How Do You Say “Begging” In French?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to ask for something in French, but didn’t know how? Learning a new language can be a daunting task, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Whether you’re planning a trip to France or simply want to expand your language skills, it’s important to know how to ask for what you need. One word that you may need to know is “begging”, which in French is translated to “mendicité”.

How Do You Pronounce The French Word For “Begging”?

Learning to properly pronounce a foreign language is an essential part of effectively communicating with native speakers. If you’re interested in learning how to say “begging” in French, it’s important to understand the proper phonetic spelling and pronunciation of the word.

Phonetic Breakdown

The French word for “begging” is “mendicité.” The phonetic breakdown of the word is as follows:

Tips For Pronunciation

Pronouncing “mendicité” correctly can be a bit tricky for English speakers, but with a little practice, it can be mastered. Here are some tips for proper pronunciation:

  • Pay attention to the nasal sounds in the word, particularly the “ɑ̃” sound.
  • Practice saying the word slowly, breaking it down into syllables if necessary.
  • Listen to native French speakers say the word and try to mimic their pronunciation.
  • Use a pronunciation guide or app to help you perfect your pronunciation.

By following these tips and practicing regularly, you’ll be able to confidently say “begging” in French like a native speaker.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The French Word For “Begging”

When speaking or writing in French, proper grammar is crucial to ensure effective communication. The same applies when using the French word for “begging.”

Placement Of The French Word For Begging In Sentences

In French, the word for “begging” is “mendicité.” It is important to note that in French, the verb generally comes at the beginning of the sentence, followed by the subject and then the object. Therefore, the word for begging will usually come after the verb.

For example:

  • Je ne supporte pas la mendicité. (I cannot stand begging.)
  • Il mendie depuis des années. (He has been begging for years.)

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

When using the word for begging in French, it is important to consider the verb conjugation or tense, depending on the context of the sentence. The most common verb used in relation to begging is “mendier,” which means “to beg.”

Here are some examples of the verb “mendier” in different tenses:

Verb Tense Example
Present Je mendie souvent dans cette rue. (I often beg on this street.)
Imperfect Il mendiait tous les jours. (He used to beg every day.)
Future Elle mendiera demain. (She will beg tomorrow.)
Conditional Si j’étais pauvre, je mendierais. (If I were poor, I would beg.)

Agreement With Gender And Number

In French, adjectives and verbs must agree with the gender and number of the noun they are modifying. This also applies to the word for begging, “mendicité.”

For example:

  • La mendicité est un problème croissant. (Begging is a growing problem.)
  • Les mendicités étaient nombreuses dans la ville. (Beggings were numerous in the city.)

Common Exceptions

As with any language, there are exceptions to the rules. However, when it comes to the word for begging in French, there are no major exceptions to be aware of. It is simply important to remember to use proper grammar and agreement with gender and number when using the word “mendicité” in a sentence.

Examples Of Phrases Using The French Word For “Begging”

When it comes to learning a new language, one of the most important things to understand is how to use common phrases in everyday conversation. In French, the word for “begging” is “mendicité.” Here are some examples of how this word can be used in sentences:


  • “Je suis contre la mendicité.” – “I am against begging.”
  • “La mendicité est un problème croissant dans cette ville.” – “Begging is a growing problem in this city.”
  • “Il a été arrêté pour mendicité illégale.” – “He was arrested for illegal begging.”

As you can see, the French word for “begging” can be used in a variety of contexts. It can refer to the act of begging itself, as well as the problem of begging in a particular place or the legal consequences of begging without permission. Here is an example of a short dialogue that includes the word “mendicité”:


Marie: “Je ne sais pas quoi faire. Il y a toujours des mendiants devant ma porte.”

Luc: “La mendicité est un problème dans cette ville. Avez-vous essayé de leur donner de la nourriture ou de l’argent?”

Marie: “Je ne sais pas si c’est une bonne idée. Je ne veux pas encourager la mendicité.”

Luc: “Je comprends. Mais parfois, c’est la seule façon d’aider ces gens.”


