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