Discover the French phrase "Bonne chance"

On this page, we are going to teach you all the things you have to know about the basic French phrase “Bonne chance”.

Including a complete definition of what it is and how to use it in a conversation with an audio example. And because we care about you, we also added useful informations like dialogue example, synonyms, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Oh and if you are interested, you can also find more phrases guides like this one on this page and the ultimate list of all our French words guides on this page. Wishing you a happy learning!

Table of Contents

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English translation

How to pronounce?

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

Bonne chance meaning

Definition

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 rely on luck or external factors.

In case you 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 hope 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 depend on hard work and courage!

Fun 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“.

Synonyms and similarities

  • 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“)

Audio dialogue example

Audio dialogue from French people

Dialogue audio

Dialogue transcription

” Aujourd’hui, je passe un examen “
” Today, I have an exam “
” Bonne chance ! “
” Good luck! “
” Merci “
” Thank you “
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