Speak French: How to talk about prices in French

Read on to:

  • Get ready to go shopping in French by learning how to ask for prices
  • Learn how to use numbers to talk about money in French

Want to know how to talk about prices in French?

Do you dream of shopping on the Champs-Elysees on your big trip to France? Would you like to know how to ask vendors about prices at an outdoor market in Martinique? Whatever your destination, read on to find out what you need to know.

Asking for the price

Like in any language, French has lots of ways to ask for prices, but you don’t need to know them all. Learn one (or both!) of these two phrases, and you’re good to go:

Combien ça coûte?

This is a casual way of asking, “How much does this cost?”

'Combien coûte le/la…’ + name of the item

This means, “How much does the (name of item) cost?”

Quel est le prix?

This means, “What is the price?”

Here’s what a conversation might look like:

You: Combien coûte le collier? - How much does the necklace cost?

Shopkeeper: C’est vingt euros et cinquante centimes. - It’s 20 euros and 50 cents.

Talking about money

French speakers use the following patterns to talk about prices:

[number] [currency] et [number] centimes

Here’s an example: sept euros et vingt-cinq centimes (“7 euros and 25 cents”)

Just like you can shorten “a dollar and twenty-five cents” to “a dollar twenty-five” in English, you can also drop et and centimes in French and just say: sept euro vingt-cinq.

Counting by tens

Need a refresher on the numbers? Here’s how to get to 100 in French counting by 10s:

  • Dix - 10
  • Vingt - 20
  • Trente - 30
  • Quarante - 40
  • Cinquante - 50
  • Soixante - 60
  • Soixante-dix - 70
  • Quatre-vingts - 80
  • Quatre-vingt-dix - 90
  • Cent - 100
Banner image with an extra tip: Did you know? In Swiss French the -ante ending is used consistently when counting by 10s: septante (70), huitante (80) and nonante (90).  Number punctuation conventions vary worldwide. In the US, commas separate digits over 1,000, while decimals indicate additional change. Meanwhile, in France and other parts of Europe, commas are used for marking change, and decimals or spaces indicate numbers over 1,000. A $1,299.00 price in the US is marked as 1.299,00 € or 1299,00 € in France.

Don’t stop here! Read on for more useful phrases for placing an order/making a request…

Ready for more? Here are a few more phrases that might come in handy while you’re shopping:

argent - money

panier - shopping basket

faire du shopping - go shopping

bonnes affaires - good deals

Practice makes perfect!

If you’re learning French, interacting with other people is the best way to practice. There’s no better way to get skilled at talking about shopping in French than to actually practice with real people.

So before you head off on your dream vacation, …

Come practice with us in Immerse!

Immersive language learning in VR is a groundbreaking way to learn a language from your desktop or VR headset. Learn through live classes in over 40 scenes, or hang out in the Commons to practice and play games with other language learners.
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