How to Say "You Are Beautiful" in French

Given the romantic nature of Paris, it's helpful to know how to comment on beauty.
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Many people regard Paris as one of the world's most beautiful cities, and it's easy to be struck by cupid's arrow during your visit. Telling random people that they're beautiful might not be the best approach, but if you're visiting the city with someone you love and want to convey your feelings in the native tongue, sweep your special someone off her feel by telling her that she's beautiful in French.

1 Singular Usage

To express the sentiment "you are beautiful" to a woman in French, say "tu es belle." The phonetic pronunciation of this short phrase is roughly, "too eh bell." Alternatively, you can say "tu es jolie," which means "you are pretty." Pronounce "tu es jolie" as "too eh jo-lee." To tell a man he is good-looking, say "tu es beau," which is pronounced, "too eh bo."

2 Plural Usage

If you're speaking to one or more women and want to convey the message that they're beautiful, it's necessary to use the plural form of the phrase. Say "vous etes belles" to share this sentiment with more than one person. The pronunciation of "vous etes belles" is similar to "voos et bell." To say this sentiment to one or more men, say "vous etes bel," which is pronounced the same.

3 Speaking About Beauty

When you wish to describe the beautiful person you see to someone else, the phrase is slightly different from "tu es belle." Say "une belle femme" or "une jolie femme" to express the sentiment that a woman is beautiful. Pronounce either of these short phrases as "oon bell fem" or "oon jo-lee fem," respectively. For a girl, rather than woman, use "fille" instead of "femme." Pronounce the former term "fee." To describe a handsome man, say "un bel homme," which is pronounced, "uh bell umm."

4 Nice to Meet You

Walking up to a stranger in a French-speaking country and telling the person that she's beautiful is more than a little direct. A safer approach is to say that it's nice to meet her. In French, you can express this sentiment with one simple word: "enchante." Pronounce this word similar to "on-shon-tay."

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.