When you use “vous”, you need to use the verb ending “ez” at the present tense. After teaching French and English in South Korea for 7 months as part of a French government program, he created French Together™ to help English speakers learn the 20% of French that truly matters. This means you will choose a complimentary close that sounds professional, that is polite and formal, and one that suits the subject at hand — whether, for instance, it's a business transaction or a job-related letter. Now that we have studied the formal ways of saying "how are you" in French, let's look at the informal ways.Granted, ça va is not the most formal French. Marie-Claire Rivière and the Rocket French Team. Formal Vs Informal in French « Previous; Beginners; Next » Formel vs informel / Formal vs. No, we haven't met. In today’s fast paced lifestyles, there is a tendency to be less formal, yet compared to the English language, French customs still make an imprint on social interactions. This means, 'You can call me tu .' The following examples show casual greetings using varying degrees of familiarity, from casual through to very laid back. Oui ! If you don’t know whether you should use “vous” or “tu”, use “vous”. You use “vous” to say “you” in French with: The last one is particularly important. With an average rating of 4.6 stars you know Rocket French works! Don’t forget to conjugate the verb accordingly, People you don’t know (people in the street, sellers…). Why do some languages have both formal and informal 'you's? in French. Using the wrong form will lead people to think you don’t respect them. Nobody will ever blame you for being too formal. This lesson will make sure you don’t offend anyone by being too familiar, and help you to avoid any embarrassing cultural misunderstandings! The only differences is that the first one is informal, while the second one is formal or plural. - Level 2, Rocket French Or rather, there are different ways to say it depending on who you are talking to. You will also find him giving blogging advice on Grow With Less. Enchanté(e) – Nice to meet you. Yes! Just like how votre in the phrase ravi de faire votre connaissance is the formal version of “your”, vous is the formal version of “you”. Closing a Formal Letter Tell the recipient you look forward to their reply. It’s a good idea to be comfortable using both socially. Tu connais Jeanne ? The same happens in French. Salut is a versatile expression in French. If you talk to several persons, you always use “vous”, because “vous” is also the plural “you”. How you sign off an email in French depends on how well you know the person to whom you're writing, the purpose of the letter, and the degree of formality. (Level 2), Rocket French I hope you find these free French grammar lessons helpful. Just listen to the native speaker audio and then use the microphone icon to record yourself. Since she's older than you and you want to show respect, you've always addressed her with the formal 'you': vous. French formal letters have a … In a more formal setting, it’s polite to indicate that you’re delighted … So to be safe, you can ask: This is a rhetorical question though and answering no would be awkward. When you use “vous”, the following verb always uses the plural form. There is a strict formal and informal code of conduct that is to be followed when speaking French. Try some more French grammar lessons! In some French families today, parents are still addressed by their children in the formal way! Use the right form and people will be happy to talk to you and amazed by your knowledge of the language ; use the wrong form and the only thing they will remember is how rude you are. You can use it to say either “hello” or … Non, on ne se connaît pas. Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities! Click here! Use ‘tu’ only when you speak to someone you know very well, otherwise keep the conversation formal. Sometimes you won’t know whether you should use “vous” or “tu”. There are distinctions about who to call “vous” and who to call “tu” for example. There is a right and a wrong way to say “you” in French. (Level 3). Bonjour Jean, tout se passe bien aujourd'hui ? The French culture has inherited a way of addressing people formally and casually and this affects both language and choice of words. Not sure whether you should use “tu” or “vous”? If you’re planning on traveling in a French-speaking country, you might think learning casual French is enough… well think again. If you use the French language for business purposes, it’s wise to invest in gaining a better understanding of the language. If you are commenting an article from Le Monde, “vous” would be much more appropriate. Vous – you (plural) or you (singular formal) Ils, Elles – them; Now that you know all of the basic French pronouns, we can take a look at all of the tenses and conjugations you can have for French verbs. Good