11 of the best phrases to flirt in French

Is France’s romantic vibe making you want to learn more about flirting? A good way to start is to get familiar with the key phrases to use when it comes to this ancient art. Here’s a round-up of the basics. 

French couple kissing at the Metro
Need help with the language of love? Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP

As flirting generally takes place in an informal situation, the following phrases are mostly quite colloquial, and we’ve used them all with the familiar tu form of you.

If you’re in a situation where the formal vous is required, then we would suggest that flirting is probably not appropriate (unless you’re into role play of course, but that’s a whole other article).

Draguer – to flirt. If you fancy trying your hand at the French dating scene, draguer is the perfect word, it means flirting with or hitting on someone.

You can decide to be upfront about it and say it directly to the person you fancy. Oui je te drague – Yes, I’m hitting on you.

But you can also use it to gossip: Ce mec drague toutes les nanas au bureau ! – This guy flirts with all the girls at the office! 

Find out more about that phrase here

Chiner – to hit on. The younger generation use it all the time when it comes to chatting someone up or hitting on them. Tu le chines? – Are you hitting on him?

But be careful, this word is also commonly used when you go bargain hunting for old furniture or second-hand goods at a Brocante  (a vintage or second hand market) so don’t assume that everyone at the market is flirting with you.

Find out more about that phrase here

Faire la cour – to woo. This is a pretty dated phrase but you may still hear it, and not only if you’re watching a historical movie.

Il lui fait la cour depuis des mois – He’s been wooing her for months. 

Aborder – to approach. This can be used in several contexts to mean an approach or to broach a subject, but in a romantic sense it means making your first approach to the object of your affections.

You can use this word when it comes to talking to someone for the first time, whether it is online or in real life.

Je n’ose pas l’aborder – I’m afraid of approaching her. 

Le ou la faire craquer – to fall for someone. Craquer means to ‘give in’ so you’ll use this idiomatic phrase when you’ve managed to seduce someone or when you have been seduced.

Elle me fait trop craquer – I’ve really fallen for her.

Voici mes conseils pour le faire craquer –  Here’s my advice to snag him.  

En pincer pour to like. Pincer means ‘to pinch’ but this idiomatic phrase is used when you are really fond of someone.

J’en pince pour toi – I really like you. 

Décrocher un premier rendez-vous – To get a first date. It’s not always easy but when it happens you may want to share the news.

J’ai enfin décroché un premier rendez-vous avec elle ! – I finally got a first date with her!

Se le ou se la taper – to have sex with someone. Taper means to ‘hit’. But the phrase se le ou se la taper is an informal way to gossip about sexual relationships. It’s a more slangy and slightly ruder alternative to the classic coucher – to sleep with someone.

Tu crois qu’il se l’est tapée ? – Do you think he had sex with her? Si seulement je pouvais me le taper ! If only I could take him to bed!

Pécho – making out. Pécho is verlan (reversing the order of syllables in a word) of choper which means ‘to grab’ or ‘catch’. This phrase can mean different things (find out more here), and one of them is ‘making out’ or ‘hooking up’.

On s’est pécho – We made out.

Smacker – to kiss (without the tongue). Although ‘to smack’ actually means slapping someone in English, in French it can be used to describe ‘un smack’, a kiss where only the lips touched (as opposed to the French kiss) and the verb ‘smacker’ derives from it. Il m’a smacké ! – He kissed me!

Séduire – to seduce. The ultimate goal is to seduce someone when you’re flirting. Séduire is now slightly old-fashioned and it’s often used in a more metaphorical sense such as consumers or voters being ‘seduced’ by a brand or a politician, but you can also use it in a romantic situation.

Elle cherche à me séduire – She’s trying to seduce me. 

Here are some key phrases to ask someone out: 

Prendre un verre – To have a drink. 

Ça te dit d’aller prendre un verre ? – Would you fancy having a drink?

Boire un coup – Grab a drink (informal) 

Tu veux qu’on aille boire un coup ? – Do you want to go get a drink? 

Tu veux boire quoi ? – What do want to drink?

Manger un bout – grabbing something to eat. Here’s an informal way to ask somebody to have dinner with you. On va manger un bout ? – Let’s go eat something?

Here are some phrases to ask for someone’s number:

Je peux prendre ton 06 ? – In France, cell phone numbers start with 06, so it’s an informal way to ask someone his or her number.  