Marie: “I don’t know what to do. There are always beggars in front of my door.”

Luc: “Begging is a problem in this city. Have you tried giving them food or money?”

Marie: “I’m not sure if that’s a good idea. I don’t want to encourage begging.”

Luc: “I understand. But sometimes, it’s the only way to help these people.”

Overall, understanding common phrases that include the French word for “begging” can help you communicate more effectively in a variety of situations. Whether you are discussing a social issue or simply trying to navigate your way through a new city, knowing how to use this word correctly can make all the difference.

More Contextual Uses Of The French Word For “Begging”

Understanding the contextual uses of the French word for “begging” is crucial to effectively communicate in the language. This section will discuss the formal and informal usage of the word, as well as other contexts such as slang, idiomatic expressions, or cultural/historical uses.

Formal Usage

In formal settings, such as business or academic settings, the French word for “begging” is typically used in a more polite and reserved manner. The word “supplier” is often used in formal contexts, meaning “to plead” or “to implore.” This word is commonly used in written communication such as letters or emails, and is considered to be more respectful and appropriate in these settings.

Informal Usage

Informal usage of the French word for “begging” is more commonly used in everyday conversations. The word “mendier” is used to describe begging in a more casual or informal setting. This word is commonly used in spoken communication and is often used when asking for money or other forms of assistance on the street.

Other Contexts

Aside from formal and informal usage, the French word for “begging” can also be used in other contexts such as slang, idiomatic expressions, or cultural/historical uses. For example, the phrase “faire la manche” is a common French idiom that means “to beg for money.” This phrase is often used when referring to someone who is begging on the street.

Another example of the cultural/historical use of the French word for “begging” is in the context of religious begging. During the medieval period, begging was often seen as a means of spiritual purification, and many religious orders would send their members out to beg for alms. The French word for this type of begging is “mendicité,” which is still used today to refer to religious begging.

Popular Cultural Usage

One popular cultural usage of the French word for “begging” can be found in the classic French novel “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo. The main character, Jean Valjean, is a former convict who turns to begging on the streets of Paris after being released from prison. The word “mendicité” is used throughout the novel to describe the act of begging, and is often used in a negative or derogatory manner to describe those who are forced to beg for survival.

Regional Variations Of The French Word For “Begging”

Like any language, French has regional variations that can affect the way certain words are used and pronounced. The word for “begging” in French is no exception. Depending on the country or region where French is spoken, there may be different words or pronunciations for the same concept.

Usage Of The French Word For Begging In Different French-speaking Countries

In France, the most common word for begging is “mendier.” This word is also used in other French-speaking countries such as Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada. However, there are also regional variations in other countries.

In Quebec, another word for begging is “faire la manche,” which literally translates to “making the sleeve.” This phrase is thought to have originated from the practice of beggars holding out their sleeves to receive money or other items.

In some African countries where French is spoken, the word for begging may be “toucouler” or “toucoulement.” These words are derived from the Wolof language, which is spoken in Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania.

Regional Pronunciations

Just as there are regional variations in the usage of the French word for begging, there are also differences in pronunciation. For example, in France, the word “mendier” is often pronounced with a silent “d” sound, so it sounds like “men-ye.” In Quebec, the phrase “faire la manche” is pronounced with a slightly different accent than in France.

It’s important to note that these regional variations are not limited to just the word for begging. French has many different dialects and regional variations that can affect everything from vocabulary to grammar and pronunciation.

Other Uses Of The French Word For “Begging” In Speaking & Writing

Although the French word for “begging” (mendicité) is commonly used to describe the act of asking for money or help, it can have other meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Here are some of the other uses of the word:

1. Begging As A Lifestyle Choice

In certain situations, the French word for begging can be used to describe a person who chooses to live off of the generosity of others. This can refer to individuals who have decided to lead a nomadic lifestyle and rely on begging as a means of survival.

2. Begging As A Political Statement

Another way that the French word for begging can be used is to describe a form of political protest. In this context, the act of begging is seen as a way to draw attention to social or economic inequality.

