How Do You Say “Belong” In French?

Have you ever found yourself wondering how to say “belong” in French? Perhaps you’re learning the language for the first time, or maybe you’re a seasoned speaker looking to expand your vocabulary. Whatever the reason, understanding how to express the concept of belonging in French is a valuable skill to have. In this article, we’ll explore the nuances of this word and provide you with the tools you need to use it correctly.

Let’s start with the basics. In French, the word for “belong” is “appartenir”. This verb is conjugated in a similar way to other -ir verbs, such as “finir” (to finish) and “choisir” (to choose). Here is the present tense conjugation of “appartenir”:

Subject Pronoun Conjugation
Je j’appartiens
Tu tu appartiens
Il/Elle/On il/elle/on appartient
Nous nous appartenons
Vous vous appartenez
Ils/Elles ils/elles appartiennent

It’s important to note that “appartenir” is a transitive verb, meaning it requires an object. In other words, you can’t simply say “I belong” in French; you must specify what you belong to. This is done by using the preposition “à” followed by the thing you belong to. For example:

  • Je n’appartiens à aucun groupe. (I don’t belong to any group.)
  • Ce livre n’appartient pas à la bibliothèque. (This book doesn’t belong to the library.)
  • Elle appartenait à une famille riche. (She belonged to a wealthy family.)

With these basics in mind, let’s dive deeper into the various meanings and uses of “appartenir” in French.

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

Learning how to properly pronounce French words can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. However, with a little practice and guidance, anyone can master the art of French pronunciation. If you’re wondering how to say “belong” in French, we’ve got you covered! Here’s a breakdown of the word and some tips to help you pronounce it correctly.

Phonetic Breakdown

The French word for “belong” is “appartenir”. Here’s a phonetic breakdown of the word:

French Phonetic
appartenir ah-pahr-teh-neer

As you can see, the word is composed of several syllables. The accent is on the second syllable, which is pronounced “teh”. The final syllable “neer” is pronounced with a nasal sound.

Tips For Pronunciation

Here are some tips to help you pronounce “appartenir” correctly:

  • Practice the word slowly, breaking it down into its individual syllables.
  • Emphasize the second syllable “teh” and make sure to pronounce it clearly.
  • When pronouncing the final syllable “neer”, make sure to use a nasal sound.
  • Listen to native French speakers and imitate their pronunciation.

With these tips and some practice, you’ll be able to pronounce “appartenir” like a pro in no time!

Proper Grammatical Use Of The French Word For “Belong”

When speaking French, it is important to use proper grammar to ensure that you are conveying your message correctly. This is especially true when using the French word for “belong,” which is “appartenir.” In this section, we will discuss the proper grammatical use of this word in different contexts.

Placement Of “Appartenir” In Sentences

The word “appartenir” is a verb in French, which means that it is typically placed after the subject of the sentence. For example:

  • Je lui appartiens. (I belong to him/her.)
  • Le livre appartient à la bibliothèque. (The book belongs to the library.)

Note that in the first example, the verb is conjugated to match the subject pronoun “je” (which means “I” in English). We will discuss verb conjugations in more detail in the next section.

Verb Conjugations And Tenses

Like many verbs in French, “appartenir” is conjugated to match the subject of the sentence. Here are some common conjugations:

Subject Pronoun Conjugation
Je J’appartiens
Tu Appartiens
Il/Elle/On Appartient
Nous Appartenons
Vous Appartenez
Ils/Elles Appartiennent

It is important to note that the tense of the verb can also affect its conjugation. For example, if you want to say “I will belong to you,” you would use the future tense and say “J’appartiendrai à toi.”

Agreement With Gender And Number

In French, nouns and adjectives must agree in gender and number with the noun they are modifying. The word “appartenir” is no exception. For example:

  • Le chat noir appartient à la vieille dame. (The black cat belongs to the old lady.)
  • Les livres appartiennent à la bibliothèque. (The books belong to the library.)

In the first example, the word “chat” (which means “cat” in English) is masculine, so the verb “appartenir” is also conjugated in the masculine form. In the second example, the word “livres” (which means “books” in English) is plural, so the verb is conjugated in the plural form.

Common Exceptions

Like any language, French has its fair share of exceptions to the rules. Here are a few common exceptions to keep in mind when using the word “appartenir”:

  • When using the expression “appartenir à,” the object of possession is always preceded by the preposition “à.” For example: “Ce livre appartient à mon ami.” (This book belongs to my friend.)
  • When using the word “appartenir” in the negative form, the word “ne” is placed before the verb and “pas” is placed after the verb. For example: “Je n’appartiens pas à ce groupe.” (I don’t belong to this group.)

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you are using the French word for “belong” correctly and effectively in your conversations and writing.

Examples Of Phrases Using The French Word For “Belong”

French is a beautiful language that is known for its rich culture and history. If you are learning French, you may be wondering how to say the word “belong” in French. In this section, we will explore some common phrases that include the French word for belong and provide examples of how they are used in sentences. We will also provide some example French dialogues with translations to help you understand how the word is used in everyday conversation.

