Monsieur in French
Monsieur is a masculine noun in French that refers to a man. Monsieur often translates to Mister, Mr., Sir in English. Its singular form is “monsieur” and it becomes “messieurs” in the plural.
- Monsieur, s’il vous plaît un café (Please sir, May I have a coffee)
- Messieurs, le taxi vient d’arriver (Excuse me sirs, the taxi just arrived)
Monsieur can be added when greeting someone in French, as far as you are greeting a man.
As being polite is important in many situations, using the word Monsieur is recommended whenever you want to show politeness when speaking French.
Therefore, when greeting a man it shows more respect when adding the word Monsieur at the end of the sentence in French.
- A correct way is to say: Bonjour, comment puis-je vous aider? (Good morning, how can I help you?)
- However, the sentence becomes more polite when adding the word monsieur: Bonjour Monsieur, comment puis-je vous aider? (Good morning sir, how can I help you?)
How to pronounce “monsieur” in French?
In French, the word monsieur is pronounced /məsjø/. In details:
- /m/ sound: This sound is made by closing the lips and pushing air through the nose. No air should leave your mouth. Vibrate your vocal cords.
- /ə/ sound: The tongue is in the central part of the mouth, the mouth is more relaxed and the lips are slightly rounded.
- /s/ sound: Place the tip of your tongue lightly against the ridge behind your upper teeth but do not touch the teeth. As you push air out of your mouth, squeeze the air between the tip of your tongue and the top of your mouth. Do not vibrate your vocal cords as you make this sound.
- /j/ sound: It is pronounced like the beginning of the English word yes. The tongue is slightly more forward.
- /ø/ sound: The tongue is forward in the mouth, pushed forward, the tip of the tongue is against the lower teeth and the lips are rounded.
As for the plural form of monsieur, messieurs is pronounced /mesjø/:
- /e/ sound: The tongue is forward in the mouth, the tip of the tongue is against the lower teeth and the lips are rounded
This Instagram video will show you how to pronounce the French words Monsieur and Messieurs. Click the link to listen to this video or directly play the video shown below.
Get a better French pronunciation
The French language contains a large number of words that are difficult to pronounce. To learn the right pronunciation of French words, check our article on the pronunciation of French words.
Using Monsieur In French
While you can use Monsieur when speaking to a man or referring to a man in your discussion, its equivalent when referring or speaking to a woman is Madame. When it comes to more than one woman, then Madame becomes Mesdames.
- Bonjour Madame, je suis désolé d’arriver en retard. (Good morning Madam, I’m sorry for being late).
- Bonjour Mesdames, je suis content de vous voir de nouveau. (Hello ladies, I’m glad to see you again)
If you meet both women and men you need to use the following expressions:
- Messieurs dames. Here is one example:
Bonjour messieurs dames, que puis-je faire pour vous: Good morning, what can I do for you?
Monsieur, Madame: the abbreviations in French
The French abbreviation for monsieur is M. with a dot at the end. The plural form is MM. with a dot. Here is what this looks like:
- M. Jean Gironde
- MM. les conseillers
Madame’s abbreviation doesn’t have a dot as the abbreviation ends with the last letter of the word madame : Mme. The plural form is Mmes without a dot. Here is how it is written:
- Mme Marie Lacroix
Mademoiselle doesn’t have a dot as the abbreviation ends with the last letter of the word mademoiselle : Mlle. The plural form is Mlles without a dot. It is written as follows:
- Mlle Julie Martin
In France the term “mademoiselle” is used to designate a young girl or a presumed unmarried woman. This term is used less and less. Moreover in 2012, the French Council of State validates the deletion of the term “Mademoiselle” in the administrative documents.
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