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  5. "et tu?" and "et vous?"


"et tu?" and "et vous?"

so seeing that vous is a plural form of you, does asking "et vous?" means I'm asking a group of people ? whereas "et tu?" i'm only asking one person?

June 11, 2012



'Tu' forms are used only if you are speaking to a single person who you know well. Vous forms are used when addressing groups of people (whether or not you know them well), or a single person who you don't know well or want to show respect to. The correct time to use 'tu' or 'vous' with a single person is very difficult to get a feel for, but in practice people will not judge you too harshly if you are clearly not a native speaker.


Yep, same in russian and it sounds even almost same: ты (ti) - tu, вы (vi) - vous


... and german as well


And Portuguese, too! D


I Brasil we use the word "você" (singular) or "vocês" (plural) almost averytime. When showing respect we would use "o Senhor(a)" / "o Senhores(as)" , that can be translated to "Sir/Ma'am,...". The verb is, for these forms, conjugated in the third person.

"Você vai" (verb to go in the present tense), been the super-formal way: "tu vais". It's never said "Você vais".

Formally there are "tú" and "vós" to the secound person, but in Brazil it has fallen in the common use. I think in Portugal it's more used.


"Tu vais" is never formal in any language in the world. And "vós" is not used any more, not even in Portugal.


While I second the answers concerning usage of 'tu' and 'vous' in French I'm not d'accord with 'et tu?'. You'll never here the 'et tu' in French. The correct way of asking the question is 'Et toi?'


That word is new to me.... Is it a new way to say "tu"? Is it formal or informal, btw thanks for the new word


It's the stressed pronoun corresponding to "tu", so it's informal. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pronouns_stressed.htm


A simple answer is this: vous is commonly used when addressing someone older than you. Unless you really know the person, always use vous. Hope I helped :P


Et Tu is the informal way of saying 'and you', et Vous is the formal version. You will use Vous when talking to people that are older than your self, bosses etc but it is also used when you don't know a person. Hope that helps :)


As the others have said, "tu" is informal singular, "vous" is for formal situations in singular and for all situations in plural.

This is used to be the case in English also, with the informal "thou" (French "tu") disappearing after a while and the formal "you" (French "vous") becoming the only one. That's why in English "you" is used both in plural and in singular now.


A point though, most people don't use formal French in regular conversation. Even with someone they just met, this is based on my recent experience in France vs my experience in school and in France 18 years ago. Back in the day folks looked at you as though you'd pooped on your hand before trying to shake theirs if you used the informal tu, and in business, or people older than say 40ish, still expect it. But people in their 20's and 30's seem to rarely use the formal form anymore. I guess my point is, Tu is singular and Vous is plural. And while Tu is still informal and Vous is formal (for plural and singular) .. the distinction seems to be shifting. Keep in mind, this is just my perception of the evolution of conversational French based on my recent time there, and in no way in relation to the actual grammar rules. Anyone else notice this, or was I just exposed to load of informal odd bots?


;-) http://www.inlibroveritas.net/lire/feuilletage/oeuvre11368-page58.html#page I'm sure you know it, but just in case someone might get confused: 'Et tu' is Latin. A modern speaker of French would use 'Et toi, Brutus?' ('Brute' is the vocative case)


Ah, merci! The quote from J.C. was bothering me, so I am happy you cleared that up!


"et vous?" is asking one person but fomally or asking a group of people. You don't say "et tu?" you say "Et toi?" hope it helped!


@milneyj, magdalicious: I suppose, each social group inside the language community has it's own culture on how to handle the use of 'tu' and 'vous'. It's exactly the same in Germany. The general rule is that you use 'du' for friends and people you're well acquainted with and 'Sie' for people you don't know, 'superiors',... But in practice, there are a lot of situations where it's also appropriate to talk to foreigners using the 'du' form. e.g. 'musicians making classical music usually use the 'du' when talking to each other even if they just met, but a lot of them don't like it at all being addressed in the 'du' form by foreigners who aren't musicians themselves' [I chose this example to point out the subtleness of the social rules that may be in place. I guess, in French it's the same]. In internet forums, Germans virtually never use the formal 'Sie' form, especially if they are used mainly by people younger than 40. It's very difficult for non-native speakers to grasp all the subtle social rules that tell you when it's appropriate in a given social situation to drop the formal form and use the more casual one. I guess the best advice one can give is: Stick to textbook form until you're really sure that it's appropriate to use the more casual one. And if you err, it's better to err on the polite side.


@milneyj... interesting... for me I ran into the occasional shop keeper that was a little taken aback and did the whole, reply with vous and emphasize it to point out my 'error' but most people just didn't care even in shops. That said I'm taking about Paris and a couple of cities in Normandy... and most definitely people under the age of 40. I wonder at the age of the shop keepers who don't like it? Just curious.

@Wataya See and that is what I have observed too, in France. And I think the times where a native speaker might have actually used the formal form (though that said I don't think I heard my French boyfriend say it once EVER, oh hang on.. now that I think of it he used it on the phone when calling a business or the government sometimes but never face to face) they never seemed to take offence taking into account that I wasn't a native speaker. That said, when in doubt go with formal. If it's inappropriate you'll know because they will laugh their asses off and tell you no need to be so formal. (like every time I say si-vous-plait, instead of si-tu-plait ... seems like no matter where I am the whole room loses their shit like I've just told the BEST joke, much to my annoyance because I studied French formally a long time ago and have forgotten most of it but that one just rolls off the tongue without any thought.) The rule I sorta made for myself that seemed to work was, someone I don't know that I want something from (especially on the phone) or anyone in government.


@Samsonerd: 'vous lisez' both in plural and singular


et vous is also a formal way of saying and you. you would say this to a superior or a stranger.


"vous" means both "you all" and the formal version of "you". When you put in an answer for duolingo, I put "and you?" for every single one. It's the more common form of it too. In real life situations I'm guessing you would use "And you?" formally more than "And you all?" but for future reference when using it, it means both and it depends on context and the situation. After a while, it's not too hard to distinguish.


Vous can either be the plural of "you all" and it is the formal way of saying tu.


Yes, "tu" is used when addressing one single person and "vous" is used when addressing a group of people or when you are speaking to someone formally, it is also used to talk to elders with respect.


You say "et vous" to someone who is older.. Its polite.. You can say et vous to a group of people though


when you ask "et vous" you could be asking "and you" to a group of people or just a person with a higher social title. "et tu" just means you are asking a single person or someone who is of a lower social title than you.


Once again: "et tu?" is wrong, it has to be "et toi?".


Tu is more informal


Yup.. pretty much

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