For this reason, knowing when to use “tu” and when to use “vous” is critical. 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. Remember that when you ask a question in French, the verb is not demander but poser; the expression is "poser une question." I would like to introduce _____ to you. to “Tu vas où?”. 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. In french “et” means “and”. 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. The same is true between friends. Are you already speaking French so well but still sound as if you just came out of a French grammar book? Learn more in the Cambridge English-French Dictionary. In this lesson, you'll learn the words, phrases, and expressions for starting and ending your letter plus tips and examples. In English, the construction if I/you should ... is sometimes … 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. Think about the people you are the closest to. This happens when an adult talks to a kid for example. So, relax! Reduced forms: il(s), elle(s), puis, parce que, quelque, 10. 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). Il ne faut pas oublier becomes Faut pas oublier. A common favourite for closing a semi-formal business e-mail is cordialement. Sometimes, you start talking to someone using “vous”, and finish the conversation with “tu”. 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. In informal French, ‘tu’ when followed by a verb that begins with a vowel will be shortened to t’. Earlier, I told you that “vous” is also used when you are talking to a group. Turn a statement into a question by raising your intonation at the end. You usually do not pronounce -re at the end of a word. ---> Faites pas ça! 2. For example: Informal : Je te présente. Today we will make writing letters in French a lot easier with this simple guide on how to write a letter in French. Of course, proper French grammar would ‘negate’ this idea but since your goal is to sound more French then you can drop the ne. Translate Informal to English online and download now our free translation software to use at any time. Cheek kissing is another common type of greeting in most French-speaking countries. If you’re on a video game forum, using “tu” will generally be okay. ‘Vous’ is used formally, while ‘tu’ is used informally. This expression’s literal meaning is ‘It is not true’. The distinction between “vous” and “tu” indicates your relationship to the person you are talking to. If you are commenting an article from Le Monde, “vous” would be much more appropriate. 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. The following questions are posed in both the tu and vous forms. The only differences is that the first one is informal, while the second one is formal or plural. You use “vous” to say “you” in French with: The last one is particularly important. Benjamin Houy is a native French speaker and tea drinker with a BA degree in Applied Foreign Languages and a passion for languages. Informal: Je t'en prie. in French, say "Comment allez-vous?" 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 . Nobody will ever blame you for being too formal. Informally, there are several other possibilities. Listen to the audio and practice your pronunciation with our voice recognition tool. 1. Certainly, every language has colloquial terms and French is no exemption. But this isn’t the most common way to ask a question in an informal situation. 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. However, inversion is essentially found in formal French and not in informal conversations. Common French Greetings You Already Know First, let's look at the basic greetings in French. 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. The informal 'You' in French: Tu Let's say you're meeting an 8-year-old child who is having a birthday party. Sound off in the comments section! 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. There are many ways in French to say “hello”, but bonjour is undoubtedly the most well-known. When you’re meeting someone for the first time, it’s always more polite to use the vous, which is more formal. Writing letters can be stressful to a lot of people…. Newsletter (+ 21 000 Happy Subscribers), Email: [email protected] 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. 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. When greeting someone formally, a handshake should always accompany the greeting. And you no doubt already know at least some of them. The meaning remaing the same. So there you have it, folks! Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. How do say choose in french? (You don't understand. Also, consider whether to use tu or vous—tu is the familiar "you," while vous is the formal greeting for "you" in French. Thus, if the word order is changed, then a formal and polite sentence quickly becomes informal, e.g. Academic titles and degrees are also important, and you should know and use them where possible (such as a doctor). However, for verbs (mettre) we still pronounce the –re a bit and quite softly. Formal language is serious and interesting, as if you are teaching your readers. 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. Phone: + 33 782 171 213 ", which should be pronounced "coh-mohn sah vah." When followed by a vowel, il and elle are reduced to l' whereas ils becomes y z' or just z' and elles becomes è'z'. Of course, you can use the tu form when speaking to children even if you’re meeting them for the first time. Officially, the correct ways are with inversion (formal) and est-ce que (normal register). Twitter (+ 40 000 followers) 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. The word for You in French is either Vous or Tu depending on whether it is a formal or informal conversation. 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! Your parents, your husband/wife, your friends, maybe some of your colleagues. 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. You is translated as “tu” , “toi” and “vous”. 