What does "ou" means in French ?

"Ou" is a conjunction of coordination

It is used between two nouns, two verbs, two adjectives, two adverbs or two pronouns.

It introduces an alternative between two things.

For example :

  • Tu viens demain ou samedi ?
  • C'est Marie ou Julie qui a fait ça.
  • Vous souhaitez chanter ou danser ?


What does "ou" means in French ?



What does "" means in French?

"" is an adverb of place.

It is used to talk about a place, a geographical location or a time.

For example :

  • Je vais tu vas.
  • Il est le chien ?
  • C'est dans cette ville je suis née.



What does "où" means in French?



How do I know whether to write "ou" or "" in French ?

To find out whether I should write "ou" or "", I replace "ou" or "" with "ou bien".

Immediately, by making this change, you will see that the sentence is correct ✅  or wrong ❌ .

Of course, if the sentence is wrong it is because you should put "" and not "ou".


For example :

Example 1 :

Je ne sais pas ou aller OR je ne sais pas aller ?

➔ Je ne sais pas ou bien aller. ❌ 

The sentence is not correct if I replace with ou bien. So, it's : .

The correct phrase is : Je ne sais pas aller. ✅


Example 2 :

Tu prends du thé ou du café OR Tu prends du thé café ?

Tu prends du thé ou bien du café.

If I can say ou bien so it's ou.

The correct phrase is : Tu prends du thé ou du café. ✅


How do I know whether to write "ou" or "où" in French ?



Have you understood ? Are you sure ?

To check that you have understood the difference between "ou" or "", I suggest a few exercises. 

Give your answer as a comment for me to correct you 😉


Complete the sentences with "ou" or """ :

1) Voulez-vous aller au restaurant ___ au bar ?

2) Je ne sais pas ___ il sera demain.

3) C'est ta soeur ___ ta cousine qui va ___ j'étais à l'école ?

4) J'habite là ___ il y a eu l'ouragan l'année dernière.

5) Tu veux du sucre ___ de la farine ?

6) On mange italien ___ chinois ?

7) ___ est-ce que tu habites ?

8) C'est un serpent ___ un lézard que tu as trouvé ?

9) J'irais ___ tu iras.

10) Je ne sais pas s'il va choisir le rouge ___ le blanc.


The difference between "ou" and """ now holds no more secrets for you. 

Don't forget to test your understanding of the article by taking the test above. Share your result as a comment! 

⬆️ ⬆️

See you soon for new adventures, in French of course! 🇫🇷