French Podcast Transcripts

How much is it? in French

Let’s learn the many ways to say ‘How Much is it? in French! Just as in English, we have many ways to ask the same question! Do you know that we have three level of French? Formal, common, and familiar?

#1 Formal

Formal is the most elevated French. You will use it in formal settings such as business meetings, academic settings, or when you need to show off you knowledge (just kidding!).

Combien est-ce ?

Combien vous dois-je ?

Pourriez-vous me dire combien cela coûte ? All of these are good examples of formal French! Why? Did you you notice that the subject and the verb are inverted in asking questions and the use of the conditional in pourriez? Use sparingly if you don’t want to sound too dated and formal!

#2 Common

Common also known as standard French is neither too formal nor too familiar. For that, you use ‘est-ce que’ (eskuh) in your question

Combien est-ce que ça coûte ? Combien est-ce que ça coûte ? Combien est-ce que je vous dois ? Est-ce que vous pourriez me dire combien est-ce que ça coûte ?

#3 Familiar

Familiar is what we also called spoken French. The grammar is kept minimal, almost non existent, often using the tone of the voice to convey questions.

C’est combien ?

ça coûte combien ?

Je vous dois combien ?

Vous pouvez me dire ça coûte combien?

Voilà vous savez comment dire How much is it? in French ! Allright! Also keep in mind that people don’t haggle in France, maybe of you got to a swap meet but not is store or farmer’s market!

Since you are here, how about learning how to get around and ask for directions in French?

Thank you again, and please share with your friends, comment, and join the Facebook page or Instagram account!

Merci et à bientôt, Séverine

If you are interested in more in-depth knowledge, I highly recommend this book:

Varieties of Spoken French - Oxford Scholarship Online

Varieties of Spoken French

This book examines the variation found in modern spoken French, based on the research program ‘Phonology of Contemporary French’ (Phonologie du Français Contemporain, PFC). Extensive data are drawn from around the French-speaking world, including Algeria, Canada, Louisiana, Mauritius, and Switzerland. Although the principal focus is on differences in pronunciation, the authors also analyze the spoken language at all levels from sound to meaning. The book is accompanied by a website hosting audio-visual material for teaching purposes, data, and a variety of tools for working with corpora.

The first part of the book outlines some key concepts and approaches to the description of spoken French. Part II is devoted to the study of individual samples from around the world, covering phonological and grammatical features as well as lexical and cultural aspects. The companion website provides a classroom-friendly ready-to-use multimedia version of the 17 chapters in this part, as well as a full transcription of each extract and the sound files. Part III looks at inter- and intra-speaker variation: the opening chapters provide a methodological background to the study of phonological variation using databases, while in the second section, authors present case studies of a number of PFC survey points, including Paris, the Central African Republic, and Québec. Varieties of Spoken French will be an invaluable resource for researchers, teachers, and students of all aspects of French language and linguistics.

And if you still wonder why you should learn to speak French, Yale has a great article about it:

300 million people in the world speak French, a nearly 10% increase since 2014. 

235 million people speak French every day as their main language. (

This is the 5th most-spoken language in the world, after Mandarin, English, Spanish, and Arabic.

This is the second most-learned language in the world, after English. (

What’s the most populous Francophone city in the world?  Paris? Algiers? Montréal?  Guess again!  It’s Kinshasa, the capital of the République démocratique du Congo, with a population of 17.7 million.   The Democratic Republic of Congo is the second most populous Francophone country in the world (42.5 million), after France (66 million).  (

By 2050, French may be among the top three most widely-spoken languages in the world, thanks to rapid development and population growth in the Francophone African countries.

French and English are the only languages to be spoken on all five continents!  (

This is spoken in 106 countries and territories.  (

This is also an official language in 32 states and governments, and 23 of these are in Africa.

French is crucial for international relations and diplomacy.  This is the official language of the International Olympic Committee.  French is an official language of most international organizations, including the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO and the International Court of Justice (with English), and the International Red Cross (with English and Spanish).