Common Phrases Using The French Word For Belong

Here are some common phrases that use the French word for belong:

  • Appartenir à – to belong to
  • Faire partie de – to be part of
  • Être à – to be owned by
  • Avoir sa place – to have one’s place

Examples Of How To Use The French Word For Belong In Sentences

Now, let’s take a look at some examples of how the French word for belong is used in sentences:

  • La voiture appartient à mon père. – The car belongs to my father.
  • Je fais partie de l’équipe de basket. – I am part of the basketball team.
  • Cette maison est à moi. – This house is mine.
  • Cette chaise n’a pas sa place ici. – This chair doesn’t belong here.

Example French Dialogues Using The French Word For Belong

Here are some example dialogues using the French word for belong:

French Dialogue English Translation
Est-ce que cette montre est à toi? Is this watch yours?
Non, elle appartient à mon frère. No, it belongs to my brother.
Est-ce que tu fais partie de l’équipe de football? Are you part of the football team?
Oui, j’en suis le capitaine. Yes, I am the captain of it.

More Contextual Uses Of The French Word For “Belong”

Understanding the various contexts in which the French word for “belong” is used is crucial for gaining fluency in the language. From formal to informal settings, slang to idiomatic expressions, and cultural or historical uses, the word “appartenir” has a wide range of applications.

Formal Usage

In formal settings such as business or academic writing, “appartenir” is used to indicate ownership or affiliation. For example:

  • La propriété appartient à la société. (The property belongs to the company.)
  • Cette décision appartient au comité exécutif. (This decision belongs to the executive committee.)

It is important to note that in formal writing, the use of “appartenir” is often replaced by more specific terms such as “être propriétaire de” (to be the owner of) or “faire partie de” (to be a part of).

Informal Usage

In informal settings such as casual conversation, “appartenir” is used in a variety of ways. One common usage is to express a sense of belonging to a group or community:

  • J’appartiens à une association de bénévoles. (I belong to a volunteer association.)
  • Il appartient à la communauté franco-ontarienne. (He belongs to the Franco-Ontarian community.)

Another informal use of “appartenir” is to express possession or ownership:

  • Le livre appartient à mon frère. (The book belongs to my brother.)
  • Cette voiture m’appartient. (This car belongs to me.)

Other Contexts

Aside from formal and informal usage, “appartenir” is also used in slang, idiomatic expressions, and cultural/historical contexts. For example:

  • Cette musique appartient à une autre époque. (This music belongs to another era.)
  • Il appartient à la vieille école. (He belongs to the old school.)
  • Ce quartier appartient aux jeunes branchés. (This neighborhood belongs to the hip young crowd.)

It is important to note that in some contexts, the use of “appartenir” may be replaced by other verbs or expressions such as “être de” (to be from) or “faire partie intégrante de” (to be an integral part of).

Popular Cultural Usage

In popular culture, “appartenir” is often used in music, literature, and film. For example, the title of French singer Françoise Hardy’s hit song “Tous les garçons et les filles” includes the lyrics “Mais moi, je suis tombée malade/ J’ai perdu la couleur de mes idées/ Alors je suis retournée à la maison/ Là-bas, tout est bien qui finit bien/ Et j’appartiens aux gens qui s’aiment.” (But me, I fell ill/ I lost the color of my ideas/ So I went back home/ There, all is well that ends well/ And I belong to the people who love each other.)

Overall, understanding the various contexts in which “appartenir” is used is essential for mastering the French language and communicating effectively with native speakers.

Regional Variations Of The French Word For “Belong”

French is spoken in many countries around the world, and just like with any language, there are regional variations in the way words are used and pronounced. The word for “belong” in French is no exception.

Usage In Different French-speaking Countries

In France, the most commonly used word for “belong” is “appartenir”. This word is also used in Belgium and Switzerland, but in Quebec, Canada, the word “appartenir” is less commonly used, and instead, “faire partie de” or “être membre de” are more commonly used.

In some African countries where French is spoken, such as Ivory Coast and Senegal, the word “appartenir” is also commonly used, but other words such as “être à” or “faire partie de” may be used as well.

Regional Pronunciations

Just as there are regional variations in the usage of the French word for “belong”, there are also regional variations in its pronunciation.

In France, the word “appartenir” is typically pronounced with a silent “t”, so it sounds like “appartenir” (ah-par-te-neer). In Quebec, however, the “t” is pronounced, so it sounds like “appartentir” (ah-par-ten-teer).

In some African countries, the pronunciation of the word “appartenir” may be influenced by local languages, resulting in slightly different pronunciations.

Overall, while the French word for “belong” may be the same across different French-speaking countries, its usage and pronunciation may vary depending on the region. It’s important to keep this in mind when communicating with French speakers from different parts of the world.

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

While the French word “appartenir” is most commonly used to express ownership or membership, it can also have other meanings depending on the context in which it is used. In order to properly understand and distinguish between these uses, it is important to consider the surrounding words and phrases.

