How Do You Say “Cheeks” In French?

Do you ever find yourself curious about how to say certain words in another language? Maybe you’re planning a trip to France or just want to impress your friends with your multilingual skills. Either way, learning a new language can be a fun and rewarding experience.

So, how do you say “cheeks” in French? The answer is “les joues”.

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

Learning to properly pronounce French words can be a challenge, especially if you are not familiar with the language. One word that you may encounter when learning French is the word for “cheeks.”

The French word for “cheeks” is “joues,” which is pronounced as “zhoo.”

Phonetic Breakdown:

French Word Phonetic Spelling
joues zhoo

The pronunciation of “joues” may be difficult for English speakers because it includes a sound that is not present in the English language. The “zh” sound is similar to the “s” sound in “vision” or “pleasure.”

Here are some tips to help you properly pronounce “joues”:

  • Start by saying the “zh” sound, which is made by placing your tongue behind your upper teeth and blowing air out of the sides of your mouth.
  • Next, add the “oo” sound, which is made by rounding your lips and saying “oo” as in “boot.”
  • Finally, add the “s” sound at the end of the word.

With practice, you can master the pronunciation of “joues” and other French words.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The French Word For “Cheeks”

Understanding grammar is crucial when using any language, including French. The word for “cheeks” in French is “joues.” To use this word properly, it is important to understand its placement in sentences, verb conjugations or tenses, agreement with gender and number, and any common exceptions.

Placement Of “Joues” In Sentences

The placement of “joues” in a sentence depends on the sentence structure. In French, the adjective usually follows the noun it describes. For example:

  • Les joues rouges (The red cheeks)
  • Les joues souriantes (The smiling cheeks)

However, if the adjective is a color or a material, it may come before the noun. For example:

  • Les joues de porcelaine (The porcelain cheeks)
  • Les joues roses (The pink cheeks)

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

When using “joues” in a sentence, it is important to consider the verb conjugation or tense. For example:

  • Je touche mes joues. (I touch my cheeks.)
  • Elle avait les joues rouges. (She had red cheeks.)

In the first example, the verb “toucher” is conjugated in the present tense. In the second example, the verb “avoir” is conjugated in the imperfect tense.

Agreement With Gender And Number

In French, adjectives and articles must agree with the gender and number of the noun they describe. For example:

  • Les joues rouges (The red cheeks)
  • Le joue rose (The pink cheek)

In the first example, “rouges” agrees with the feminine plural noun “joues.” In the second example, “rose” agrees with the masculine singular noun “joue.”

Common Exceptions

There are some common exceptions to the rules of using “joues” in French. For example, when referring to the cheeks of the face, the word “joues” is always plural. For example:

  • Il a des fossettes sur les joues. (He has dimples on his cheeks.)

Additionally, when using the word “joues” to refer to the inside of the mouth, it is always singular. For example:

  • Les joues de la bouche (The inside of the cheeks)

Examples Of Phrases Using The French Word For “Cheeks”

When learning a new language, it’s important to not only learn individual words, but also how they are used in phrases and sentences. Here are some common phrases that include the French word for cheeks, “les joues”:


  • “Avoir les joues rouges” – to have red cheeks
  • “Donner une bise sur les joues” – to give a kiss on the cheeks
  • “Se taper les joues” – to slap one’s cheeks
  • “Les joues creuses” – sunken cheeks
  • “Les joues rebondies” – chubby cheeks

Now let’s see how these phrases can be used in sentences:

  • “Après avoir couru, j’ai les joues rouges.” (After running, I have red cheeks.)
  • “Je vais donner une bise sur les joues de ma grand-mère.” (I’m going to give a kiss on my grandmother’s cheeks.)
  • “Il s’est tapé les joues pour se réveiller.” (He slapped his cheeks to wake himself up.)
  • “Elle a perdu du poids, ses joues sont maintenant creuses.” (She lost weight, her cheeks are now sunken.)
  • “Le bébé a des joues rebondies, c’est trop mignon.” (The baby has chubby cheeks, it’s too cute.)

