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meilleurs voeux best wishes

Offering your Best Wishes in French on Different Occasions


If you’re starting to learn how to speak French, it’s best to learn some basic French politeness phrases and greetings for different occasions. And this includes learning how to say best wishes in French. After all, knowing these phrases ensures that you can excellently offer well wishes to your French friends.

So, how do you wish all the best in French? More importantly, what specific French expressions can you use for birthdays, anniversaries, festivities, and the like? If you’re yet to learn these phrases, don’t worry! Because in this article, you will learn helpful French phrases to say on different occasions.

General Greeting for Saying Best Wishes in French

In general, to offer good wishes in French, you will use the following phrase:

  • Meilleurs vœux

This translates to “best wishes” in English and is a simple but great way of offering your best wishes to someone. However, there are other French greetings you can use for specific occasions. Besides, learning these phrases will allow you to confidently greet your French friends and acquaintances appropriately in different events.

french for best wishes - meilleurs voeux
Image by Sagar Chauhan from Pixabay

French Greeting for Wishing Someone Luck in Their Work

Wishing someone well in their work is very much appreciated, particularly if they’re venturing into a new career path or job. For instance, to wish someone good luck on the first day of their new job at a particular company, you can utter the following greeting:

  • Bonne chance pour ta première journée chez [company] – Good luck on your first day at [company]

On the other hand, if someone you know has an upcoming job interview, you can cheer them on by saying this French phrase:

  • Bonne chance pour ton entretien ! – Good luck with your interview!

When they managed to get the job, you might say:

  • Bien joué ! – Well done!

Meanwhile, if you ever need to offer your warm wishes to someone regarding their new work journey, here are some French phrases you can use below.

  • Nous te souhaitons beaucoup de succès dans cette prochaine étape professionnelle. – We wish you every success on your latest career move.
  • Nous te souhaitons bonne chance dans ton nouveau travail chez [company] – We wish you the best of luck in your new job at [company]
bonne chance – good luck
Image by Leo Fontes from Pixabay

French Greetings for wishing Someone Luck in their Academics

As simple it seems, uplifting someone prior to their exam will give them that extra boost of confidence! You can say the general French phrases to give your best wishes in French to someone with an upcoming exam:

  • Bonne chance ! – Good luck!
  • Bon courage ! – Good luck!
  • Bon courage pour votre examen ! – Good luck with your exam!
  • Bon courage pour vos études ! – Good luck with your studies

Although you can use both phrases to tell someone good luck, these two phrases do have their distinctions in meaning. After all, bonne courage is usually said to those who have to deal with difficult or unenjoyable tasks. This makes bonne courage a suitable phrase to say to someone going through something challenging with something worthwhile waiting for them in the end.

Alternatively, here’s another academics-related French phrase you should learn. You can say the following French words when wishing someone all the best for their upcoming tests:

  • Je croise les doigts pour que ton examen se passe bien. – I’m crossing my fingers for your exam to go well.

Je croise les doigts, as seen above, means I cross my fingers in English. It’s another common way of sending your warm wishes in French that has an identical phrase in the English language.

Lastly, if you want to send your best wishes to someone’s studies in French, this is what you’ll have to say:

  • Je vous souhaite bonne chance dans vos études ! – I wish you good luck in your studies!
  • Je vous souhaite beaucoup de succès à l’université ! – I wish you a lot of success at the university!
bonne anniversaire – happy birthday
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

French Expressions for Wishing Someone a Happy Birthday

Are you wondering how you can greet someone happy birthday in French? Here are some French birthday greetings you can tell them. And in case you didn’t know, the French birthday song’s tune is identical to the English birthday song’s tune!

Of course, the only difference is that you sing it with French lyrics. Simply replace the English lyrics with the French ones, and you should be able to sing your friends a warm, happy birthday song.

  • Joyeux anniversaire ! – Happy birthday! (Note: this is the phrase used in the French birthday song.)
  • Bonne anniversaire ! – Happy birthday!
  • Bonne fête ! – Happy birthday! (literally: Have a great party!)

In addition, there are other ways you can sincerely greet someone during their special day in French. Furthermore, you can attach some of these phrases right after giving your general birthday greeting for a more heartfelt French birthday message!