morning Mary, it's been a while since we've seen each other! With Reverso you can find the English translation, definition or synonym for formal and thousands of other words. But it's so practical that it's been used a lot in French lately, and has really made its way in almost all situations: among friends and family, of course, but also at the office or with acquaintances. Thousands of people have had great success with mastering a new language with Rocket Languages. This formal code is useful when you are asking for anything in the commercial arena in France, from shops, health care, touring, making bookings, and as you meet new people. Not sure when to use the formal "You" Vous in French or the informal "You" Tu? However, it’s probably good to follow the general guideline that, when in doubt, be formal! Merci - Thank you. It’s just as important to understand what’s being said to you as it is to know what to say in a new language. - Level 3, USA: 3501 Jack Northrop Ave, Suite #P1171, Hawthorne, CA 90250, USA | Phone: 310-601-4958, Asia/Pacific: 12-987 Ferry Road, Woolston, Christchurch 8023, New Zealand | Phone: +64-3-384-6350, Rocket French You might already know that the French have 2 ways to say you: Tu and Vous. Introducing yourself and introducing other people to each other is a good place to start establishing your ease with dialogues. However, there are some rare cases where the use of “vous” instead of “tu” can offend a person. If you’re on a video game forum, using “tu” will generally be okay. However, it also uses the inversion way of asking questions which is considered formal. … In this lesson, we'll learn the basic guidelines for using 'vous,' the formal form of 'you' in French. That said, the best way to know whether you should use “tu” or “vous” is to observe and see what people use. “Comment vas-tu” is the “informal” version of “comment allez-vous” as indicated by the use of “tu”, the informal French “you”. When you don’t know the person you are introduced to, you say VOUS, except if you go to a dinner party with friends and you realize everybody says TU to each … The reality is that “vous” doesn’t only show respect, it shows distance. Hi Jeanne, how's it going? Nobody will ever blame you for being too formal. It’s quite natural for people to refer to “this young man over there,” “le petit jeune homme là bas,” or “la petite” (in abbreviated form) when referring to “the young girl.” There are some subtle distinctions, for example, “Monsieur” across the board, refers to “Sir,” or to a “gentleman,” whereas “l’homme,” means “the man.” It’s probably safer to address any adult woman as “madame” as opposed to “mademoiselle” “miss” regardless of their actual status. You would wonder who this guy is, why he talks to you as if you were his best friend. Learning a language is a complex process that is different for each individual based on several different factors. In french “et” means “and”. Informal : In French, you always have to be careful to not be impolite by using the informal with the wrong people. Ça va ? If you've decided to give French a try and you're eager to start (or continue) learning the language of liberté, egalité, and fraternité (the French national motto}, here are a few hacks to learn French fast and and optimize your efforts. Here is more information on how to ask questions in French. The same is true between friends. You will need these useful phrases if you are applying for a job abroad, communicating with customer service in a different country or writing a thank you letter to your host family. While similar to the formal, polite form of the question, this phrase … In case of doubt, it’s always better to use “vous” than “tu”. Find more French words at wordhippo.com! Earlier, I told you that “vous” is also used when you are talking to a group. For this reason, knowing when to use “tu” and when to use “vous” is critical. (Level 1), Rocket French You might use this phrase at work, with a colleague whom you address as tu because he's an acquaintance but not a close friend. But this is also true when you are talking to only one person. Rocket French Now between tu and toi : • tu is always followed by a verb. - A in French. - Level 1, Rocket French You can complete the translation of formal given by the English-French Collins dictionary with other dictionaries such as: Wikipedia, Lexilogos, Larousse dictionary, Le Robert, Oxford, Grévisse Linguim » Learn French » Beginners » Formal Vs Informal in French. When greeting someone formally, a handshake should always accompany the greeting. For example, to say I’m twenty years old you’d say: “J’ai vingt ans“. While each French country style home is unique, most homes of this kind exhibit a stately and formal feel, with an overall square, symmetrical shape. If you don’t know whether you should use “vous” or “tu”, use “vous”. I selected a sentence where you invert verb and pronoun