1. To Be Part Of

One common use of “appartenir” is to express the idea of being a part of something. This can refer to a group, organization, or even a physical object. For example:

  • “Je suis fier d’appartenir à cette équipe” (I am proud to be a part of this team)
  • “Cette voiture appartient à mon frère” (This car belongs to my brother)

In these examples, “appartenir” is used to convey a sense of belonging or inclusion.

2. To Be Appropriate Or Suitable

Another use of “appartenir” is to express the idea of appropriateness or suitability. This can refer to a person’s behavior or actions, or to the fit or style of an object. For example:

  • “Ce type de langage n’appartient pas à un professionnel” (This type of language is not appropriate for a professional)
  • “Cette robe n’appartient pas à ton style” (This dress is not suitable for your style)

In these examples, “appartenir” is used to convey a sense of what is appropriate or fitting.

3. To Be Under Someone’s Authority

Finally, “appartenir” can also be used to express the idea of being under someone’s authority or control. This can refer to a person or a thing. For example:

  • “Cette entreprise appartient à mon père” (This company is owned by my father)
  • “Ces documents n’appartiennent pas à ce département” (These documents are not under the authority of this department)

In these examples, “appartenir” is used to convey a sense of ownership or control.

By understanding the various uses of “appartenir,” you can better understand the meaning of the word in different contexts and use it appropriately in your own speaking and writing.

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

When trying to express the concept of belonging in French, there are a variety of words and phrases that can be used, each with slightly different connotations and nuances. Some common synonyms or related terms include:


One of the most direct translations for “belong” in French is “appartenir.” This verb is often used to describe ownership or possession, as well as a sense of membership or affiliation with a group or community. For example, “Cette voiture m’appartient” means “This car belongs to me,” while “Je n’appartiens pas à ce groupe” means “I don’t belong to this group.”

Faire Partie De

Another way to convey the idea of belonging in French is to use the phrase “faire partie de.” This expression is often used to describe membership in a group or organization, as well as a sense of inclusion or association with a particular category or classification. For example, “Je fais partie de l’équipe de football” means “I belong to the football team,” while “Cette plante fait partie de la famille des orchidées” means “This plant belongs to the orchid family.”

Se Sentir Chez Soi

While not necessarily a direct translation for “belong,” the phrase “se sentir chez soi” can be used to convey a sense of comfort, familiarity, and belonging in a particular place or environment. This expression is often used in the context of feeling at home or at ease in a new location or situation. For example, “Après quelques semaines, je me suis senti chez moi dans cette ville” means “After a few weeks, I felt at home in this city.”

It is also important to note that there are some antonyms or opposite words that can be used to express the opposite of belonging in French. Some common examples include:

  • Exclure – to exclude
  • Rejeter – to reject
  • Se sentir étranger – to feel like a stranger
  • Ne pas être accepté – to not be accepted

By understanding the various words and phrases that can be used to express belonging in French, learners can more effectively communicate their sense of connection and affiliation with others and the world around them.

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

When learning a new language, making mistakes is inevitable. However, some mistakes can be more embarrassing than others. One such mistake is using the wrong word for “belong” in French. This can lead to confusion and miscommunication, which is why it’s important to be aware of common errors and how to avoid them.

Common Errors

Here are some common mistakes made by non-native speakers when using the French word for “belong”:

  • Mistaking “appartenir” for “appartenant”
  • Using “convenir” instead of “appartenir”
  • Using “être à” instead of “appartenir”

How To Avoid These Mistakes

To avoid making these mistakes, here are some tips:

  1. Remember that “appartenir” is the correct verb to use for “belong”.
  2. Do not confuse “appartenir” with “appartenant”, which means “belonging to”.
  3. Avoid using “convenir” or “être à” as a substitute for “appartenir”.
  4. Practice using “appartenir” in context to solidify your understanding.

There is no need to feel embarrassed if you make mistakes when using the French word for “belong”. Learning a new language takes time and practice. By being aware of common errors and how to avoid them, you can communicate more effectively in French.


In this blog post, we have explored the various ways to say “belong” in French. We began by discussing the most common translation, “appartenir,” and its various conjugations. We then delved into some alternative translations, such as “faire partie de” and “être de,” and provided examples of how to use them in context.

Additionally, we touched on the importance of understanding the nuances between these different translations, as they can convey slightly different meanings depending on the context. Finally, we discussed some common phrases and expressions that incorporate the word “appartenir,” such as “se sentir à sa place” and “être chez soi.”

Encouragement To Practice

Now that we have explored the different ways to say “belong” in French, it’s time to put this knowledge into practice! Learning a new language can be challenging, but with consistent effort and practice, it is possible to make significant progress.

Whether you are a beginner just starting out or an advanced learner looking to refine your skills, incorporating these new phrases and expressions into your conversations can help you sound more natural and confident in French.

So, don’t be afraid to practice and use the French word for “belong” in real-life conversations. With time and practice, you’ll be able to master this important concept and take your French language skills to the next level. Bonne chance!

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”.