"Le pain, s'il te plaît."

Translation:The bread, please.

January 6, 2013

This discussion is locked.


What is the difference between tu and te? Why wouldn't one say s'il tu plait rather than s'il te plait?


'tu' is the subject, 'te' is a direct-object, 'toi' is an indirect-object. Here is 'il' the subject. "s'il te plaît" = "if it pleases you". We could say that "te" is to "tu" what "us" is to "we" for instance.


thanks for explanation! :)


Nice explanation - thanks.


Merci, flipchart


i'm finding it difficult adjusting to, what appears, an easier etiquette. I took some basic french 35 (gasp!) years ago and, back then, we used the 'vous' form. Now it appears the 'tu' form reigns.


It's sad, really.


D'accord. (Did I use that correctly?)


I believe that is the correct usage.

Of course, there was a certain amount of irony in my comment.


When you are not ironical, you are not yourself. You and Jackjon, what a pair!


I don't know if you'll get my reply 5 months later. My guess is that Duolingo is including all forms - both formal and familiar. "Vous" would be the correct form to use while traveling in France.


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.

For instance.

  • "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)


Grazie per il chiarimento. Sono convinto che si tratta di una forma famigliare, tuttavia ribadisco di non averla mai sentita, neppure durante la mia permanenza in Francia. Da oggi, comunque, la userò anch'io.


Il parle italien.


Actuellement, je le vois. (Trying to say basically, "I get it now", trying at "Now, I see it")



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.)


Ah Ha! This prods probes into BOTH of my brain cells reminding me of our debate around ("TU"); Familiar vs Informal. Here I begin to see your point PERCE_NIERGE.


Things are becoming more informal than in the past, you're right. But you still need the "vous" in French, and the "tu".


It is probably best to learn the formal patterns early. That way later on you can act like the French do and be super polite when you want to be and indifferent the rest of the time.


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.


My French class uses s'il vous plait. That's how we were taught it just a year ago. This must just be how Duolingo made this phrase.


Your French class is partly wrong. Because they shouldn't teach you only "s'il vous plaît", you need both in everyday life!

It's the same than if your French class teach you only "vous" and not "tu", it's a bit a nonsense.


learning both is necessary as it depends who you're talking to


Pronunciation is bad! Are they going to replace the robot with a human?


What is wrong with the pronunciations?


I like it, it's challenging. In the future we will talk to robots anyway.


No, the tone is right. (Native here)


A lot, often garbled, cracky, and difficult to hear.


Because you learn French, it's the same for me with German or Spanish.


At first I did not hear 's'il te plait' but 's'il vous plait' until I pressed the speak slower button…


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.


Try listening to the Italian voice. I gave up.


Are you a native? The sound is very clear here (I'm a native) I couldn't pronounce it clearer.


Why is it s'il te plaît, not s'il vous plaît?


I believe vous is used when you're talking to a stranger or to someone you respect. Am i wrong?


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.


In France vous is usually used. Tu is used for family and close friends.


Isn't 'S'il vous plait' equally correct?


I think s'il te plait is more informal and s'il vous plait is more formal


Tu and Te are not informal, they are Familiar. One may address a child or a friend with Tu or Te whilst being formal in a given context. Vous is Formal singular and Plural Formal or Plural Familiar.


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.


Lol, it's a bit confused in my mind. "vulgar", "formal", "informal"... big confusion in my poor brain, lol.


In France Tu is usually used for close friends and family...Vous is the norm for anyone else.


"Anyone else": yes, but not always (the use of "tu" and "vous" can depends on the persons, the habits, the education, the age, etc...) And "vous" can be plural as well.


Mistook "le pain" for "le pomme." Again.


It helps if you remember that it's la pomme. Le and la are fairly easy to distinguish.


There's a nasal sound "ain" in "pain", and no nasal sound in "pomme".


when I originally learned French years ago I was taught that "vous" was more formal OR used as a plural form. Is this still the case?


Wouldn't "s'il vous plait" be proper in a restaurant? It seems to be a little early to get familiar in French, since we supposedly don't know anyone there yet !


Yes, it's the only correct way to talk to persons you don't know in a restaurant (waiters), but with your family, even in the restaurant, use "s'il te plaît", unless you talk to your children all together, and have to use the plural.

-Les enfants, silence s'il vous plaît!


I am wondering why it is not "s'il te plaiS" because it is in "tu" form which is conjugated with an S...?


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.


i like to say if you please, that sounds great


So, speak French :-p


why cant we use "si ce te plait" to say if IT pleases you


Wrong grammar.

You have to say "si ça te plaît", but the meaning is completely different, it doesn't mean "please", because only the expression "s'il te plaît", "s'il vous plaît" can be understood as "please".


Because no French person says that. Because 'il' already means 'it' (or can depending on context).


How can we know whether to use 'il' or 'ce' for 'it'


Why do you keep using tu when in France Vous is mostly used. Tu is only used for close friends and family.


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.


So this is "The bread, please" yet "S'il vous plait, du vin" is "Can I please get some wine?" I typed "Can I please have some bread" and it said that was wrong.

I typed "Please, some wine" in the other one and that was considered wrong as well.


the woman please its one of the alternatives xD


It would be "La femme plaît" in French. No link with "please".


why not: "if you will?"


"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.


I have trouble distinguishing with the plurals. The singulars and the plurals when defined by adding a "s" sound the same.


Is it s'elle te/vous plaît if you say it to a woman?


No, "il" does not designate a person here.


It designate a person ("s'il te plaît" vs "s'il vous plaît"), but it's the person you adress to (always a "you" in English), it's never a 3rd person.


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)


This literally translates to: "if it (quote il) pleases you"... So the "il" is not dependant on the person


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".


Wouldn't "s'il vous plait" be proper in a restaurant? It seems to be a little early to get familiar in French, since we supposedly don't know anyone there yet !


I didn't quite understand the person at the top of page's explanation. When do you use tu and when te?

Merci in advance!

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