3. Begging As A Figurative Expression

The French language provides several figurative expressions that use the word “begging”. For example, “je n’en peux plus de mendier” (I can’t bear to beg anymore) can be used to express exhaustion or frustration with a situation.

To distinguish between these different uses of the French word for begging, it is important to pay attention to the context in which the word is used. Understanding the nuances of the language can help you communicate more effectively with native speakers and gain a deeper appreciation for the richness of the French language.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The French Word For “Begging”

Synonyms And Related Terms

When it comes to begging, there are several words and phrases in the French language that can be used interchangeably with the word “begging.” Some common synonyms and related terms include:

  • La mendicité: This term is the most literal translation of the word “begging.” It is often used in formal or academic settings.
  • La quémande: This term is more informal and is often used in everyday conversation.
  • La sollicitation: This term can also be used to refer to begging, but it can also refer to soliciting or requesting something in a more general sense.

Each of these terms can be used to refer to the act of begging, but they may be used in slightly different contexts or situations. For example, “la mendicité” may be used more frequently in legal or political discussions, while “la quémande” may be more commonly used in casual conversation.


On the other hand, there are also several words and phrases in French that are antonyms or opposites of the word “begging.” Some common antonyms include:

  • La générosité: This term refers to generosity or giving, which is the opposite of begging.
  • La richesse: This term refers to wealth or richness, which is also the opposite of begging.
  • Le refus: This term refers to refusal or rejection, which is another opposite of begging.

While these terms may not be directly related to begging, they can provide helpful context and contrast to better understand the meaning and usage of the word “begging” in French.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The French Word For “Begging”

Learning a new language can be a challenging task, especially when it comes to mastering the nuances of the language. French is no exception, and one of the most common errors made by non-native speakers is the incorrect usage of the French word for “begging.” Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1: Confusing “Mendier” With “Prier”

One of the most common mistakes made by non-native speakers is the confusion between “mendier” and “prier.” While both words can be translated to “to beg,” they have different connotations. “Mendier” is used to describe begging for money or food, while “prier” is used to describe begging for forgiveness or help.

To avoid this mistake, it is important to understand the context in which each word is used. If you are asking for money or food, use “mendier.” If you are asking for forgiveness or help, use “prier.”

Mistake #2: Using The Wrong Form Of The Verb

Another common mistake made by non-native speakers is using the wrong form of the verb. In French, the verb “mendier” is conjugated differently depending on the subject. For example:

Subject Verb
Je (I) Je mendie
Il/Elle (He/She) Il/Elle mendie
Nous (We) Nous mendions
Vous (You) Vous mendiez
Ils/Elles (They) Ils/Elles mendient

To avoid this mistake, it is important to learn the correct conjugation of the verb “mendier” for each subject.

Mistake #3: Using The Wrong Pronunciation

The final common mistake made by non-native speakers is using the wrong pronunciation of the word “mendier.” In French, the “d” is silent, so the correct pronunciation is “men-yea.”

To avoid this mistake, it is important to listen carefully to native French speakers and practice the correct pronunciation.


In this blog post, we have discussed the French word for begging, which is “mendier.” We have explored the origins of the word and its usage in different contexts. We have also discussed related words and phrases that can be useful in conversations involving begging.

We learned that “mendier” is a verb that means to beg or to ask for charity. It can be used in different tenses and forms depending on the subject of the sentence and the context of the conversation. We also learned that there are other words and expressions that are related to begging, such as “la mendicité” (begging as a profession) and “un mendiant” (a beggar).

Encouragement To Practice And Use The French Word For Begging

Learning a new language can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. By learning the French word for begging, you can expand your vocabulary and your understanding of the language. You can also use this word in real-life conversations and interactions with French speakers.

We encourage you to practice using “mendier” and other related words and phrases in different contexts. You can use them when traveling in French-speaking countries, when communicating with French-speaking colleagues or friends, or even when watching French movies or reading French literature.

Remember, language learning is a process, and it takes time and effort to become proficient. But with practice and patience, you can improve your skills and enhance your communication abilities. So go ahead and start using the French word for begging in your conversations today!

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.