How Do You Say “Grow Up” In French?

Bonjour! Have you ever wondered how to say “grow up” in French? Learning a new language can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. It opens up new doors to communication and understanding of different cultures. In this article, we will explore the French translation of “grow up”.

The French translation of “grow up” is “grandir”. This is a common verb used to describe the physical and mental development of a person from childhood to adulthood. It can also be used to describe the growth of plants and animals.

How Do You Pronounce The French Word For “Grow Up”?

Learning to properly pronounce a foreign language can be challenging, but it’s an important step towards fluency. If you’re looking to learn how to say “grow up” in French, it’s important to start with the proper pronunciation.

Phonetic Breakdown

The French word for “grow up” is “grandir.” Here is the phonetic breakdown:

French Word Phonetic Spelling
grandir grahn-deer

Tips For Pronunciation

Here are some tips to help you properly pronounce “grandir” in French:

  • Pay attention to the nasal sounds in French. The “an” sound in “grandir” is pronounced with a nasal sound, similar to the “en” sound in “pen” or “ten.”
  • Make sure to emphasize the “r” sound at the end of the word. This is a common feature of French pronunciation.
  • Practice the word slowly, breaking it down into syllables if necessary. This will help you get a feel for the rhythm and flow of the word.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The French Word For “Grow Up”

Grammar is an essential component of language learning, especially when it comes to using the French word for “grow up.” Proper grammatical use not only ensures clarity in communication but also reflects your level of proficiency in the language. In this section, we will discuss the correct placement of the French word for grow up in sentences, verb conjugations or tenses, agreement with gender and number, and any common exceptions.

Placement Of The French Word For Grow Up In Sentences

In French, the word for grow up is “grandir.” It is a regular verb that follows the standard conjugation pattern for -ir verbs. When using “grandir” in a sentence, it usually comes after the subject and before the object. For example:

  • Je grandis chaque jour. (I grow up every day.)
  • Elle grandit vite. (She grows up fast.)

However, in some cases, the word order may change, especially when using reflexive pronouns or in questions. For example:

  • Grandis-tu vite? (Do you grow up fast?)
  • Je me suis grandi(e) en travaillant dur. (I grew up by working hard.)

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

As mentioned earlier, “grandir” is a regular -ir verb, which means it follows the conjugation pattern for -ir verbs. Here is the conjugation of “grandir” in the present tense:

Subject Pronoun Conjugation
Je grandis
Tu grandis
Il/Elle/On grandit
Nous grandissons
Vous grandissez
Ils/Elles grandissent

It is important to note that the past participle of “grandir” is “grandi,” and the auxiliary verb used to form the compound tenses is “avoir.” For example:

  • J’ai grandi dans une petite ville. (I grew up in a small town.)
  • Elle avait grandi avant de partir à l’étranger. (She had grown up before leaving abroad.)

Agreement With Gender And Number

Like many French verbs, “grandir” agrees with the subject in gender and number. The endings of the verb change depending on the subject pronoun. For example:

  • Je grandis (I grow up) vs. Nous grandissons (We grow up)
  • Elle grandit (She grows up) vs. Ils grandissent (They grow up)

However, it is important to note that the word “grandir” does not change its form to agree with the gender or number of the object. For example:

  • Je grandis mes enfants (I grow up my children) vs. Je grandis mes plantes (I grow up my plants)

Common Exceptions

One common exception to the use of “grandir” is when referring to growing up in a figurative sense, such as maturing or developing. In these cases, the verb “mûrir” is often used instead. For example:

  • Il a mûri au fil des années. (He has matured over the years.)
  • Le projet a mûri dans son esprit. (The project has developed in his mind.)

Another exception is when using the expression “to grow up together” in French. The correct phrase to use is “grandir ensemble.” For example:

  • Nous avons grandi ensemble. (We grew up together.)

Examples Of Phrases Using The French Word For “Grow Up”

Learning how to express the concept of growing up in French can be a challenge for English speakers. Here are some common phrases that include the French word for grow up, along with examples of their usage:

Examples And Explanation Of Usage

  • Grandir – to grow up
    • J’ai grandi en France – I grew up in France
    • Il a grandi rapidement – He grew up quickly
  • Mûrir – to mature
    • Elle a mûri beaucoup depuis l’année dernière – She has matured a lot since last year
    • Les enfants doivent apprendre à mûrir – Children need to learn how to mature
  • Devenir adulte – to become an adult
    • Je vais devenir adulte dans deux ans – I will become an adult in two years
    • Il est temps de devenir adulte – It’s time to become an adult

Example French Dialogue (With Translations)

Marie: Quand est-ce que tu as grandi?

