French Vocabulary Guide: Parts of the Body

French Vocabulary Guide: Parts of the Body

Learning the words for different body parts may not be the first thing you learn in French, but knowing them is essential. If you become ill or injured while traveling overseas, you'll need to be able to describe your symptoms to a doctor. Or perhaps you are telling friends about a fancy party you went to and you want to describe how the guests looked. You can see why beefing up your French vocabulary for parts of the body can come in handy.

Test Your Vocabulary

Learn how to say the parts of the body in French, and click the links to hear each word pronounced.

le corpsbody
les cheveuxhair
la têtehead
le visageface
un œil
les yeux
le neznose
la jouecheek
la bouchemouth
la lèvrelip
la denttooth
une oreilleear
le couneck
la poitrinechest
un estomacstomach
le brasarm
une épauleshoulder
le coudeelbow
le poignetwrist
la mainhand
le doigtfinger
un onglefingernail
le poucethumb
le dosback
la jambeleg
le genouknee
la chevilleankle
le piedfoot
un orteiltoe

Vocabulary Tip

The possessive adjective is almost never used with body parts in French. You rarely say things like "my leg" or "his hair." Instead, the French use reflexive verbs to show possession with body parts. For example:

Je me suis cassé la jambe. > I broke my leg (literally, I broke the leg of myself)

Il s'est lavé les cheveux. > He washed his hair (literally, He washed the hair of himself).