And finally, here is an example dialogue using the French word for cheeks:

Person 1: Tu as les joues rouges, ça va? (You have red cheeks, are you okay?)
Person 2: Oui, j’ai couru pour attraper mon train. (Yes, I ran to catch my train.)

More Contextual Uses Of The French Word For “Cheeks”

Understanding the varying contexts in which the French word for “cheeks” is used can provide insight into the language and culture. From formal to slang, idiomatic expressions to cultural and historical uses, the word for “cheeks” in French has a multitude of applications.

Formal Usage

In formal settings, the French word for “cheeks” is typically used in anatomical or medical contexts. For instance, in a medical examination, a doctor may ask a patient to point to their “joues” (cheeks) to identify any discomfort or pain. Similarly, in academic or scientific writing, the word may be used to describe the physical characteristics of the cheeks, such as their shape or structure.

Informal Usage

Informally, the French word for “cheeks” can have a variety of meanings depending on the context. For example, “joues” can be used to describe the facial expression of someone who is blushing or embarrassed. It can also be used in a playful or affectionate manner, such as when a parent pinches their child’s cheeks and exclaims, “Oh, les jolies joues!” (Oh, what pretty cheeks!). Additionally, the word can be used to describe the physical sensation of having full or chubby cheeks, which can be seen as a desirable trait in some cultures.

Other Contexts

In addition to its formal and informal uses, the French word for “cheeks” can also be found in slang, idiomatic expressions, and cultural or historical contexts. For instance, the expression “avoir les joues creuses” (to have hollow cheeks) is used to describe someone who is thin or emaciated. In the French language, the term “joues roses” (rosy cheeks) is often used to describe someone who is healthy or has a good complexion. In historical contexts, the French Revolution saw the rise of the “sans-culottes,” or the “without breeches,” who were so named because they wore trousers instead of the knee-length breeches worn by the aristocracy. This term was used to describe the working-class people who supported the revolution and was derived from the fact that they did not wear breeches, which were seen as a sign of privilege.

Popular Cultural Usage

The French word for “cheeks” has also found its way into popular culture. For instance, in the classic French children’s song “Promenons-nous dans les bois” (Let’s Walk in the Woods), one of the verses goes, “Tirons la langue, montrons les dents, tirons les joues” (Stick out your tongue, show your teeth, pull your cheeks). This playful use of the word highlights the importance of facial expressions in French culture and language.

Regional Variations Of The French Word For “Cheeks”

French is spoken in many countries around the world, and just like any language, it has regional variations. These variations can be seen not only in vocabulary and grammar but also in pronunciation. One such word that has regional variations is the French word for cheeks.

In France, the word for cheeks is “les joues,” pronounced as “lay joo.” However, if you were to travel to Quebec in Canada, the word for cheeks is “les joues” as well, but pronounced as “lay jooz.” In Belgium, the word for cheeks is “les joues” too, but pronounced as “lay jwe.”

It’s important to note that while the word for cheeks may be the same in different French-speaking countries, the pronunciation can vary greatly. For example, in Switzerland, the word for cheeks is “die Wangen,” which is not even the same word as in France, Quebec, or Belgium.

Regional Pronunciations

As mentioned earlier, the pronunciation of the word for cheeks varies across different French-speaking countries. Here are some examples:

Country Word for Cheeks Pronunciation
France Les joues Lay joo
Canada (Quebec) Les joues Lay jooz
Belgium Les joues Lay jwe
Switzerland Die Wangen Dee vahn-gen

It’s fascinating to see how a single word can have so many variations in different regions. It’s a testament to the diversity of the French language and the different cultures that speak it.

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

While “joues” is the French word for “cheeks”, it can also have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Understanding these different uses can help you better navigate the French language.

