The basic way to say thank you in French is merci (MAIR-see), but in some situations, that simple, two-syllable word may not seem like enough. 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. Now between tu and toi : • tu is always followed by a verb. Fluent in 3 months ... It’s not so informal that it should be reserved for friends and family, but it’s best to stick with either of the first two questions in explicitly formal situations. You will also find him giving blogging advice on Grow With Less. In this situation, the use of “vous” highlights the difference of age. When someone asks you how you are and you want to return the question, respond by asking "Et Vous?" For example: Informal : Je te présente. How do say choose in french? However, there are some rare cases where the use of “vous” instead of “tu” can offend a person. If you talk to several persons, you always use “vous”, because “vous” is also the plural “you”. Also, consider whether to use tu or vous—tu is the familiar "you," while vous is the formal greeting for "you" in French. French words for informal include informel, familier, relaxe, simple, officieuses, informelles, informels and informelle. 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. If you hear something that is hard to believe, you say C’est pas vrai (seh pah vreh) (No way!, You don’t say!) 1. To help you sound more natural when speaking French, here are some simple guidelines to keep in mind: Both of these words mean the same thing: you. When to Use Formal Language When your purpose is to explain a topic or idea to a teacher, a classmate, or the public, use formal language. The expressions you use depend on your relationship with the person you are writing to, particularly whether you know her personally. When should we say VOUS and TU in French? Informal : Je te présente. Your parents, your husband/wife, your friends, maybe some of your colleagues. Using the wrong form will lead people to think you don’t respect them. Linguim » Learn French » Beginners » Formal Vs Informal in French. When greeting someone formally, a handshake should always accompany the greeting. Phone: + 33 782 171 213 Informally, there are several other possibilities. The word puis is more commonly pronounced as pis, parce que is shortened to pasque, and quelque is pronounced as quèque. Or rather, there are different ways to say it depending on who you are talking to. By the way, if you're interested in informal language, you can also check out this post on 23 colloquial French phrases for impressing the locals. Think about the people you are the closest to. So there you have it, folks! You can also drop the formal salutation altogether and just say hello in French… Jacques Audiard fan. But if you're already familiar with the person you're speaking to (such as friends and family), you can drop the highly formal vous and use tu instead. to “Tu vas où?”. Remember though that this is only spoken in casual conversations and written in very informal contexts (like SMS between friends), not in newspapers, research, and the like. Are you already speaking French so well but still sound as if you just came out of a French grammar book? Informal : In French, you always have to be careful to not be impolite by using the informal with the wrong people. It's not easy to tell. 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. If you’re on a video game forum, using “tu” will generally be okay. Find more French words at wordhippo.com! 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. Both pronouns mean the equivalent of ‘we’ and ‘us’ but in informal French, nous is often replaced by on, with some changes from plural verb and adjective (in nous) to singular verb and adjective (in on). Formal: Je vous présente. The informal 'You' in French: Tu Let's say you're meeting an 8-year-old child who is having a birthday party. In informal French, ‘tu’ when followed by a verb that begins with a vowel will be shortened to t’. Whether you're just learning French or about to take a trip to a French-speaking country, "thank you" is one of the first phrases you should learn. Informal: Je t'en prie. Buy Informal and Spoken French as an e-book! Whenever you meet someone you’ve never met before, you should generally be using formal French. Address : 8 allée danton 94350 Villiers sur marne France, 10 Weird French Words That Will Make You Chuckle, 12 Reactions that French Learners Can Totally Relate To, Free Resources – Talk in French Free Library, Speak French Like A Native with the French Vocabulary Mastery Course, 7. How would you react if a stranger came up to you, and said: “hey dude, what’s up”? Instagram (+ 115 000 followers) However, in a typical informal and familiar setting, the ne is often dropped in spoken French. Here you'll learn about formal and informal French to avoid embarrassment when you speak. So et vous (and you) becomes one answer. You might think that you can use good afternoon (bon après-midi) as a greeting the way you can in the United States, but in most French-speaking countries, bon après-midi should only be used to as a form of goodbye.. Greeting with a cheek kiss. Sometimes, you start talking to someone using “vous”, and finish the conversation with “tu”. Formal Vs Informal in French « Previous; Beginners; Next » Formel vs informel / Formal vs. --->  Tu comprends pas. So, relax! Intonation. Of course, proper French grammar would ‘negate’ this idea but since your goal is to sound more French then you can drop the ne. Don’t forget to conjugate the verb accordingly, People you don’t know (people in the street, sellers…). When writing to a friend, start with “Cher Pierre,” ” Chère Anne,” – it’s common, but still a bit formal. #1 Bonjour! when you're speaking to a stranger or an elder. Certainly, every language has colloquial terms and French is no exemption. This happens when an adult talks to a kid for example. Since using should in this way is essentially formal (and for many speakers old-fashioned), you could try to find a formal verb in French. There is a strict formal and informal code of conduct that is to be followed when speaking French. In case of doubt, it’s always better to use “vous” than “tu”. Common French Greetings You Already Know First, let's look at the basic greetings in French. These are fairly simple. The most important thing that you shouldn’t miss when learning how to speak informal French is that…(drum roll, please)…you DON’T need to worry so much on what the grammar book has to say! But this is also true when you are talking to only one person. Nobody will ever blame you for being too formal. (informal, but doesn't work when plural: you then have to use 'vous avez', which is the formal OR plural version.) Of course, you can use the tu form when speaking to children even if you’re meeting them for the first time. – Hello! It's often not possible to make such a distinction in French, however. You would perhaps be embarrassed, maybe even angry. Both of these words mean the same thing: you. 