The secret word to speak like French people…

Hey students! Do you want to sound like a native French speaker? The secret word is “putain”. Be careful, it’s a dirty word that you must use with great care…

When you’re done with this lesson, you’ll know how and when to use it properly. You’re welcome!

PDF Bonus

We have prepared a free PDF to help you understand and master THE secret word to speak like French people.
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At the end, you will have exercises to practice with the correction. 👍

What is the secret word that will allow you to speak like a REAL French person?

Because there is a word that you can use in many circumstances, to express all emotions and that everyone will understand!

1st information: it’s a French dirty word

And yes, a “magic” word that allows so many possibilities, must necessarily have a negative point! 

His language register is coarse

The French language register of the secret word is coarse.

BUT, it has become so much a part of everyday language that you can hear it, and even say it in many, many situations. It will depend on the context and your intonation when you say it.

The intonation? You know, the tone of your voice. The way you say something.

It’s your intonation + the context that will make saying “the secret word” acceptable or not.

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2nd information: Use the “secret word” as an interjection and not to express what he means!

What is an interjection?

An interjection is a word that you use by itself and that expresses an emotion. The word has no meaning, it’s like a sound you make coming out of your mouth.

BUT, be careful, don’t use the “secret word” to mean what it means! I’m not even going to tell you its original meaning, its dictionary definition! 

I just want to tell you that if you use it in relation to its definition, you pass from the register of coarse language to that of vulgarity and insult. That is, the lowest levels of language and communication.

The “secret word” must be handled, used with care — like a little bomb

Before seeing common examples of its use and the different emotions it can express, don’t forget to download the Little Bonus PDF.
I’ve prepared for you the forbidden selection of the most common swear words of the French language.
Come on… Honestly… When you learn a language, you always want to know how to say bad words, right? 😉😆

3rd information: what is the secret word to speak like a “real” French person?

That’s the word: “putain“.

But don’t forget that :

  1. it’s a dirty word,
  2. you have to use it, only as an interjection,
  3. and pay attention to the context… 

For example, on the day of your French exam or at the restaurant when you want to order a dish… this is – in my opinion – not the best time to use it!

Examples of the use of the French secret word

  • Do you want to express success? → “Putain ! J’ai réussi !”
  • Do you want to express admiration? → “Putain ! Elle est magnifique !”
  • Do you want to express fear? → “Putain, une panthère noire !”
  • Do you want to express surprise? → “Putain, je ne m’y attendais pas à celle-là !”

I recommend you watch my video to discover excerpts from French films in which the secret word “putain” is used in different contexts.


Now that you know the secret word, be sure to use it when appropriate! Just make sure not to use it in front of your French teacher or any other respectable French person. The next time you’re in France, give it a try and see how the locals react.

Bonne chance et à la prochaine fois !

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