Use 1: Cheeks As A Body Part

The most common use of “joues” is to refer to the physical body part of cheeks. This can be used in everyday conversation or in medical contexts to describe the cheeks on a person’s face. For example:

  • “Elle avait les joues rouges” – “She had red cheeks”
  • “Le médecin a examiné ses joues” – “The doctor examined her cheeks”

Use 2: Cheeks As A Metaphor

Another use of “joues” is as a metaphor to describe certain qualities or characteristics. This can be seen in idiomatic expressions or literary works. For example:

  • “Tourner l’autre joue” – “Turn the other cheek” (a common biblical phrase)
  • “Les joues creuses” – “Sunken cheeks” (used to describe someone who is thin or malnourished)

Use 3: Cheeks As A Location

Lastly, “joues” can also be used to describe a location or area. This is often seen in architecture or geography. For example:

  • “La cour se trouve entre deux ailes de l’immeuble, de chaque côté des joues” – “The courtyard is located between two wings of the building, on either side of the cheeks”
  • “La ville est située dans les joues de la montagne” – “The city is located in the cheeks of the mountain”

In conclusion, “joues” is a versatile French word that can have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. By understanding these different uses, you can better navigate the French language and communicate more effectively.

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

When it comes to the word “cheeks” in French, there are a few synonyms and related terms that can be used to describe them. These words and phrases can vary in meaning and usage, but are all related in some way to the French word for cheeks.

Synonyms And Related Terms

One of the most common synonyms for the French word for cheeks is “joues.” This is the direct translation of the word, and is used in the same way as the English word “cheeks.” Another related term is “pommettes,” which specifically refers to the apples of the cheeks.

Other related terms include “bajoues,” which refers to the jowls or sagging skin around the cheeks, and “couperose,” which is a skin condition that causes redness and swelling on the cheeks and nose.

Usage And Differences

While these words and phrases are similar in meaning to the French word for cheeks, they are not always used in the same way. For example, “pommettes” is a more specific term that refers only to the round, fleshy part of the cheeks, while “joues” can refer to the entire cheek area.

Similarly, “bajoues” and “couperose” are both related to the cheeks, but in different ways. “Bajoues” specifically refers to the sagging skin around the cheeks, while “couperose” is a skin condition that affects the cheeks and nose.


While there are no direct antonyms for the French word for cheeks, there are words and phrases that are related in meaning but opposite in some way. For example, “menton” is the French word for chin, which is located directly below the cheeks. “Front” is another related term, which refers to the forehead above the cheeks.

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

When learning a new language, it is common to make mistakes. However, some mistakes can be more embarrassing than others. One such mistake is misusing the French word for “cheeks.” Here are some common errors made by non-native speakers and tips to avoid them:

1. Confusing “Joues” With “Jouer”

One common mistake is confusing “joues,” the French word for “cheeks,” with “jouer,” which means “to play.” This mistake can lead to some confusion, especially in a conversation. To avoid this mistake, it is essential to pay attention to the spelling of the words and their context.

2. Mispronouncing “Joues”

Another common mistake is mispronouncing “joues.” The correct pronunciation is “zhoo,” with a soft “j” sound. Many non-native speakers tend to pronounce it as “joo,” which can sound quite different and may lead to misunderstandings. To avoid this mistake, it is recommended to practice the correct pronunciation with a native speaker or a language teacher.

3. Using The Wrong Gender

In French, all nouns have a gender. The word “joues” is feminine, which means that all adjectives and articles that are used with it must also be feminine. Using the wrong gender can make your sentence sound awkward or even unintelligible. To avoid this mistake, it is important to learn the gender of the words you are using and practice using them correctly.

4. Using The Wrong Article

Another mistake is using the wrong article with “joues.” The correct article to use is “les,” which is the plural form of “the.” Using the wrong article can lead to confusion and make your sentence sound incorrect. To avoid this mistake, it is recommended to practice using “les joues” in context until it becomes natural.


After exploring the French language and its vocabulary, we have come to the conclusion of our blog post. Here are the key points that we have discussed:

  • The French word for cheeks is “les joues”.
  • In French, the pronunciation of “joues” is different from the English word “jaws”.
  • The French language has many unique sounds and pronunciations that can be challenging for English speakers.
  • It is important to practice speaking French regularly in order to improve pronunciation and fluency.

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge of how to say cheeks in French, we encourage you to practice using the word in real-life conversations. Whether you are traveling to a French-speaking country or simply conversing with a French-speaking friend, incorporating “les joues” into your vocabulary will enhance your language skills and deepen your cultural understanding.

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”.