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What's the difference between "tu" and "te"?

I was learning the meaning of "please" in French and I noticed that it's: "s'il te plaît" but not "s'il tu plaît", so why is that? What's the difference and when do I use each one?

January 15, 2018



Tu and te are subject and object pronouns. It's the same as using I and me or she and her in English. The phrase translates as 'if it pleases you.' In English, we could say, 'If it pleases him/her/me' but not 'If it pleases he/she/I.'


Tu is a subject pronoun and te is a direct or indirect object pronoun. In other words tu means you (as in the doer of an action) and te means you (as in the receiver of an action) or also means to you or for you. ex. you call me. here you is doing the action of calling so you is the subject = tu as in tu m'appeles I call you. here you is the receiver of the action (my direct object) = te as in Je t'appele

hope it helps


"Tu" is only a single subject : tu parles (you speak)

"Te" can be a direct object : je te vois (I see you)

"Te" can be an indirect object, when the verb needs "à" to introduce its object: s'il te plaît (plaire à quelqu'un).

"Toi" is a stressed (disjunctive) pronoun used as a multiple subject or after a preposition: "toi et moi sommes amis" (you and I are friends); "je parle avec toi" (I am talking with you).

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