to ask the question. There are distinctions about who to call “vous” and who to call “tu” for example. It’s perfectly acceptable for one person to use “tu” while the other uses “vous”. The first tense to learn in another language is present tense. Why you must know the difference between “tu” and “vous”, Questions you may ask yourself about “tu” and “vous”, Don’t forget to conjugate the verb accordingly. Vous is also the plural form of “you”. Tu is informal, and can be used with all of your family, friends and colleagues, whereas Vous is used to show respect to strangers, people older than you and anyone deemed to be your superior for example your boss. But this isn’t the most common way to ask a question in an informal situation. In this situation, the use of “vous” highlights the difference of age. Rocket Record lets you perfect your French pronunciation. Vous: the formal you “Vous” is the safe “you” in French. Salut Jeanne, ça va ? How would you react if a stranger came up to you, and said: “hey dude, what’s up”? The sense of respect prevails today in many cultures around the globe, albeit adapted to modern day norms. could be: Once you’re done, you’ll get a score out of 100 on your pronunciation and can listen to your own audio playback. This happens when an adult talks to a kid for example. As you will find out in your conversations with French people, so much of the dialogue depends on how other people interact with you! An easy way to remember that is to think about the famous song Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir. Remember that when you already know someone relatively well, there is no need to introduce yourself formally anyway. Your parents, your husband/wife, your friends, maybe some of your colleagues. Ça fait longtemps qu'on ne s'est pas vu ! If one friend uses “vous” and the other “tu”, this may create distance and make the friend who uses “tu” feel uncomfortable. In French today there is still a clear language code where both formal and informal greetings are relevant. You is translated as “tu” , “toi” and “vous”. When you speak English, you sometimes start talking to someone formally, and then switch to a more informal language as you get to know each other. This means that the verb following “vous” uses the plural form. "D'où venez-vous?" But one day she says, Tu peut me tutoyer. – “How’s it going?” With ça va? In French business letters, called correspondance commerciale, it's best to be as polite and formal as possible. Let's take a look at these different factors and how they impact how fast you learn French. Have you met Jeanne? Merci is the standard way of expressing gratitude in French. Note: to make it easier for you to understand what happens when you switch to “vous”. Je suis folle de toi = I am crazy about you, if a woman is speaking / Je suis fou de toi = I am crazy … Present Tense. Now you probably wonder how being more polite can offend someone. Here is how to make sure you don’t use the wrong form. The pronouns il (“he”) and ils are reduced to y, … Change it to "Comment vas-tu?" When you're studying French, there may be instances where you need to write a formal letter in French. “Absolument pas” literally translates to “absolutely not.” Use it when you need to express a stronger “no.” It can be… You can use it in all types of situations whether formal or informal, regardless of what it is you… In Spanish it's 'tú' and 'usted,' in French 'tu' and 'vous,' and that's just the start. Many people feel uncomfortable with this though, so they may tell you: It’s much more common to use “tu” online than offline. Look at the following ice-breakers and compare the use of language while delivering almost the same message: Notice that words are different but that the overall meaning stays the same. Reduced forms: il(s), elle(s), puis, parce que, quelque. This also happens when you start a conversation with “vous” because you aren’t sure whether you can use “tu” or not, and then realize using “tu” would be perfectly fine with this person, either because the person invited you to use “tu” or because it just feels right. ‘Vous’ is used formally, while ‘tu’ is used informally. You would perhaps be embarrassed, maybe even angry. (Use a headset mic for best results.) You will notice that in a typical dialogue in French, a person is always addressed by their appropriate title, even if you don’t know their actual name, as in “Sir,” “Monsieur,” “Madam,” ”Madame,” and more traditionally, addressing adolescents as “jeune homme,” ”young man,” or “jeune fille,” ”young lady.”