How Do You Say “Middle School” In French?

Learning a new language is an enriching experience that opens up new doors to understanding different cultures and ways of life. French, in particular, is a beautiful language that has been spoken for centuries and is still widely used today. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re interested in expanding your knowledge of French and are curious about how to say “middle school” in this language. Without further ado, the French translation for “middle school” is “collège.”

How Do You Pronounce The French Word For “Middle School”?

Learning to properly pronounce a foreign language can be challenging but also very rewarding. If you’re interested in learning French, it’s important to start by mastering the basics, including how to pronounce common words and phrases. One such phrase is “middle school,” which in French is “collège.”

To properly pronounce “collège,” it is important to understand the phonetic breakdown of the word. The word is broken down into three syllables: “col” “lège.”

Here is a phonetic breakdown of each syllable:

  • “Col” should be pronounced like “cole” as in the word “coal.”
  • “Lège” should be pronounced like “lej” as in the word “ledge.”

When you put the syllables together, it should sound like “cole-lej.”

To ensure that you are pronouncing the word correctly, it can be helpful to listen to a native French speaker say the word and try to mimic their pronunciation.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when pronouncing “collège”:

  1. Make sure to emphasize the second syllable, “lège.”
  2. Practice saying the word slowly and clearly, focusing on each syllable.
  3. Pay attention to the way your mouth and tongue move when saying the word, and try to replicate those movements.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask a French speaker for help or guidance if you’re having trouble pronouncing the word.

By taking the time to properly learn how to pronounce “collège,” you’ll be well on your way to mastering the French language.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The French Word For “Middle School”

Proper grammar is essential when using the French word for “middle school” to ensure clear communication and avoid misunderstandings. The word for “middle school” in French is “collège”, which is used to refer to a specific level of education in French-speaking countries.

Placement Of The French Word For Middle School In Sentences

The French word for “middle school” is typically placed after the article in a sentence. For example, “Je vais au collège” means “I am going to middle school”. It is important to note that the article used before “collège” depends on the gender and number of the noun it is referring to.

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

When using the French word for “middle school” in a sentence, it is important to use the correct verb conjugation or tense. The most common tense used when referring to middle school is the present tense. For example, “Je suis au collège” means “I am in middle school”. However, other tenses may be used depending on the context of the sentence.

Agreement With Gender And Number

The French language has a complex system of agreement with gender and number, and the word for “middle school” is no exception. The article used before “collège” must agree with the gender and number of the noun it is referring to. For example, “le collège” is used when referring to a masculine singular noun, while “la collège” is used for a feminine singular noun.

Common Exceptions

There are some common exceptions to the grammatical rules when using the French word for “middle school”. For example, when referring to a specific middle school by name, the article is not used. Additionally, when using the word “collégien” to refer to a middle school student, the gender agreement is always masculine, regardless of the gender of the student.

Examples Of Phrases Using The French Word For “Middle School”

When learning a new language, it’s important to understand how words are used in context. In this section, we will explore common phrases that include the French word for middle school and provide examples of how they are used in sentences.

Phrases Using “Collège”

“Collège” is the French word for middle school. Here are some common phrases that use this word:

Phrase Translation Example sentence
Le collège The middle school Mon frère va au collège.
Un élève de collège A middle school student J’ai rencontré un élève de collège hier.
Le collège de ma ville The middle school in my town Le collège de ma ville est très grand.

As you can see, these phrases are used to describe different aspects of middle school in French.

Example French Dialogue

Here is an example dialogue in French that includes the word “collège” and its usage in context:

Lucie: Salut, tu vas où?

Pierre: Je vais au collège. Et toi?

Lucie: Moi aussi, je suis en troisième cette année.

Pierre: Ah, moi je suis en quatrième. On a des cours ensemble?

Lucie: Oui, on a français ensemble le mardi matin.


Lucie: Hi, where are you going?

Pierre: I’m going to middle school. And you?

Lucie: Me too, I’m in eighth grade this year.

Pierre: Oh, I’m in seventh grade. Do we have classes together?

Lucie: Yes, we have French together on Tuesday mornings.

As you can see, the word “collège” is used to refer to the school they both attend, as well as the grade level they are in.

More Contextual Uses Of The French Word For “Middle School”

Understanding the varying contexts in which the French word for “middle school” is used can help learners of the language to better comprehend the nuances of its meaning. In this section, we will discuss the formal and informal usage of the term, as well as other contexts such as slang, idiomatic expressions, or cultural/historical uses. We will also explore popular cultural usage, if applicable.

Formal Usage

In formal settings, such as academic or official documents, the French word for “middle school” is collège. This term is used to refer to the educational institution for students aged 11 to 15, which is equivalent to grades 6 to 9 in the United States. The word collège is also used in the context of the French education system, which is divided into three levels: primary school (école primaire), middle school (collège), and high school (lycée).

Informal Usage

Informally, the French word for “middle school” can vary depending on the region or the social group. Some common informal terms for collège include “college” (pronounced koh-LEJ), “colle” (pronounced KOHL), or “collège-lycée” (pronounced koh-LEJ LEE-see). These terms may be used among friends or in casual conversation, but they are not appropriate for formal or academic settings.

Other Contexts

Aside from formal and informal usage, the French word for “middle school” can also be used in various other contexts. For example, there are several idiomatic expressions that use the word collège, such as “faire le collège” (to attend middle school) or “être au collège” (to be in middle school). Additionally, the term collège can be used in a historical or cultural context, such as when referring to the French writer François Rabelais, who was a professor at the Collège de Montaigu in the 16th century.

There are also some slang terms that use the word collège, although these are less common and may vary depending on the region. For example, in some parts of France, the term “collégien” (middle school student) may be shortened to “collég” (pronounced KOH-lek) or “colleux” (pronounced koh-LEUH).

