Tips to study and remember French vocabulary.

Learning French vocabulary is important for every language student, and it needs to be a central part of any French course that you want to take. What are some good ways to study and above all remember and use French vocabulary? Read on to pick up some useful tips!

Use word families

Studying and trying to memorize a long list of unrelated French vocabulary words is hard work and not very useful. Try instead to learn and practice new words that have a common theme. For example, find words that describe your home, shopping, things that you see at work. This makes learning logical, easy and fun.

Don’t translate

The initial instinct of many students is to translate a new word into their native language but doing so is the quickest way to forget the meaning. The best way to learn a new word is to see it in context, which could be as a visual or audio example. And if you can’t understand the meaning from the context, try to read the definition in French first or read some synonyms. Make translating your very last option. To put things into context, find videos, movies or books that speak about a specific subject and review which are the ones that keep appearing all the time.


A great way to review words you already know and learn new ones is to read. By reading we don’t mean a long novel, but rather articles, short stories, news, social network posts, etc. Make sure to be aware of your own level so you can read things that you can comprehend. Trying to read a financial article in the Wall Street Journal can be a bit tough for someone who just started learning French.


French has a surprisingly large vocabulary compared to some languages, but the number of words we regularly use are relatively limited, which is good news for you. This makes it even more important to focus your studies on the kind of everyday language that you really need.


Once you have learned new words, you need to use them again and again, because only by using language will it stick in your mind. After seeing new vocabulary presented in a natural context and then checking your understanding in an exercise make sure to go out and practice what you learned. If you only take the first step without putting your knowledge into practice, you’ll forget the new words almost immediately.

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