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. from “Où allez-vous?” ("Where are you going?") The meaning remaing the same. 2. Newsletter (+ 21 000 Happy Subscribers), Email: [email protected] When you use “vous”, you need to use the verb ending “ez” at the present tense. Macaron addict. There are, essentially, four ways to ask questions in French. There are many ways in French to say “hello”, but bonjour is undoubtedly the most well-known. Use ‘tu’ only when you speak to someone you know very well, otherwise keep the conversation formal. should translate: devrais/-ait/-ions/-iez/-aient, devrais/-ait/-ions/-iez/-aient, si, -rais, -rait, -rions, ……. When speaking in your own native language, you most likely use informal grammar structure at every other sentence (if not always) to better express your thoughts and emotions to your listeners. And you no doubt already know at least some of them. Traditionally, French business correspondence ends with one of various silly long-winded formulae, although particularly in the case of e-mail correspondence, these are starting to go out the window. Do you want to add more to this list? Sometimes, you start talking to someone using “vous”, and finish the conversation with “tu”. You want to ask her if she likes the birthday cake. This expression’s literal meaning is ‘It is not true’. So to be safe, you can ask: This is a rhetorical question though and answering no would be awkward. You can then sign off with: Bien à toi Best wishes A bientôt I’ll hear from you soon Je t’embrasse bien fort With much love Bons baisers/Grosses bises Love and kisses Meilleurs amities Sincerely Très amicalement With very best wishes There are many other expressions which you can research. N’importe quoi! The only differences is that the first one is informal, while the second one is formal or plural. If one friend uses “vous” and the other “tu”, this may create distance and make the friend who uses “tu” feel uncomfortable. Both sentences have the same meaning. This means that the verb following “vous” uses the plural form. The pronouns il (“he”) and ils are reduced to y, while elle (“she”) and elles are reduced to è (when followed by a consonant). Then use “vous” until you are invited to use “tu”. But remember that grammar is still very important for you to familiarize with, so you’ll know which rules are okay to break later on. Tu ne comprends pas. For this reason, knowing when to use “tu” and when to use “vous” is critical. In this lesson, you'll learn the words, phrases, and expressions for starting and ending your letter plus tips and examples. The last three answers sound formal, but you’re actually unlikely to use them in a formal context, because they sound negative and many people consider that your answer to “how are you” should always be positive in a formal context. You may sound overly polite, but you won’t have to worry about being rude. It’s perfectly acceptable for one person to use “tu” while the other uses “vous”. Here are 10 ways to say “how are you?” in French, so you’ll know what to say next after “bonjour”. The same happens in French. And, as a rule, remember that it's always safer to use the "vous," or formal version, of French, unless you're speaking to a child. Today we will make writing letters in French a lot easier with this simple guide on how to write a letter in French. You is translated as “tu” , “toi” and “vous”. You use “vous” to say “you” in French with: The last one is particularly important. Earlier, I told you that “vous” is also used when you are talking to a group. Deciding When to Use Formal and Informal Language The type of language you use in writing depends on your purpose and audience. Since you are meeting the person for the first time, you should use the formal form of you. If you don’t know whether you should use “vous” or “tu”, use “vous”. ‘Vous’ is used formally, while ‘tu’ is used informally. In English, the construction if I/you should ... is sometimes … Informal (English to French translation). Officially, the correct ways are with inversion (formal) and est-ce que (normal register). However, for verbs (mettre) we still pronounce the –re a bit and quite softly. You’re welcome. Note that, grammatically, this expression should be Ce n’est pas vrai (suh neh pah vreh); however, in oral French, the ne is often omitted, and you … The same happens 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. The word for You in French is either Vous or Tu depending on whether it is a formal or informal conversation. Reduced forms: il(s), elle(s), puis, parce que, quelque, 10. 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. For friends and family, use the phrase "Comment ça va? Whether you're working, traveling, learning, or just trying to learn more about someone, questions are an important part of the conversation. Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Remember that when you ask a question in French, the verb is not demander but poser; the expression is "poser une question." Here is how to make sure you don’t use the wrong form. You would wonder who this guy is, why he talks to you as if you were his best friend. The following questions are posed in both the tu and vous forms. But if you're already familiar with the person you're speaking to (such as friends and family), you can drop the highly formal vous and use tu instead. Listen to the audio and practice your pronunciation with our voice recognition tool. Here is more information on how to ask questions in French. @Jonatan: You are quite right - I didn't read the question properly, because I was making a cup of tea at the time. For example. Turn a statement into a question by raising your intonation at the end. This is also a singular pronoun which is followed by the same form of the verb as singular il or elle.. You can see it as an equivalent to the English 'one' in form, if not exactly in meaning. That said, the best way to know whether you should use “tu” or “vous” is to observe and see what people use. Use this French salutation you feel like being a bit more friendly, not if you are writing to complain! ), Ne faites pas ça ! Not sure whether you should use “tu” or “vous”? You may see these forms in informal written French (such as on blogs or in chat rooms), but you should still write the formal way. In french “et” means “and”. The top ten things to remember when speaking informal French! Many people feel uncomfortable with this though, so they may tell you: It’s much more common to use “tu” online than offline. Alternatively, to be very informal, shorten the question to "Ça va?" There are many different ways to ask questions in French. Translate Informal to English online and download now our free translation software to use at any time. However, inversion is essentially found in formal French and not in informal conversations. I would like to introduce _____ to you. Writing letters can be stressful to a lot of people…. Usually, the French pair ne…pas is used to make a sentence negative. An easy way to remember that is to think about the famous song Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir. Twitter (+ 40 000 followers) Il ne faut pas oublier becomes Faut pas oublier. You usually do not pronounce -re at the end of a word. ", which should be pronounced "coh-mohn sah vah." It simply means “whatever,” and is commonly used in French when someone is exasperated and wishes to openly display their disagreement in a simple, informal way. And a few informal answers: Ca va (it’s going well) Super (great) Bof (so so) Pas terrible (not great) When used in informal speech, however, the impersonal ‘il’ is usually omitted. This is … Benjamin Houy is a native French speaker and tea drinker with a BA degree in Applied Foreign Languages and a passion for languages. However, there are some grey areas. Sometimes you won’t know whether you should use “vous” or “tu”. Sound off in the comments section! For cela and ça which both mean “it” in English: When it is lodged in between consonants or at the end of short words, or even in conditional and future tenses of verbs, the unstressed e is often dropped in French slang. Nobody ever started with a grammar book in the womb, that’s for sure. Ending Letters in French - Informal. When you’re meeting someone for the first time, it’s always more polite to use the vous, which is more formal. Formal language is serious and interesting, as if you are teaching your readers. Tu and toi are used informally ,while vous is used formally. There is a right and a wrong way to say “you” in French. For all those who tend to have a dissenting opinion, this casual French phrase is a must. That’s what you are going to discover now. Thus, if the word order is changed, then a formal and polite sentence quickly becomes informal, e.g. You never use “tu” when talking to a group. But this isn’t the most common way to ask a question in an informal situation. should introducing a condition. Closures: formal. The same is true between friends. I would like to introduce _____ to you. Another common etiquette in France is that when writing any formal letter, even to the phone company, it is usual to end it with a declaration of respect, a longer version of ‘Yours sincerely’, before signing. Find out how You in French works with this free lesson. Tu + verb beginning with a vowel The most common contractions with tu are t'as and t'es , which replace tu as and tu es . If you are commenting an article from Le Monde, “vous” would be much more appropriate. I selected a sentence where you invert verb and pronoun to ask the question. Informal: Je t'en prie. ---> Faites pas ça! If you’re meeting a friend of a friend, for example, you likely would not need to use formal French, but you can also take a cue from the person that you’re meeting. Bonjour – “Hello”. Do you feel so formal and out-of-place when speaking with native French speakers? Don’t worry too much about grammatical rules. (You don't understand. (Don't do that! Before we get started, if you’re looking for an online French course, here’s the course I recommend: French Uncovered – Learn French Through the Power of Story, a course with a fascinating new method by my friend Olly. Well, let me let you in on one practical tip: try to speak a little bit informally! On is a more informal we, used predominantly in speech or casual writing (in emails to your friends for example). Academic titles and degrees are also important, and you should know and use them where possible (such as a doctor). You can contact him on Twitter and Google +, A Guide to the Different Varieties of French Used All Over the World, French Cheese Etiquette: How to Enjoy Cheese like the French, A Quick and Easy Guide to French Conjunctions, Facebook (+153 000 Fans) in French, say "Comment allez-vous?" Why, native speakers (in any language for that matter) all started with baby babble, right? The reality is that “vous” doesn’t only show respect, it shows distance. In French, the impersonal pronoun il (which corresponds to 'it' in English) is used in French when there is no person or agent responsible for doing the action described. Note: to make it easier for you to understand what happens when you switch to “vous”. Learn more in the Cambridge English-French Dictionary. or "Et toi?" Now you probably wonder how being more polite can offend someone. Cheek kissing is another common type of greeting in most French-speaking countries. Informal and Spoken French includes more than 200 pages of informal speech, slang vocabulary, spontaneous listening resources with transcripts and exercises, and authentic French-language realia images from Europe.This e-book also comes with 91 mp3s recorded by several native speakers and FREE lifetime updates. 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To t ’ sellers… ) ask her if she likes the birthday.! ), puis, parce que, quelque, 10 informal: French! A bit more friendly, not if you are meeting the person for the first time, you can the., I told you that “ vous ”, and quelque is pronounced as quèque speaking French... From “ Où allez-vous? ” ( `` where are you already know first let!