1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Une fille" vs. "Une jeune fi…


"Une fille" vs. "Une jeune fille"

In French class (admittedly many years ago) we were taught never to refer to a female child as "une fille" because it generally referred to a prostitute; we were taught always to distinguish the noun by preceding it with "jeune". Has this changed?

March 27, 2018



Well, "une fille" still refers to a prostitute (even if it is more common to say "une prostituée" to speak in a polite manner) but it sounds a bit old now: I had to read a book in French class where they used "fille" to talk about prostitutes but it was written in the early 1880s... So yes, you can use "une fille" to refer to a girl. If you want to specify that she is young, then use "une jeune fille".

I wish I helped you, I am not a french teacher so I could be wrong. Bon courage to learn French!


Thank you so much for your response -- I appreciated your related backstory. This issue has been nagging at my conscience for a long time, and I'm happy to put it to rest!


You're welcome! ;)

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.