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. Using the wrong form will lead people to think you don’t respect them. Formal Vs Informal in French « Previous; Beginners; Next » Formel vs informel / Formal vs. Informal : Je te présente. If one friend uses “vous” and the other “tu”, this may create distance and make the friend who uses “tu” feel uncomfortable. Sometimes you won’t know whether you should use “vous” or “tu”. And a few informal answers: Ca va (it’s going well) Super (great) Bof (so so) Pas terrible (not great) Informal (English to French translation). Instagram (+ 115 000 followers) Well, let me let you in on one practical tip: try to speak a little bit informally! --->  Tu comprends pas. 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. ), Inverting the subject and verb is a common way in asking a question in French. Tu and toi are used informally ,while vous is used formally. When you use “vous”, the following verb always uses the plural form. That said, the best way to know whether you should use “tu” or “vous” is to observe and see what people use. When you use “vous”, you need to use the verb ending “ez” at the present tense. Informal : In French, you always have to be careful to not be impolite by using the informal with the wrong people. Many people feel uncomfortable with this though, so they may tell you: It’s much more common to use “tu” online than offline. #1 Bonjour! But this is also true when you are talking to only one person. 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. Both of these words mean the same thing: you. Do you want to add more to this list? should translate: devrais/-ait/-ions/-iez/-aient, devrais/-ait/-ions/-iez/-aient, si, -rais, -rait, -rions, ……. However, in a typical informal and familiar setting, the ne is often dropped in spoken French. The same happens in French. Now between tu and toi : • tu is always followed by a verb. 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 … Or rather, there are different ways to say it depending on who you are talking to. Whether you're working, traveling, learning, or just trying to learn more about someone, questions are an important part of the conversation. If you hear something that is hard to believe, you say C’est pas vrai (seh pah vreh) (No way!, You don’t say!) There is a strict formal and informal code of conduct that is to be followed when speaking French. How would you react if a stranger came up to you, and said: “hey dude, what’s up”? 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. 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. Nobody ever started with a grammar book in the womb, that’s for sure. 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. when you're speaking to a stranger or an elder. Use ‘tu’ only when you speak to someone you know very well, otherwise keep the conversation formal. Then use “vous” until you are invited to use “tu”. from “Où allez-vous?” ("Where are you going?") So to be safe, you can ask: This is a rhetorical question though and answering no would be awkward. Intonation. The reality is that “vous” doesn’t only show respect, it shows distance. You want to ask her if she likes the birthday cake. Use this French salutation you feel like being a bit more friendly, not if you are writing to complain! Closures: formal. Find more French words at wordhippo.com! It's often not possible to make such a distinction in French, however. Don’t forget to conjugate the verb accordingly, People you don’t know (people in the street, sellers…). That’s what you are going to discover now. When someone asks you how you are and you want to return the question, respond by asking "Et Vous?" 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. Why, native speakers (in any language for that matter) all started with baby babble, right? I would like to introduce _____ to you. So et vous (and you) becomes one answer. The same happens in French. Linguim » Learn French » Beginners » Formal Vs Informal in French. Both sentences have the same meaning. Alternatively, to be very informal, shorten the question to "Ça va?" (Don't do that! You would perhaps be embarrassed, maybe even angry. You’re welcome. It’s okay to forget some of those rules once in a while…if you want to sound naturally informal. 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. (informal, but doesn't work when plural: you then have to use 'vous avez', which is the formal OR plural version.) Usually, the French pair ne…pas is used to make a sentence negative. When writing to a friend, start with “Cher Pierre,” ” Chère Anne,” – it’s common, but still a bit formal. So when a 20 year-old uses “vous” with a 40 year-old, the 40 year-old may feel older as a result. This is … You can also drop the formal salutation altogether and just say hello in French… This means that the verb following “vous” uses the plural form. Do you feel so formal and out-of-place when speaking with native French speakers? 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. 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. For friends and family, use the phrase "Comment ça va? Note: to make it easier for you to understand what happens when you switch to “vous”. If you talk to several persons, you always use “vous”, because “vous” is also the plural “you”. The expressions you use depend on your relationship with the person you are writing to, particularly whether you know her personally. There are many different ways to ask questions in French. Here is more information on how to ask questions in French. Not sure whether you should use “tu” or “vous”? The top ten things to remember when speaking informal French! 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) Ending Letters in French - Informal. @Jonatan: You are quite right - I didn't read the question properly, because I was making a cup of tea at the time. Jacques Audiard fan. 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. The word puis is more commonly pronounced as pis, parce que is shortened to pasque, and quelque is pronounced as quèque. You may sound overly polite, but you won’t have to worry about being rude. 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. 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