"Vous êtes fous ?"

Translation:Are you crazy?

January 22, 2013

45 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/cosentino

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

January 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

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?

January 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems

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.

January 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

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

EG:

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

Boss.....Vous êtes fou ?

April 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Exactly my thought, while writing it...

January 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

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.

April 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

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!

April 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Tct83067695

That's hilarious to me too

July 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CherylFont1

So many ways to tell someone they are crazy

March 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BlackSea

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

February 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

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

January 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Coolcatpat

Are you nuts?

should be acceptable

January 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Yes it should.

March 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"fada" is used by "les Marseillais".

January 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Anneguus

I translated fou as stupid. why not?

October 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

you can be insane and clever, or stupid and mentally healthy. So, no, fou/crazy and stupide/stupid are not synonymous.

October 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/scottej

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.

June 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Nieuwkoop

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

May 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

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 ?
May 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulo7922

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

October 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1722

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?"

August 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Christine54477

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.

January 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

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

January 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ArnieRoss

Doesn't it mean "You are crazy."? If not, how do you say that?

June 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

pls re. 2nd post on this page

June 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ArnieRoss

Thanks. The post shows all the ways to ask, "Are you crazy?" What about the statement, "You are crazy."?

June 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

The post shows all the 'casual' ways of asking "you are crazy", knowing that in French, there are two other ways (formal and standard) to ask the same question:

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

note: "are you crazy?" translated in "vous êtes fous ?" is in fact the statement form + a question mark (similar to "you are crazy?")

June 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ArnieRoss

Thank you for your thorough reply.

June 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1722

Since it is a question, English generally uses the inversion (are you ...) rather than the declarative (you are ...). French is much more likely to use the declarative with a voice inflection to form a question.

January 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/cats00eye

I am still unclear why my response of "You are crazy" was marked incorrect.

August 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1722

In English, one would not ask such a question using a "statement-as-question" with only an inflection. You need to put it in the form of a question.

August 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LadyLuvs2Learn

Usually vous is accompanied by words ending in "z" like vous avez or vous parlez and so on. Why then doesnt "fous" change to fouz? Vous etes fouz? Why does the spelling stay the same here?

November 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"vous" is a personal pronoun, meaning "you" to one person (polite) or "you all" to several persons.

"êtes" is verb "être" conjugated in 2nd person plural, ie the form that is valid for "vous" (even when it means the polite singular "you"). The form "êtes" is not representative of the regular form of 2nd person plural.

All verbs are conjugated according to the "person" they relate to: je mange / vous mangez, nous avons / vous avez, ils veulent /vous voulez, elle boit /vous buvez.

"fous" is an adjective and all adjectives have to agree in gender and number with the noun or pronoun that they modify:

  • "vous" can be one man : vous êtes fou

  • "vous" can be a woman : vous êtes folle

  • "vous" can be several men or a group of men and women : vous êtes fous

  • "vous" can be several women : vous êtes folles

November 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Koolkaren

In the 2nd line of the above explanation, I think you have an error. "Êtes" is the 2nd person plural (or formal singular) of the verb "ÊTRE", not the verb "avoir". I know it was simply a slip of the tongue, because you are clearly very fluent in French and are constantly helping the rest of us. Thank you so much for that. :)

November 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

C'était un lapsus ! Sorry for that stupid error, thanks for your help. I edited my previous comment accordingly.

November 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Koolkaren

No worries. Nice to know you're human, too. :)

November 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Fumsie2015

Could the answer ever be yes?

February 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

I would answer, "yes". :cP

February 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Marguerite518294

Both answers are correct! Vous can be the singular polite form as well as the plural!

June 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Hi there! Just an FYI: if you do not click on "Reply" right below the post you are responding to, your message appears as if it just random ramblings out of the blue as it does get indented under the post you meant to comment on and thus clue us to its relevance.

June 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/dejashephe

are you huge? is not accepted though 'huge' is listed as a definition for fou?

September 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"Huge" means enormous, very big (in French: énorme). So, I can see no link with "fou", meaning "crazy".

September 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/dejashephe

I double checked on the Larousse French-English dictionary, it's true, large whether it be physically or figuratively, is a definition for fou/folle

September 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

there is a French expression to express that a lot of people are gathered:"il y a un monde fou !"

September 6, 2013
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