How Do You Say “The First Floor” In French?

Learning a new language can be a daunting task, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding experience. Whether you’re planning a trip to Paris or just want to expand your linguistic skills, learning French is a great choice. One important aspect of learning a new language is familiarizing yourself with the basic vocabulary, such as common phrases and words. In this article, we’ll explore how to say “the first floor” in French.

The French translation for “the first floor” is “le premier étage”.

How Do You Pronounce The French Word For “The First Floor”?

Learning to properly pronounce French words can be challenging, but it’s essential if you want to communicate effectively with native speakers. If you’re wondering how to say “the first floor” in French, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a closer look at the pronunciation of this phrase.

Phonetic Breakdown

The French phrase for “the first floor” is “le premier étage.” Here’s a phonetic breakdown of each word:

  • “le” – pronounced as “luh”
  • “premier” – pronounced as “prem-yay”
  • “étage” – pronounced as “ay-tahzh”

Tips For Pronunciation

Here are a few tips to help you pronounce “le premier étage” correctly:

  1. Practice each word individually before putting them together. This will help you get comfortable with the individual sounds.
  2. Pay attention to the accent marks. The accent on “premier” changes the pronunciation of the letter “e” from “eh” to “ay.”
  3. Focus on the ending sounds of each word. French often drops the final consonant, so don’t try to pronounce the “r” sound at the end of “premier” or the “e” sound at the end of “étage.”

By following these tips and practicing the pronunciation of “le premier étage,” you’ll be able to confidently communicate with French speakers and navigate buildings in French-speaking countries.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The French Word For “The First Floor”

Correct grammar is crucial when using the French word for “the first floor” to ensure clear communication. Understanding the proper placement of the word in sentences, verb conjugations or tenses, agreement with gender and number, and common exceptions are all essential components of proper usage.

Placement Of “The First Floor” In Sentences

In French, “the first floor” is translated as “le premier étage.” It is important to note that unlike in English, the word for “floor” comes after the word for “first.” When using this phrase in a sentence, it is placed in the same position as “the first floor” would be in English. For example:

  • “The bathroom is on the first floor.” – “La salle de bain est au premier étage.”
  • “I live on the first floor.” – “J’habite au premier étage.”

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

When using “the first floor” in conjunction with a verb, it is important to use the correct conjugation or tense. For example:

  • “I am going to the first floor.” – “Je vais au premier étage.” (present tense)
  • “I went to the first floor yesterday.” – “Je suis allé(e) au premier étage hier.” (past tense)

Agreement With Gender And Number

The French language is known for its complex system of gender and number agreement. When using “the first floor,” it is important to match the gender and number of the noun it is referring to. For example:

  • “The first floor of the building” – “Le premier étage du bâtiment” (masculine singular)
  • “The first floor of the house” – “Le premier étage de la maison” (feminine singular)
  • “The first floors of the buildings” – “Les premiers étages des bâtiments” (masculine plural)
  • “The first floors of the houses” – “Les premiers étages des maisons” (feminine plural)

Common Exceptions

As with any language, there are exceptions to the rules. One common exception when using “the first floor” is when referring to the ground floor of a building. In French, the ground floor is often referred to as “le rez-de-chaussée” rather than “le premier étage.” For example:

  • “The entrance is on the ground floor.” – “L’entrée est au rez-de-chaussée.”

Examples Of Phrases Using The French Word For “The First Floor”

When visiting a French-speaking country, it’s important to know how to navigate buildings and understand the different floors. In French, the first floor is known as “le premier étage.” Here are some common phrases that use this French term:

Examples And Explanation Of Usage:

  • “Le bureau est situé au premier étage” – “The office is located on the first floor.”
  • “Je vais prendre l’escalier jusqu’au premier étage” – “I am going to take the stairs up to the first floor.”
  • “Le musée se trouve au premier étage du bâtiment” – “The museum is located on the first floor of the building.”
  • “Il y a une salle de conférence au premier étage” – “There is a conference room on the first floor.”

As you can see, “le premier étage” is commonly used when referring to the first floor of a building. It’s important to note that in France, the ground floor is referred to as “le rez-de-chaussée,” which can sometimes lead to confusion for non-native French speakers.

Example French Dialogue (With Translations):

French English Translation
“Bonjour, je cherche la salle de réunion.” “Hello, I am looking for the meeting room.”
“La salle de réunion se trouve au premier étage.” “The meeting room is located on the first floor.”
“D’accord, comment j’y arrive?” “Okay, how do I get there?”
“Prenez l’ascenseur ou les escaliers jusqu’au premier étage.” “Take the elevator or stairs up to the first floor.”

This dialogue demonstrates how “le premier étage” can be used in everyday conversation when asking for directions or navigating a building.

More Contextual Uses Of The French Word For “The First Floor”

Understanding the various contexts in which the French word for “the first floor” is used can help you communicate more effectively in French-speaking countries. Here, we will discuss the formal and informal usage, as well as other contexts such as slang, idiomatic expressions, and cultural/historical uses.

Formal Usage

In formal settings, such as in business or academic environments, the French word for “the first floor” is typically referred to as “le premier étage.” This is the most standard and widely accepted term for the first floor, and is used in official documents and formal conversations.

