see the director unless you have an appointment.

Note that this expression is followed by the French subjunctive.

48 – néanmoins – however, nevertheless, nonetheless

  • Elle avait peu d’argent néanmoins elle lui a tout donné.
    She had little money, but she gave all to him nonetheless.

49 – pendant que – while, as

  • Marc étudie la chimie pendant qu’il écoute la radio.
    Marc studies chemistry while he is listening to the radio.

50 – pour que – so that

  • Il a couru pour qu’elle ne l’attende pas trop longtemps.
    He ran so that she wouldn’t wait for him too long.

Note that this expression is followed by the French subjunctive.

51 – pourtant – although, still, nevertheless

  • La femme a plus de quarante ans, mais c’est pourtant une beauté.
    The woman is over forty, but she is nevertheless a beauty.

52- puisque – since, because, as, seeing that, for that reason

  • Puisque sa maman ne voulait pas jouer au Monopoly, le petit garçon est sorti jouer dehors.
    Since his mother didn’t want to play Monopoly, the boy went to play outside.

53 – quand même – even though, all the same, nevertheless

  • Ce n’est pas lui qui chantait le mieux, mais il a gagné la compétition quand même.
    He wasn’t the best singer, but he won the contest all the same.

54 – quant à – as for

  • Quant à lui, il préfère ne pas discuter de ce sujet dangereux.
    As for him, he’d rather not talk about this dangerous topic.

55 – quoique – though, although

  • Quoiqu’elle ne sourie pas beaucoup, en réalité elle est très contente.
    Although she doesn’t smile much, in fact she is really happy.

Note that this expression is followed by the French subjunctive.

56 – quoi que – whatever, no matter what (*followed by the subjunctive)

  • Quoi qu’il dise, elle ne le croit pas.
    Whatever he might say, she won’t believe him.

Note that this expression is followed by the French subjunctive.

57 – sinon – except, if not, otherwise, except that, unless

  • Ne sors pas sans manteau, sinon tu vas attrapper froid.
    Don’t go out without a jacket, otherwise you’ll catch a cold.

58 – tandis que – whereas, while

  • Il préfère aller à la plage pour les vacances, tandis qu’elle préfère aller à la montagne.
    He likes to go to the beach for vacations, whereas she prefers the mountains.

If you enjoy learning French language and culture in context, check out French Today’s downloadable French audiobooks: French Today’s bilingual novels are recorded at different speeds and enunciation, and focus on today’s modern glided French pronunciation.

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 25+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Come to Paimpol and enjoy an exclusive French immersion homestay with me in Brittany.

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