Popular Cultural Usage

The French word for “middle school” is not commonly used in popular culture, but there are some instances where it may appear. For example, in the popular French comic book series “Les Profs,” which follows a group of teachers at a fictional middle school, the word collège is used frequently. Additionally, the French film “Entre les murs” (The Class) is set in a middle school and features many scenes that take place in a collège.

Regional Variations Of The French Word For “Middle School”

As with any language, there are regional variations in the French language. This includes the word for “middle school,” which can differ depending on the French-speaking country you are in.

Usage In Different French-speaking Countries

In France, the word for “middle school” is “collège.” This term is also used in some other French-speaking countries, such as Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada.

However, in other countries, the term used for “middle school” may be different. For example, in some African countries where French is spoken, “collège” may refer to a secondary school rather than a middle school. In these cases, the French word “école moyenne” may be used to refer specifically to a middle school.

Regional Pronunciations

Just as there are regional variations in the usage of the word for “middle school,” there may also be differences in pronunciation. For example, in France, the word “collège” is pronounced with a hard “g” sound, while in Quebec, the same word may be pronounced with a softer “j” sound.

It’s important to keep these regional variations in mind when communicating in French, especially if you are traveling or interacting with French speakers from different countries. Understanding these differences can help you communicate more effectively and avoid misunderstandings.

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

While the French word for middle school, collège, is commonly used to refer to the educational institution, it can also have other meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Understanding these different uses can help you better comprehend written and spoken French.

Use As A Verb

One of the most common alternative uses of collège is as a verb, meaning “to gather” or “to convene.” For example, you might hear someone say:

  • Nous allons colléger pour discuter de la situation. (We are going to convene to discuss the situation.)

In this context, collège takes on the meaning of gathering or coming together for a specific purpose.

Use In Geography

Collège can also be used to refer to a specific type of administrative region in France. These regions are similar to counties in the United States and serve as a level of government between the national and municipal levels. In this context, collège refers to a group of elected officials who make decisions about the region.

Use In Music

In music, collège can refer to a type of choir made up of boys’ voices. This usage is more common in English than in French, but you may still encounter it in certain contexts.

Distinguishing Between Uses

When encountering the word collège in written or spoken French, it is important to consider the context in which it is being used in order to understand its meaning. Pay attention to the surrounding words and phrases to determine whether collège is being used to refer to a school, a gathering, a geographic region, or a type of choir.

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

Synonyms And Related Terms

When it comes to discussing the equivalent of “middle school” in French, there are a number of related terms and synonyms that can be helpful to know. For example:

  • Collège: This is the most common term for “middle school” in French. It refers to the educational institution that students attend between primary school (école primaire) and high school (lycée).
  • Enseignement secondaire: This term refers to secondary education in general, which includes both collège and lycée.
  • Éducation nationale: This is the French national education system, which includes both primary and secondary education.

Each of these terms is related to the concept of “middle school” in different ways. Collège is the most specific term, referring specifically to the institution where students attend during their middle school years. Enseignement secondaire is a broader term that encompasses both collège and lycée, while éducation nationale is the overarching system that governs all levels of education in France.


While there are a number of related terms and synonyms for “middle school” in French, there are also a few antonyms to be aware of. These include:

  • École primaire: This term refers to primary school in France, which is the level of education that comes before collège.
  • Lycée: This is the term for high school in France, which is the level of education that comes after collège.

While these terms are not direct opposites of collège, they are antonyms in the sense that they represent different levels of education. École primaire refers to the primary level, while lycée refers to the final stage of secondary education.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The French Word For “Middle School”

As a non-native speaker of French, it’s easy to make mistakes when using the word for “middle school.” Here are some common errors to avoid:

Mistake #1: Using “Collège” Instead Of “ÉCole Moyenne”

One common mistake is using “Collège” to refer to middle school in French. While “Collège” is a word used in France to refer to middle school, it is not the only word used in the French language. In Canada, for instance, “École Moyenne” is the preferred term.

To avoid this mistake, it’s important to research the specific region where you will be speaking French to ensure you are using the correct terminology.

Mistake #2: Mispronouncing “ÉCole Moyenne”

Another common mistake is mispronouncing the term “École Moyenne.” The correct pronunciation is “ay-kol moy-en,” with the stress on the second syllable of each word.

To avoid this mistake, it’s important to listen to native French speakers pronounce the term and practice it yourself.

Mistake #3: Using “Moyenne ÉCole” Instead Of “ÉCole Moyenne”

Some non-native speakers may make the mistake of using “Moyenne École” instead of “École Moyenne.” While the literal translation of “middle school” in French is “Moyenne École,” this term is not commonly used in the French language.

To avoid this mistake, it’s important to use the correct order of words in the French language, which is “École Moyenne.”

Mistake #4: Confusing “ÉCole Secondaire” With “ÉCole Moyenne”

Another common mistake is confusing “École Secondaire” with “École Moyenne.” While both terms refer to different levels of education in the French language, “École Secondaire” refers to high school, while “École Moyenne” refers to middle school.

To avoid this mistake, it’s important to understand the different levels of education in the French language and use the correct terminology accordingly.


In this blog post, we explored the French language and its vocabulary related to education. Specifically, we answered the question of how to say “middle school” in French. We learned that the French word for middle school is “collège,” which is an important term to know for anyone who wants to communicate effectively in French.

Overall, learning a new language can be a daunting task, but it is also a rewarding experience. By taking the time to learn new vocabulary and practice speaking in French, you can improve your communication skills and broaden your cultural horizons.

We encourage you to use the word “collège” in your real-life conversations and continue to expand your French vocabulary. With practice and persistence, you can become fluent in French and open up a world of new opportunities.

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”.