Informal Usage

Informally, the French word for “the first floor” can vary depending on the region or dialect. In some areas, “le rez-de-chaussée” is used to refer to the first floor, while in others “le premier étage” is still the preferred term. It’s important to note that in informal settings, slang and colloquialisms may also be used.

Other Contexts

In addition to formal and informal settings, there are other contexts in which the French word for “the first floor” may be used. For example, idiomatic expressions such as “monter à l’étage” (to go up to the next floor) may be used to describe ascending to the first floor. Additionally, historical and cultural references may use different terms for the first floor that are specific to that time period or region.

Popular cultural usage of the French word for “the first floor” can also be seen in media and entertainment. For example, in the French film “Amélie,” the main character lives on the first floor, or “le rez-de-chaussée,” of her apartment building. This usage is reflective of the colloquial language used in Parisian culture.

Regional Variations Of The French Word For “The First Floor”

French is a widely spoken language across the globe, and like any language, it has regional variations. One such variation is the use of the French word for “the first floor.”

How The French Word For The First Floor Is Used In Different French-speaking Countries

In France, the word for the first floor is “le premier étage.” However, in Canada, the French word for the first floor is “le rez-de-chaussée.” This difference in terminology can be attributed to the fact that Canadian French has been influenced by both English and French, while France has maintained a more traditional approach to the language.

In Switzerland, the word for the first floor is “das Erdgeschoss” in German or “le rez-de-chaussée” in French, depending on the region. In Belgium, the word for the first floor is “de eerste verdieping” in Dutch and “le premier étage” in French.

Regional Pronunciations

Along with the differences in terminology, there are also variations in pronunciation. In France, the word “premier” is pronounced with a silent “r,” while in Canada, the “r” is pronounced. In Switzerland, the pronunciation of “rez-de-chaussée” can vary depending on the region and the speaker’s dialect.

Additionally, in Belgium, the pronunciation of “premier étage” can vary between the French-speaking and Dutch-speaking regions of the country.

Overall, it is important to be aware of these regional variations when speaking French, especially when traveling to different French-speaking countries. By understanding these differences, you can communicate more effectively and avoid confusion.

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

It is important to note that the French word for “the first floor,” which is “rez-de-chaussée,” can have different meanings depending on context. While it usually refers to the ground floor of a building, there are other ways in which it can be used in speaking and writing.

Distinguishing Between Different Uses

Here are some ways to distinguish between the different uses of “rez-de-chaussée”:

  • Ground floor: This is the most common use of “rez-de-chaussée,” and refers to the floor of a building that is at ground level. In this context, it is often abbreviated as “RDC.”
  • Basement: In some cases, “rez-de-chaussée” can refer to the basement level of a building. This is less common than the ground floor usage, but it is still important to be aware of.
  • Street level: In certain contexts, “rez-de-chaussée” can refer to the level of a building that is closest to the street. This can be confusing, as it does not necessarily mean the ground floor. For example, in a building that is built into a hillside, the “rez-de-chaussée” may actually be higher than the ground level.

It is important to pay attention to the context in which “rez-de-chaussée” is being used in order to determine its meaning. This can be done by looking at the surrounding words and phrases, as well as the overall context of the conversation or piece of writing.

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

When it comes to finding synonyms or related terms for “the first floor” in French, there are a few options to consider.


One of the most common alternatives to “le premier étage” (the first floor) is simply “étage”. This word can be used to refer to any floor in a building, including the first. It is worth noting, however, that in some contexts (such as in a shopping center or office building), “rez-de-chaussée” (ground floor) may be used instead of “étage” to refer to the first floor.


Another option to consider is “niveau”, which can be translated to “level”. This term is often used when referring to floors in a more general sense, such as when discussing a building’s overall layout. For example, you might say “l’appartement est situé au deuxième niveau” (the apartment is located on the second level).


Finally, “palier” is another word that can be used to describe a floor in a building. However, it typically refers to a landing or platform between two flights of stairs, rather than a full floor. For example, you might say “la chambre est située au palier du premier étage” (the bedroom is located on the landing of the first floor).

While these words can be used similarly to “le premier étage”, it is important to keep in mind that their meanings and connotations may differ slightly in certain contexts.


On the other hand, there are also antonyms to consider when discussing “le premier étage” in French. These include:

  • Le sous-sol (basement)
  • Le rez-de-chaussée (ground floor)
  • Le dernier étage (top floor)

These terms refer to floors that are either below or above the first floor, and can be useful for providing additional context or clarification when discussing building layouts.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The French Word For “The First Floor”

When it comes to speaking French, it is easy to make mistakes, especially if you are not a native speaker. One of the most common mistakes that non-native speakers make is using the wrong word for “the first floor.” In French, “the first floor” is “le premier étage,” but many people mistakenly use “rez-de-chaussée,” which actually means “ground floor.” This mistake can lead to confusion and misunderstandings, so it is important to use the correct term.


In conclusion, we have explored how to say the first floor in French. We have learned that the French word for the first floor is “rez-de-chaussée”. We have also discussed the differences between the French and American numbering systems for floors in a building.

It is important to note that while learning a new language can be challenging, it is also a rewarding experience. By practicing and using the French word for the first floor in real-life conversations, you will not only improve your language skills but also gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the French culture and way of life.

So, don’t be afraid to try out your new language skills and immerse yourself in the French language. Remember, practice makes perfect!

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”.