Everything about the French phrase "Bonne chance"

You are going to find out everything you have to know about the basic French sentence “Bonne chance”.

Are included a detailed definition of what it is and how to use it in a conversation with an audio example. Along with the cool stuff we added like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Oh and in case you are interested, you will also find our others sentences pages on this page and all our pages about French words on this page. C’est parti ! (Let’s go!)

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English translation


Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does bonne chance mean?


This is the best way to say “Good luck” in French, but people confuse it often with “Bon courage” which means “Hang in there/Be strong“.

“Bonne chance” expresses the wish of good fortune for someone who is trying to achieve something that relies on luck or external factors.

In case you want to encourage someone on a task that doesn’t rely on luck but on hard work/dedication, use instead: “Bon courage !” (Hang in there!)

Also, “Chance” is a feminine word, so it is never correct to say “Bon chance” as we see quite often.

How to use

Example: A friend of yours recently made an investment and hopes to earn a lot of money from it. Wish him: “Bonne chance” because how much money he will earn doesn’t depend on him anymore, but mostly on luck.

Your friend finally changed his mind. He now plans to build a house and sell it to make profit. This time you wish him “Bon courage” because the success of his plan depends on hard work and courage!

Funny stuff

French people have another way to say “Good luck” and it’s… “Merde“.

And yes, it means “Shit“. Where is this coming from?

During the 19th century, very rich people were using horse-drawn carriages to go to the theater. All these horses waiting outside were “relieving themselves” a.k.a. pooping on the street. And people were walking on it and then soiling the theater’s carpet.

So, the more exceptional artists are, the more famous the play became, the more rich people came, the more shit on the floor.

Then, with time, a floor full of crap became a sign of success and of good luck.

In case you are afraid that people might think you are swearing, you can say: “Je te dis merde !” which literally means “I am telling/wishing you shit!“. Then people will 100% understand that you are wishing them “Good luck“.


  • Merde. (“Shit“)
  • Je te dis merde. (“I’m telling you shit“)
  • Je croise les doigts pour toi. (“I cross my fingers for you“)
  • Je me serre les pouces pour toi. (“I tighten my thumbs for you“)

Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this idiom in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Le billet de loterie
The lottery ticket
Alice:   Oh regarde, un billet de loterie !
Oh look, a lottery ticket!
Jacques:   Ah ouais ! Quelqu’un doit l’avoir perdu…
Oh yeah! Someone must have lost it…
Alice:   Oui, et il n’a pas été utilisé…
Yes, and it hasn’t been used…
Jacques:   Tu vas le prendre ?
Are you going to take it?
Alice:   Oui, pourquoi pas ? Je vais peut-être gagner le jackpot !
Yes, why not? Maybe I will win the jackpot!
Jacques:   Haha, bien sûr…
Haha, of course…
Alice:   Tu ne rigoleras plus quand je serai riche !
You’ll stop laughing when I’ll be rich!
Jacques:   On verra, bonne chance !
We’ll see, good luck!
Le soir même…
That evening…
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