How to Address an Envelope in French

Updated February 21, 2017

When addressing an envelope in French, you may pause, thinking that it doesn't look quite right. Though the placement of the sender's and recipient's addresses is the same for French mail, the structure of a French address looks slightly different than an American address. Fortunately, when you have all of the recipient's address information, it's easy to write the envelope.

Place your return address on the back of the envelope or on the front in the upper right corner(but with an X over it so postmen don't confuse it with the recipient's address). Underneath the city, state and zip code, write "USA" or "United States."

Write the recipient's name in the centre of the envelope. Your address will have between four and six lines, so leave enough space for the rest of the lines. You can write the name in the same fashion as you would in America -- "John Smith" -- or you can write the last name first in all capital letters, followed by the first name -- "SMITH John." If this is a formal letter, add the greeting "Monsieur," "Madame" or "Mademoiselle" to the beginning of the name.

Include a business name and building name or number if sending a business letter. These should go on the second and third lines, respectively.

Write the street address on the next line.

Write the postcode and city name on the next line.

Finish by writing the word "France" on the last line. This tells American postmen which country to send it to.


Foreign mail requires more postage than domestic mail.

Things You'll Need

  • Envelope
  • Pen
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About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.