Luc: J’ai grandi en France, mais j’ai déménagé aux États-Unis quand j’avais 10 ans.

Translation: Marie: When did you grow up?
Luc: I grew up in France, but I moved to the United States when I was 10.

Paul: Est-ce que tu penses que les enfants doivent apprendre à mûrir?

Julie: Oui, je pense que c’est important pour leur développement.

Translation: Paul: Do you think children need to learn how to mature?
Julie: Yes, I think it’s important for their development.

More Contextual Uses Of The French Word For “Grow Up”

Understanding the various contextual uses of the French word for “grow up” is essential for anyone seeking to communicate fluently in the language. The word “grandir” is commonly used in both formal and informal contexts, as well as in slang, idiomatic expressions, and historical/cultural references. Below, we explore each of these contexts in more detail.

Formal Usage

In formal settings, such as in academic or professional contexts, the word “grandir” is most commonly used to refer to physical growth, such as the growth of a plant or animal. For example, one might say “Les arbres grandissent vite en été” (The trees grow quickly in the summer) or “Le bébé grandit rapidement” (The baby is growing quickly). In these contexts, the word is used to describe a natural and expected process of development.

Informal Usage

Informally, the word “grandir” is often used to refer to personal growth, such as emotional or intellectual development. For example, one might say “Je veux grandir en tant que personne” (I want to grow as a person) or “Il a grandi en maturité depuis notre dernière rencontre” (He has grown in maturity since our last meeting). In these contexts, the word is used to describe a more abstract and subjective process of development.

Other Contexts

In addition to formal and informal contexts, the word “grandir” is also used in a variety of other ways. For example, it is commonly used in slang expressions, such as “grandir les yeux” (to widen one’s eyes, i.e. to be surprised) or “grandir les jambes” (to grow legs, i.e. to leave quickly). It is also used in idiomatic expressions, such as “grandir dans l’ombre de quelqu’un” (to grow up in someone’s shadow, i.e. to be overshadowed by someone else). Finally, the word has cultural and historical significance, such as in the phrase “Grandir à la française” (to grow up French, i.e. to embody French culture and values).

Popular Cultural Usage

One popular cultural reference to the word “grandir” is in the classic French children’s book “Le Petit Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. In the book, the protagonist, a young prince, is on a journey of personal growth and discovery, learning important lessons about life and love along the way. The book’s famous quote, “On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur, l’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux” (One sees clearly only with the heart, the essential is invisible to the eyes), speaks to the idea of emotional growth and understanding that is central to the story and to the French concept of “grandir”.

Regional Variations Of The French Word For “Grow Up”

French, as a language, has many regional variations. This means that words can have different meanings and pronunciations depending on where you are in the Francophone world. The word for “grow up” is no exception.

Usage Of The French Word For Grow Up In Different French-speaking Countries

The French word for “grow up” is “grandir”. While this word is used throughout France, it may not be the only word used to express the concept of growing up. For example, in Quebec, the word “mûrir” is also used in this context.

Similarly, in other Francophone countries such as Belgium and Switzerland, the word “grandir” may not be the only word used to express the concept of growing up. In Belgium, the word “pousser” is also used, while in Switzerland the word “croître” is used.

Regional Pronunciations Of The French Word For Grow Up

As with any language, French also has regional variations in pronunciation. Depending on where you are in the Francophone world, the word “grandir” may be pronounced differently.

For example, in France, the “d” in “grandir” is often silent. However, in Quebec, the “d” is pronounced, making the word sound more like “grondir”. In Switzerland, the pronunciation is closer to the French pronunciation, but with a slight emphasis on the “i” sound.

It is important to note that while these variations exist, the word “grandir” is still widely understood and used throughout the Francophone world to express the concept of growing up.

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

It is important to note that the French word for “grow up,” grandir, can have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Here are some of the other uses of the word:

1. Physical Growth

The most common use of grandir is to describe physical growth, such as a child growing taller or an animal reaching maturity. In this context, grandir is often used in the reflexive form, se grandir, which means “to grow up oneself.” For example, “Le bébé se grandit rapidement” means “The baby is growing up quickly.”

2. Emotional And Intellectual Growth

Grandir can also be used to describe emotional and intellectual growth. For example, “Il a beaucoup grandi depuis qu’il a commencé l’université” means “He has grown a lot since he started university.”