  • Que tu profites encore de nombreuses années ! – May you enjoy many more years!
  • Que tous tes désirs se réalisent ! – May all your wishes come true!
  • Je te souhaite plein de bonheur en cette journée spéciale. – Wishing you every happiness on your special day.
  • Je te souhaite tout plein de bonheur en cette journée particulière. Passe une merveilleuse journée ! – Wishing you every happiness this special day brings. Have a wonderful birthday!

And as you’ve noticed, French sentences using the exclamation point (!) in sentences tend to add an extra space prior to adding the mentioned punctuation mark. So, when greeting your friends a happy birthday in French through text or chat, don’t forget to add the extra space between the sentence and the exclamation point.

French Greetings for Christmas and New Year

Christmas and New Year, without a doubt, will be another season filled with greeting your family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and many more people. With that said, here are French phrases you can use to send your best wishes in French throughout the festive period:

  • Joyeux Noël ! – Merry Christmas!
  • Bonne Année ! – Happy New Year!
  • Bonnes fêtes de fin d’année ! – Happy Holidays !
  • Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année ! – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! / Season’s Greetings!
  • Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année de la part de […] – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from […] / Season’s Greetings from […]

In addition, the French greeting “Meilleurs Vœux” can also be used to say “Season’s Greetings” in French. But outside of the festive period, you can also use this phrase to simply say best wishes in French.

Félicitations pour votre marriage - best wishes for newlyweds
Image by ANURAG1112 from Pixabay

French Greetings for Newlywed Couples

Do you know a French couple that will get married soon? Here are French phrases you should learn to congratulate them on the day of their wedding day:

  • Félicitations pour votre marriage ! – Congratulations on the wedding!
  • Félicitations aux jeunes mariés pour leur heureuse union. – Congratulations to the newlyweds on their happy union.

To add, here are informal French phrases you can use with your close family and friends on their special day:

  • Félicitations pour vous être dit “oui” ! – Congratulations on saying yes! / Congratulations on saying your “I do’s”!
  • Félicitations à vous deux ! – Congratulations to both of you!

And after sincerely congratulating them during their big day, here are some French greetings you can add to wish them well in their new chapter in life!

  • J’espère que vous serez très heureux ensemble. – I hope you’ll be very happy together.
  • J’espère que vous vous rendrez extrêmement heureux l’un l’autre. – I hope you will make each other extremely happy.

More French Expressions for Wedding Anniversary Greetings

Besides offering your best wishes in French to newlywed couples, you will also be greeting married couples during their wedding anniversaries. Considering that, here are French greetings you can use to greet couples during their wedding anniversaries:

  • Joyeux anniversaire ! – Happy Anniversary!
  • Joyeux …(ème) anniversaire de mariage ! – Happy […]th Anniversary!
  • Félicitations pour vos noces […] – Congratulations on your […] wedding anniversary!

As you noticed, joyeux anniversaire is also used to wish someone a happy anniversary in French. This is because the word “anniversaire” doesn’t just correspond to birthdays. As seen above, it corresponds to anniversaries too.

mes amities - best wishes in french letter
Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

French Greetings to Sign Off Letters/Emails and Wish the Recipients Good Luck

In emails or letters, you’d often sign off your emails by wishing good luck to your recipients. Now, if you don’t know how to sign off emails and wish your recipients all the best, here are a few French phrases you can use below. By learning these phrases, you can now confidently sign off your emails while wishing them all the best!

  • Amitiés – all the best/best wishes
  • Mes amities – my best wishes/my best regards
  • Toute mon amitié – very best wishes

Final Takeaways

Overall, there are plenty of French phrases to use for different occasions. Although you can use common French phrases above when offering your best wishes or wishing someone good luck, there will be a time when you’ll have to use specific greetings for different occasions.

Remembering and learning how to pronounce these expressions may seem like a challenge, but don’t worry. You’ll eventually get the hang of it. Learning French isn’t easy, but with constant practice and with the aid of valuable learning resources, you’ll master the French language little by little. Remember, practice makes perfect! Best wishes or meilleurs vœux on your French learning journey.