The French phrase "Bon courage" revealed

Ready to discover all the things you want to know about the basic French phrase “Bon courage”?

To be clear, it includes a detailed guide of what it is and how to use it in a conversation with an audio example. Not to mention the cool things we added like synonym, dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

If you are interested, you can also find our others phrases explained on this page plus all our content about French words on this page. Have fun!

Table of Contents

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Translation in English

How to pronounce?

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

Bon courage meaning


The closest meaning in English is “Hang in there” or “You can do it” or “Be strong“. But we often see it translated as “Good luck” which is making people confusing it with “Bonne chance” (The actual way to say “Good luck” in French).

They are similar, but yet quite different: “Bon courage” is something you say to offer support before (or during) a test, an exam or any laborious task. It means that the success of this task depends on how hard the person is working and not giving up.

While “Bonne chance” (Good luck) is something you wish to someone when luck is involved or when the success of the task rely on external factors. In short: when it doesn’t depend on work/courage, or just partially.

Let’s see some example on how to use both of them!

How to use

A friend of yours is having an important exam next week, then you wish her “Bon courage !“. Because her success depends on how hard she will work during the days to come and how much she will do her best during the exam.

The next week, your friend tells you she failed the exam, quit studying and then decided to play the lottery. This time, you wish her “Bonne chance !” because her success depends purely on luck and has nothing to do with courage/work.

Synonyms and similarities

  • Courage ! (“Courage!“)
  • Soit fort(e) ! (“Be strong!“)
  • Tu peux le faire ! (“You can do it!“)
  • (Similar yet different) Bonne chance. (“Good luck“)

Dialogue example with audio

Audio dialogue from French people

Dialogue audio

Dialogue transcription

” Aujourd’hui, je passe un examen “
” Today, I have an exam “
” Bon courage ! Tu peux le faire ! “
” Hang in there! You can do this! “
” Merci “
” Thank you “
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