1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Vous êtes fous ?"

"Vous êtes fous ?"

Translation:Are you crazy?

January 22, 2013



Shouldn't both "fou" (singular formal) and "fous" (plural) be acceptable?


Thanks Hohenems.

If you are given the English first, ie "are you crazy", you can translate as follows:

tu es fou (1 male, familiar) tu es folle (1 female, familiar) vous êtes fou (1 male, polite) vous êtes folle (1 female, polite) vous êtes fous (males or males+females) vous êtes folles (females)

Nice, isn't it?


Thanks for that! I learned something new today.
I find it funny that one would want to be address someone politely while calling them crazy.


The formal style of address would be used to take some of the sting out of questioning the wisdom of someone's suggestion.


Employee...."we should leave the doors unlocked at night to show our faith in the community".

Boss.....Vous êtes fou ?


Exactly my thought, while writing it...


Sitesurf, I got this question in the "select he correct answer" exercise. My choices were fou, folle, fous all of which could work, as you indicated, depending on whether you are addressing a single male, a single female or many people including at least one male. So I don't think any of those should be marked wrong for that exercise. Or perhaps you can just get rid of it altogether.

With regard to whether you can vouvoyer someone and ask them if they are crazy, I say, "Absolutely!" If you had a boss who was a pervert, and he said something untoward to you, surely you can blurt out, "Are you crazy?" to him and if you still want to grant him respect, as Northernguy pointed out, or you could decide he is a jerk and not worthy of such respect and tutoyer him.


3 years ago... already!

Yes, "fou, folle, fous and folles" would all work with "vous". I therefore corrected the exercise.

And yes, you can definitely say this to a single male (of course there are other versions, with "tu" and a choice of other adjectives) - I surely do, when some crazy driver behaves badly!


That's hilarious to me too


So many ways to tell someone they are crazy


Yes, but that means that all of them should be accepted when the opposite is asked.


Huh? If the French is asked, no matter which version, the answer is the same in English "Are you crazy?"


Are you nuts?

should be acceptable


Yes it should.


When I hear this, it reminds me of Mr. T saying "I pity the fool..." which is similar-ish to "are you crazy" in meaning. I don't know if this will help anyone else, but as a result I'm fairly sure I will never forget the meaning of vous êtes fous.


Wouldn't "Êtes-vous fous?" also be right? And if so, when is it appropriate to use either form?


Your proposal is correct and formal. The other ones are more frequent:

  • est-ce que vous êtes fou/folle/fous/folles ?
  • est-ce que tu es fou/folle ?

or more relaxed:

  • vous êtes fou/folle/fous/folles ?
  • tu es fou/folle ?


To make questions in English the auxiliary verb comes first; wouldn't that be: "Are you"?

  • 2312

Of course. French speakers love to use "statement-as-question" forms when speaking. This approach is not uncommon (informally) in English, but it's always a good idea to use inversion in English, i.e., "Are you crazy?"


My answer 'You are crazy?' should be accepted. Iet

My answer 'You are crazy?' should be accepted. It is a matter of inflection and the question mark is present.


In English, "Are you crazy?" is idiomatic. "You are crazy?" sounds weird to me.

I tried to see if your proposal appears anywhere but couldn't find any book in the last two centuries that asks that question like that: https://tinyurl.com/yasjpzsy

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.