All about the French quote "Merci"

Are you ready to learn all the things you have to know about the basic French word “Merci”?

It includes a full explanation of what it is and how you can use it in everyday life with an audio example. And because we want to help you on your learning journey, we also added some useful informations like slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example, synonyms and more!

Oh and if you want, on this page you will find more of these words explained and the ultimate directory of all our French words tutorials on this page. Wishing you a happy learning!

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French to English translation

How to pronounce

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does merci mean?


“Merci” is the most common way to say “Thank you” in French. In slang, it becomes “Cimer

How to use it

Use it exactly like “Thanks” in English, it’s fine in every situation. So if you just want to learn the basics for now, no need for more. But if you want to sound like a French native, here are some tips:

→ If you want something more formal, use: “Merci à vous” or “Je vous remercie“.

→ For the slang version, use: “Cimer

→ And finally if you want to show extra gratitude, when a simple “Merci” isn’t enough, use: “Merci beaucoup” (Thanks a lot) or “Un grand merci” (A big thanks)

(More details in the “Synonyms” section below)

Fun facts

Why is the slang version “Cimer” ? Simple! Take the syllables of the word “mer-ci” and reverse them → “ci-mer“.

This mechanism is called “verlan” and is very common in slang contexts.

(The word “ver-lan” being itself a “verlan” of the word “à l’envers” which means “Reversed“…)


Normal gratitude:

  • Merci →  Thanks 
  • Cimer → Thanks (Slang)
  • Merci à toi → Thank you
  • Merci à vous → Thank you (Formal and/or plural)
  • Je vous remercie → Thank you (Formal and/or plural)

Extra gratitude:

  • Merci pour tout → Thanks for everything
  • Merci bien → Thanks a lot
  • Un grand merci → A big thanks
  • Mille mercis → Thousand thanks
  • Merci mille fois → Thanks a thousand times
  • Merci du fond du coeur → Thanks from the bottom of my heart
  • Merci infiniment → Infinite thanks

Example in a story with slow French audio

Now, let’s see a complete example of this word in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Le musée du Louvre
The Louvre museum
Aujourd’hui, Joe a enfin décidé de visiter le musée du Louvre.
Today, Joe finally decided to visit the Louvre Museum.
Il était impatient de découvrir ce célèbre musée.
He was impatient to discover this famous museum.
Il avait hâte de voir les fameuses oeuvres du musée et, bien sûr, la Joconde…
He couldn’t wait to see the famous works of the museum and, of course, the Mona Lisa…
Il s’arrêta à la station de métro “Palais Royal Musée du Louvre” et se dirigea vers le musée.
He stopped at the subway station “Palais Royal Musée du Louvre” and headed for the museum.
Il trouva l’entrée du musée : c’était la fameuse pyramide de verre du Louvre…
He found the entrance of the museum: it was the famous Louvre’s glass pyramid…
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