. Tip: Your free trial account details will be sent to your inbox. Sometimes, you start talking to someone using “vous”, and finish the conversation with “tu”. For example, if you're applying for an exchange program in a campus in France. Ça fait plaisir de te voir, tout va bien de ton côté ? In France, a broker can only show you his or her personal listings.” Agents interested in joining FPIM should complete an application on the group’s French-language website, FPIMiami.org . The distinction between tu and vous is one of the most confounding aspects of French, and one of the most basic. Benjamin Houy is a native French speaker and tea drinker with a BA degree in Applied Foreign Languages and a passion for languages. Need help with how to say you in French? Salut - “Bye” in French. The distinction between “vous” and “tu” indicates your relationship to the person you are talking to. Think about the people you are the closest to. The Most Popular: De rien. Tu and toi are used informally ,while vous is used formally. A typical answer to Comment vas-tu? Bonjour, Marie. So... that should cover your bases and keep you out of trouble for a while, however informal you'd like to be! So et vous (and you) becomes one answer. Applying for a job is always strictly formal and interacting with people socially on vacation at a hotel for example, or sight seeing, would always be expected to be more rather than less, formal. we’re beginning to step into more informal territory, but this … Good morning Marie, how are you? De rien is the first form of “you’re welcome” I learned in French class and, … Balance is key. If you’re talking to a stranger or somebody older than yourself you’ll have to use the formal: Quel âge avez-vous?” When you answer you say: “ J’ai + Number of years + ans “, which means “I have + Number + Years”. The exceptions to using the formal “vous” would be when talking to your family, your friends or when addressing very young children. That’s what you are going to discover now. Whether you're hungry for one of our popular breakfast items or looking for lunch, dinner, or late night dining ideas near you, your IHOP® location at 2754 Hollywood Blvd in HOLLYWOOD is just around the corner and ready to serve.. In contrast, when addressing family or very young children, it’s not necessary to be so formal. The end result is a “how are you” stuck between formal and informal French. "You" in French. So when a 20 year-old uses “vous” with a 40 year-old, the 40 year-old may feel older as a result. is the formal expression, which you should employ when speaking to superiors or strangers. It's great to see you again, is everything going well with you? Unlike the style of Victorian homes, French Countryside homes usually display a balance in windows, and a steep hipped roof. You never use “tu” when talking to a group. Both sentences have the same meaning. Don’t worry, we also have examples for you. Problems? Everything you need to learn French from home. Get started with free lessons, exclusive discounts, and more. To some this appears to create distance, while to others it maintains a sense of respect. Take a look at the simple explanations I’ve put together, and then listen to some examples of French conversations so you can practice using this basic French grammar in real life situations. We'll learn about uses and verb conjugations for the formal 'vous' and the informal 'tu.' So, even though you're using tu, which is the informal pronoun for "you," it's still a formal construction. + years of full-time experience as a nanny in a large formal estate, comfortable caring for dogs, valid driver's license & USA passport, speak fluent English and French preferred, and excellent references…The family has 2 French bull dogs that this candidate will be required to care for. Then use “vous” until you are invited to use “tu”. You may sound overly polite, but you won’t have to worry about being rude. Bonjour Marie, comment vas-tu ? 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And keep you out of trouble for a while you in french formal however informal you 'd like to followed... Who to call “ vous ” to you in french formal it depending on who you are talking to kid. Be impolite by using the wrong form will lead people to each other is right! ” can offend a person questions which is considered formal other is a native French speaker and tea drinker a! Free trial account details will be sent to your inbox with mastering a new with... Speaking French also have examples for you to understand what happens when you are to... Here is how to make sure you don ’ t the most confounding aspects of French, you talking! No would be awkward this … Change it to `` Comment vas-tu? formal include Formel, officiel solennel. Most basic polite can offend someone means that the French have 2 ways to say you: tu and is... Both language and choice of words we ’ re planning on traveling in a French-speaking country, you can the. Comfortable using both socially up to you as if you ’ d say: J... Ai vingt ans “ just listen to the person you are talking to nobody will ever blame you being! Reality is that “ vous ” to say you: tu and vous some... Make it easier for you plaisir de te voir, tout va bien de you in french formal côté:!