How to Say Remote in French: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to say “remote” in French. Whether you want to know the formal or informal way of expressing this word, we’ve got you covered. While regional variations can exist, we’ll focus primarily on the standard French terminology. Throughout this guide, we will provide you with tips, examples, and explanations to help you navigate the process. So, let’s dive right in!

Formal Ways to Say Remote in French

When it comes to formal settings or situations, it is important to use the appropriate language. Here are a few formal expressions you can employ:

  1. Télécommande – This is the most common term used in French for a remote control. It is widely recognized and accepted across all French-speaking regions. For instance, you may say, “S’il vous plaît, passez-moi la télécommande” (Please pass me the remote control) in a formal setting.
  2. Télécommande à distance – Another common formal term that can be used to refer to a remote control is “télécommande à distance.” This expression explicitly highlights the remote control’s ability to operate from a distance. For example, “Pouvez-vous me prêter la télécommande à distance, s’il vous plaît?” (Can you lend me the remote control, please?)
  3. Pilote à distance – While less common, “pilote à distance” is sometimes used in formal contexts. It emphasizes the role of the remote control as a pilot for the electronic device. An example of this term in use is: “Le pilote à distance de la télévision est cassé” (The television’s remote control is broken).

Informal Ways to Say Remote in French

Now, let’s explore some informal expressions for the word “remote” in French. These are commonly used in day-to-day conversations:

  1. La zapette – In casual conversations, many French speakers use the word “zapette” to refer to a remote control. For example, you could say, “Passe-moi la zapette” (Pass me the remote) when talking to friends or family.
  2. La télécommande – This term, although also used formally, can be commonly found in informal contexts. It is more neutral and less technical. Imagine saying, “Qui a pris la télécommande ?” (Who took the remote control?) during a relaxed evening with friends.
  3. La télécom – Another informal abbreviation for “télécommande” is “télécom.” This shortening is widely understood and used colloquially. You might say, “J’ai la télécom, je peux choisir !” (I have the remote control, I can choose!) while joking with friends.

Tips for Using the Word “Remote” in French

Here are a few tips to help you use the term “remote” correctly in French:

  • Context Matters: Consider the context in which you’re using the word “remote” to choose the most appropriate expression.
  • Formality and Politeness: In formal situations, lean towards using “télécommande” or “télécommande à distance” to maintain a polite manner. In informal contexts, feel free to embrace “zapette,” “télécommande,” or “télécom.”
  • Regional Variations: While we focus on standard French, regional variations can exist. Be aware of your specific audience. For example, the term “clicker” is occasionally used in Canadian French to refer to a remote control.
  • Don’t Translate Word for Word: It’s important to note that direct translations are not always suitable. Language usage can vary, so adapt to the appropriate French expression rather than sticking to literal translations.

Examples of “Remote” in French

Let’s explore some examples that showcase the usage of “remote” in different contexts:

“La zapette est juste là, à côté de toi.” – The remote control is right there, next to you.

“Pouvez-vous prêter la télécommande à distance ? J’ai oublié la mienne.” – Can you lend me the remote control? I forgot mine.

“La télécommande de la climatisation est vraiment pratique.” – The air conditioning remote control is really convenient.

“Qui a pris la zapette ? Je voulais changer de chaîne.” – Who took the remote? I wanted to change the channel.


Congratulations! You’ve now mastered various ways to say “remote” in French. Remember to consider the formality and context when choosing the appropriate term. Whether it’s a formal occasion where “télécommande” or “télécommande à distance” fits best, or a casual gathering where “zapette,” “télécommande,” or “télécom” are more suitable, you’re well-prepared to express yourself correctly. Practice using these terms, and soon they’ll become second nature. Happy controlling!

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