"You are stupid."

Translation:Tu es bête.

January 19, 2013

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I thought the vous form was reserved for being respectful. Would anyone ever use the vous form to say "you are stupid"?


Yes, they would! Remember that "vous" is used for formality, not necessarily respect. (Those often overlap, but not always!) In other words, you can be very upset with someone you don't know well, and whom you would address formally. An English equivalent is the difference between those we'd address as "Mr./Ms. Surname", and those we call by their first names. Imagine a context where you'd say "You, sir, are an idiot!" High formality, but not necessarily respect. :7


Also, if one was angry at someone they were familiar with, say a spouse or a lover, the use of vous would be an indication of great displeasure.


Interesting thought--could a native speaker confirm this possibility? (Would you possibily "Vous" someone you would normally "Tu", to show you were upset with them?) That wouldn't have occurred to me.


My grandmothers was a native speaker and she used to vousvoyer (use the vous form of verbes) my grandfather or her children whenever she was displeased with them. Like when I called my brother un bête bébe in front of her she just looked at me and said, je pense que vous voulez aller à chambre.... ( I think you want to go to [your] room). As her granddaughter, she normally tutoyé (used the tu form) me.

I assume she's not the only française to speak that way...

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Thank you for that. Lovely. It's rather the way parents I know tend to use a child's full name when he's in trouble: "John Arthur Williams, you come here this minute."


I have heard "je vous adore" a few times from native speakers to their girlfriend/boyfiend. Maybe it cuts both ways... "vous" used to emphasize the strength of the emotion toward someone you usually tutoyer?


As a native-speaker, I never used 'vous' to show someone i was upset at him/her, but I guess that could be something that could have been used a while ago. For me 'vous' is mainly an indication of how well you know the person or of hierarchy (you usually say 'tu' to your colleagues but 'vous' to director of your company :) ).


Really? I would think one might normally use the informal 'tu' with a spouse or lover?


Great explanation, thanks. "You sir, are an idiot." Is the perfect English equivalent.


Nothing stops people in 'authority' from being stupid. Vous is commonly used for such people (teachers, city mayors, bosses, police etc...) Moreover, use of tu would indicate a level of friendly familiarity that you probably don't feel for such people if you are calling them stupid.


Also remember that "vous" is used for the plural, regardless of formality.


I love this lesson.... so many words to insult others ^^ perfect for making new friends and better international relations.... lol


This is how French people create social connexions :p


I've always knew that spelling of connexions existed, but I never seen a person actually use it (I am a native English speaker).


Why can you not say "t'es bete"?


"T'es" is a written way to represent what informal (reduced) spoken French sounds like, but it's not an "official contraction." Sort of like "yer" for "your", or "gonna" for "going to" in English.
So really, you can say "t'es", but you probably wouldn't write it, unless you were trying to transcribe dialogue, or writing in a very informal context (like texting, in music or rap lyrics, etc.)


Great reply. Thanks.


Can one write 'T'as raison'? or is 'T'as' in a similar situation as 'T'es'?


The comment above applies to all contractions of "tu," which are not allowed in standard French. You can only contract "te."

So "T'as raison" would be heard, and written informally, but not on Duo. Has to be "Tu as raison."


Why is 'le' + 'homme', made into l'homme then? Not all words conected by vowels merge together?


"le" is always made into a elision when it's an article for a noun beginning with a vowel or an H muet. It doesn't change before H aspiré.



Shouldn't it be "Vous êtes bêtes" with an S at the end to mark the plural?


Not necessarily--remember that you can address a single person (formally) using "vous." If you were speaking to more than one person formally, then "bêtes" would be correct.


I thought that you had to use plural forms with vous (even when speaking to one person). Similar to the way you use êtes.


Êtes is just the vous conjugation of être-to be. Vous êtes does not automatically mean you are speaking to one or more people. To determined if the vous is being used as the plural or formal you have to look at the context.


Vous êtes bête should not be marked wrong. It can be either singular or plural, right?


is it a joke or something? in a "strengthen skills" test i received this like 7 times although everytime i wrote right. It occured like; you are stupid, another question, you are stupid, another question and so on... i think the quiz is being rude to me :P


yep.. it's still repeating. i got 3 in a row...


Why doesn't the rule about contracting when two vowels come together apply here? I thought T'es made sense.

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Making sense is a pretty iffy commodity when you're discussing language. That contraction, as discussed above, is a representation of casual speech, but is not correct, especially in a language-learning context. As is true in many fields of endeavour, first you learn the rules, then you can break them.


If it helps you can think of the u in tu as a special sort of vowel, like the y in English. Doesn't get contracted unless you are texting.


Actually, "t'es" makes sense, if you want to transcribe casual speech. It is not part of "standard written (formal) French", though, the way "c'est" is. An English parallel might be "gotta" (you see it written, to convey how people "really talk," but it's definitely not "standard written English.") But you might see "t'es" in a song or rap lyric, or in dialogue ("between the quotes!")


Why is bête stupid?


Maybe because it's also the word for "beast?" Insulting to animals, but there you are...

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Um....because it is? Why is pomme apple?

[deactivated user]

    Yes, I am. You don't have to tell me!!


    I typed 't'es bête' and it was wrong


    See comments above

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