Crash course in e-mailing in French..

E-mails are less formal than letters, we know that all too well. nevertheless, it is necessary to draft your e-mails professionally. And that you follow well-defined rules. Even in French! Here we give you a crash course in e-mailing in French.

1. Make sure you have a clear subject line.

«Confirmation de votre commande N°23589»

«Invitation aux Portes Ouvertes du 20 avril»

«Absence à la session du 18/04»

A short and concise subject line often determines whether or not the recipient opens your e-mail.   

2. Choose the right form of address.

E-mail communication from a good colleague is obviously very different from that with a customer or with a manager. So be wary of this and therefore effectively adapt your tone to your correspondent, starting with the opening sentence of your e-mail.  

Madame la Directrice,  retake the title of your correspondent if you know it
Madame, Monsieur,  use this if you do not know to whom your e-mail is addressed 
Chère cliente, Cher client,
Bonjour (Madame/Monsieur), 
use this if you do not know to whom your e-mail is addressed 

Be sure not to forget capital letters and commas when addressing them. If you do not know whether your contact is a man or a woman, mention both addresses starting with the feminine form: Honneur aux dames :). 


3. Get straight to the point!

4. Be polite. 


Serait-il possible de…? 

Je voudrais …

5. Stick to the use of 'tu' and 'vous'.

6. Leave a good impression.

Don't forget to show your willingness by mentioning the following in your e-mail, for example: En cas de doute, n'hésitez pas à me contacter. And as for addressing, always end your emails with the appropriate form of politeness. Here are some examples, from most to least formal:

  • Salutations distinguées, 
  • Sincères salutations,  
  • Cordialement, 
  • Bien à vous, 
  • Bonne journée, 

Avoid abbreviations such as cdlt, bàv, slt; these are often too familiar and best used when writing to someone you already know well.

7. Write your own e-mails.

Nowadays, there are many free and effective translation apps on the Internet. Like DeepL, for example. Nevertheless, it is better to write your e-mails yourself. That way you will make progress in French and give your e-mails a personal touch! 


Would you also like to learn to write smooth and effective texts and e-mails in French? Or would you like to boost your French with a flexible language course tailored to your needs? Quickly discover our range of French language courses or get in touch with us.


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