3. Increase Or Improvement

In certain contexts, grandir can be used to describe an increase or improvement in something. For example, “Les ventes de l’entreprise ont grandi de 20% cette année” means “The company’s sales have grown by 20% this year.”

4. To Get Bigger Or Expand

Grandir can also be used to describe something getting bigger or expanding. For example, “Le parc a grandi au fil des ans” means “The park has grown over the years.”

To distinguish between these different uses of grandir, it is important to pay attention to the context in which the word is used. The use of reflexive pronouns, such as se grandir, can also provide clues as to the intended meaning of the word.

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

There are several words and phrases in French that are similar to “grow up.” Here are a few:


One of the most common words for “grow up” in French is “grandir.” This verb can be used to describe physical growth as well as emotional or intellectual development. For example:

  • Les enfants grandissent si vite! (Children grow up so fast!)
  • Elle a beaucoup grandi depuis la dernière fois que je l’ai vue. (She has grown up a lot since the last time I saw her.)

As you can see, “grandir” can be used in a variety of contexts and is a versatile word for describing the process of growing up.


Another word that is sometimes used to describe growing up is “mûrir,” which means “to mature” or “to ripen.” This verb is often used to describe emotional or intellectual growth, rather than physical growth. For example:

  • Il a beaucoup mûri depuis qu’il a commencé à travailler. (He has matured a lot since he started working.)
  • Elle a besoin de mûrir un peu avant de prendre cette décision. (She needs to mature a bit before making this decision.)

While “mûrir” is not as commonly used as “grandir” to describe growing up, it can be a useful word in certain contexts.


On the other hand, there are also words that are the opposite of “grow up” in French. These include:

  • Rester enfant (to remain a child)
  • Refuser de grandir (to refuse to grow up)
  • Être immature (to be immature)

These words are useful for describing someone who is not growing up or maturing, either because they are resisting the process or because they are unable to do so.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The French Word For “Grow Up”

When learning a new language, it’s easy to make mistakes, especially when it comes to idioms and expressions. The French language has many expressions that can be confusing for non-native speakers, and “grow up” is one of them. Here are some common mistakes made by non-native speakers when using the French word for “grow up”:

  • Translating word for word: One of the most common mistakes is to translate the English expression word for word. In French, the expression “grow up” is translated as “grandir”, but it’s not always appropriate to use it in the same way as in English.
  • Using the wrong verb tense: Another mistake is to use the wrong verb tense. For example, using the present tense “je grandis” (I grow up) instead of the past tense “j’ai grandi” (I grew up).
  • Using the wrong context: The context in which the expression is used is also important. For example, saying “je grandis un arbre” (I grow up a tree) instead of “je fais pousser un arbre” (I grow a tree) is incorrect.

Highlight These Mistakes And Provide Tips To Avoid Them.

To avoid these mistakes, here are some tips to keep in mind when using the French word for “grow up”:

  1. Don’t translate word for word: Instead of translating the English expression “grow up” word for word, try to use the appropriate French expression depending on the context. For example, if you want to say “I grew up in Paris”, you should use “j’ai grandi à Paris” instead of “j’ai poussé à Paris” (I grew in Paris).
  2. Use the correct verb tense: To express the idea of growing up, use the past tense “j’ai grandi” (I grew up) instead of the present tense “je grandis” (I grow up).
  3. Use the appropriate context: Use the appropriate context when using the expression. For example, if you want to say “I grow tomatoes in my garden”, you should say “je fais pousser des tomates dans mon jardin” instead of “je grandis des tomates dans mon jardin” (I grow up tomatoes in my garden).

In conclusion, learning a new language takes time and practice. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can improve your French skills and communicate more effectively.


In conclusion, we have explored the different ways to say grow up in French. We have learned that the most common way is “grandir,” which is a regular verb that follows the same conjugation pattern as other -ir verbs. We have also discussed other variations such as “devenir adulte” and “mûrir,” which have slightly different connotations.

It is important to note that language learning is a continuous process, and practicing the French word for grow up in real-life conversations is crucial to becoming fluent. Don’t be afraid to use it in your interactions with French speakers, whether it’s in a formal or informal setting. The more you practice, the more confident you will become.

Remember, learning a new language can be challenging, but it is also rewarding. By expanding your vocabulary and understanding of the French language, you are opening up new opportunities for personal and professional growth.

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”.