C’est quoi ton numéro ? – What’s your number?

Je peux avoir ton numéro de portable ? – Can I get your cell phone number?

If you feel like tackling online dating in France, check out our guide

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The French films with English subtitles to watch in October 2023

Lost in Frenchlation - the cinema club that screens French films with English subtitles - has a strong offering for October 2023.

The French films with English subtitles to watch in October 2023

Lost in Frenchlation‘s mission is simple – to open up the wonderful world of French cinema to people whose French is not yet good enough to understand a whole film without subtitles. 

The club has recently expanded to Biarritz, Caen and south-west France, but its October screenings are all in Paris.

Screenings are preceded by drinks allowing foreigners in the capital to make new friends and some of the October showings also include an optional walking tour, Q&A sessions (in English) with the film directors, stand-up comedy and even karaoke.

Here’s what is coming up:

Le livre des solutions 

Details – Friday, October 6th at Club de L’Etoile cinema, 14 Rue Troyon, 75017 Paris. Drinks from 18h, film starts at 19h, followed by Q&A with the director. Tickets €8-€10, book here

Film – This dark comedy, directed by Michel Gondry, focuses on a filmmaker who cannot stand to see his creative vision picked apart by an overbearing production team. In frustration, the protagonist flees to his aunt’s house to finish making the film untethered from the rest of his team. And that is when things start to fall apart. Starring Pierre Niney, this film is not to be missed. 

L’été dernier 

Details – Friday, October 13th at Club de L’Etoile cinema, 14 Rue Troyon, 75017 Paris. Women of Paris tour at 4:30pm, Drinks from 7pm, Screening at 8pm. Screening tickets €7-€8.5, book here. Walking tour tickets €15, book here

Film – Anne, a high-flying lawyer lives a conventional life with her husband, Pierre, and two young daughters. But when Theo, Pierre’s estranged 17-year-old son moves in, things get complicated. A strange and passionate relationship develops between Anne and Theo throwing family life into jeopardy. Directed by Catherine Breillat, this sensitive film won plaudits at Cannes.


Details – Thursday October 19th at Luminor Cinema, 20 Rue du Temple, 75004 Paris. Drinks from 7pm, standup comedy show at 8pm, screening at 8:30pm. Tickets €12-€16, available here

Film – This dark comedy follows the story of a Parisian theatre production taken hostage by an armed carpark attendent who is unhappy with the performance he sees on stage. Like many Quentin Dupieux films, it is packed full of witty one-liners and smart dialogue. First released at the Locarno film festival, Yannick received broadly positive reviews. 

Y_Digicut SPOT A_v2VOSTA from Lost in Frenchlation on Vimeo.

Les demoiselles de Rochefort 

Details – Sunday, October 22nd at Luminor cinema, 20 Rue du Temple, 75004 Paris. Drinks, karaoke and giveaway from 7pm, screening at 8pm. Tickets €7- €8.50, available here

FilmLes demoiselles de Rochefort was first released in 1967 and features one of the most iconic performances from French star, Catherine Deneuve. Lost in Frenchlation is showing the film again in October to mark Deneuve’s 80th birthday. The film follows the story of twin sisters who move to the big-city to escape the dreary life of small-town France and is seen as a masterpiece of 60s cinema. 

Le procès Goldman 

Details – Thursday, October 26th at L’Arlequin cinema, 76 Rue de Rennes, 75006 Paris. Drinks from 7pm, screening at 8pm, followed by a Q&A with the screenwriter. Tickets €8.50-€11, available here

Film – This gripping courtroom drama is based on the true story of the 1975 trial of Pierre Goldman – a left-wing activist accused of armed robbery and murder. The trial itself was one of the most prolific in French history and divided the country down political, ideological and racial lines. This tension is captured in Cédric Khan’s film. 

Anatomie d’une chute 

Details – Sunday, October 29th at L’Arlequin cinema, 76 Rue de Rennes, 75006 Paris. Drinks and custom ice cream from Kev Glace from 7pm, screening at 8pm. Tickets €8.50-€11, available here

FilmAnatomie d’une chute won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. When a man is found dead in the snow beneath a chalet in the Alps, investigators attempt to decipher whether he died by suicide or was murdered – by his wife. This psychological thriller is director Justine Triet’s best film yet.