This website http://awesomefrench.tumblr.com/post/21431646180/tu-te-toi-when-do-you-use-them gives a really great explanation
MmeMAS, you're wrong.
There's no "correct" form, they are ALL correct for a French. You use the different forms in different situations and context. But you need all of them, because life is not always the same, friends, boss, parents, children, relative, formal situations, etc...
French is not like Brazilian Portuguese, ALL the forms are equally correct.
"s'il te plaît" = with my family and friends.
"s'il vous plaît"= to my boss, the people I don't know very well, the persons I meet in professional situations, and older ladies.
(that's examples of uses, not frozen rules)
All this form are definitely in use, even if you come in France, and don't use one of these, because you didn't meet the right context. "Vous" and "Tu" are equally correct and used in French, ("indeed tu" is more used, because we meet more infromal situations in life, and people tend to be less formal than in the past, but "vous" is still needed in profesional life for instance.)
For greeting, I agree with you, it sounds more logic and it's easier. But here, we really have to learn both at the same time (it's only two expressions, not so much)
Because, you really need both. Even if you are a beginner in French, and say "s'il vous plaît" to your friend, they would be surprised, and if you say "s'il te plaît" to an old lady you don't know in the subway or in the street, she can be upset.
Hi indepket. Yes, the audio is generated by a voicebot and sometimes leaves much to be desired. However, nearly all languages are spoken at twice the speed of English at least and you'll even find well enunciated French a challenge for a while. I still do. You do well not to be afraid of the slo-mo option.
A better description may be to use vous to show respect. You might use it to show respect to a clerk in a store or a boss might use it when speaking to an employee if he didn't want to seem too familiar. So it is not a question of necessarily actually having respect. You might not know the person well enough to form such a perception.
Using a familiar form of address might be taken as a lack of respect when such is not intended. But being formal might also be taken as being a bit distant.
Uses of "vous" and "tu" depends on the person. Some people use a lot the "tu", and some prefer to say "vous"
There are situations where you are forced to say "vous" (administrative, and usually in the professional context)
Situations where saying "vous" would be ridiculous: with your children, etc...
But for the rest, it depends on the person, I know upperclass persons who say "vous" instead of "tu" to all their friends, so, everyone is free in the "vous", "tu" use, except some conventional situations.
I disagree. It's really a matter of formal/informal (unless I don't understand well what you mean with "familiar", if so, please correct me.)
For instance: You can say "tu" to someone, but remains a bit formal. This is a real life example:
Usually, you have to say "vous" to your boss, but for some reason, some bosses may don't like to be called "vous" (let's imagine they can find they are too young to be called "vous" for instance, a kind of vanity)
So, you are in a situation to show respect with your boss, but saying "tu" by convention. You wouldn't be "familiar" with him because you say "tu".
Hiya snowdrop. I fear this is a debate which can continue a long time. El Gusso, Wunel, sitesurf northernguy have all brought attention to this syndrome. The Chambers and OUD both do not give unambiguous definitions delineating each apart. So I define Familiar in the sense of addressing children, your boss (in your example), one's partner, friend while one can still be formal in that address. But one can not be Informal while addressing someone formally. In your last example I would be addressing my boss in a Grammatically Familiar sense Formally. In Grammar "Familiar" should not be confused in any way with "Intimate". I so appreciate your post as it didn't half make me think.
You make the confusion between the subject and the completment. "te" (or its contracted form t' ) is always a complement, never a subject
Je t'aime = The subject is "je" and the complement t' (te)
S'il te plaît = the subject is the informal "il", here it means "it" and not "he", because it's the impersonal "il", not the personal "il", no links...
S'il te plaît = word by word = if it you please = in the right order = If it please you.
Because it isn't the 'tu' form. The pronoun that is affecting plaît is 'il'. 'tu' is not used in this sentence. You will note that the formal version s'il vous plaît. Because the question/phrase is 'If it pleases you' So the 'it' is what conjucates, not the vous/te.
Well France is an enormous country and protocol differs region by region. I have worked extensively in the transport industry through France and didn't have but the very basic French. As soon as the public knew this "TU" was immediately used for me, even by the police when I needed assistance. My children were educated in Anmas and were Rarely addressed with Vous. In Brittany I noted that children addressed their parents with Vous but their grand parents with Tu. (Not a generality but often enough to note) In my childrens' first schools all were addressed individually with Tu even in Formal situations but in the playground the collective would be addressed with Vous most informally. This is why Duo is trying to get we students to understand just how fine the axe cuts the line between these two pronouns which are "lazy" in English but specific and considered in French. It is not only because of the use of gender for everything that French is included as one of the Romantic languages.
"If you will" = "Si vous le permettez"./"S'il tu le permets"(littéralement: "Si tu veux"/"Si vous voulez")
It's not the same than "please", it's another polite expression, but the meaning is different. "Please" is for instance to make a polite request "Sugar, please", and "if you will" for sentence like "I will open the window, if you will", you don't ask anything here.
The two only possible forms are "s'il te plaît" and "s'il vous plaît", because it's the English "you". It's the person you talk to, you can't talk directly to a 3rd person as "she", "he".
It doesn't depends on the gender, only of the "tu" or "vous" form you use for the person (or the persons if addressed to several persons)
Yes, but the "you" is a person... In English, it's the same thing, "you" because it's the only form.
But in French, it really depends on the person(s) you are talking to.
If I say "tu" it's "s'il te plaît",
if it's a person I say "vous" or several persons,
it's "s'il vous plaît".