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  5. "S'il te plaît !"

"S'il te plaît !"


January 1, 2013

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difference between "s'il te plait" & "s'il vous plait" ???


"Tu" is used when addressing a single person you are familiar with (friends, family). "Vous" is used when addressing either groups, or a single person you are more formal with (boss, girlfriend's father, etc.).


Thanks StargazyPi, I had always wondered about that. My brain is now enlightened. Lol


Then why isnt it s'il tu plait? I understand what the difference is that you explained but im not familiar with the word 'te'


in english there's no such difference for the word "you". it' s like:

"if it pleases you", when a more precise (but less elegant) way to put it is:

"if it pleases to you"

this might help:

"if it pleases I" - wrong

"if it pleases me" - right

"if it pleases they" - wrong

"if it pleases them" - right

in a fancy way and closer to this issue (even historically):

"if it pleases thou" - wrong (TU)

"if it pleases thee" - right (TE)

if it pleases ye" - wrong (vous)

if it pleases you" - right (vous also, no difference here)

i'm not 100% sure but i think, in english, these are called "objective pronouns"

in english, eventually "you" became both the normal and objective form

i'm a native portuguese speaker, in portuguese those pronouns are called "oblique" (oblíquos), in french they're very likely to be called "obliques" if you wanna look them up


Actually, in this case they would be called Direct Object


well, would also be an object, but an indirect one

you know, my opinion is that one should just memorize at first, to get comfortable and used, and leave the linguistics for later...

most people would be better off just going on with the tree, and discussing it later... but extending a little bit:

there are two ways to analyse sentences, morphology and syntax

morphology: kind of word, ie.: noun, verb, adjective...

syntax: relation to the meaning, ie.: subject, predicate, object (direct/indirect), noun or verb complement

a proper knowledge syntax is specially important in languages with "case", like german, where you conjugate words depending on their function

the difference between direct and indirect object is that on indirect ones it's required by the verb to have a complement and a preposition (from somewhere, to something, for someone, at some place...), it's called "indirect transitive verb", some are direct like "to help" (he helps someone) or don't require a complement at all (intransitives) like "to die" ("he dies", that's it, the end, "puf", we got it)

in "he died asleep", "asleep" is called an "adverbial adjunct"

in french, the verb "plaire" (to please) is indirect, cuz' you "please TO someone"

in english you could say (i'll use the old form for didatic purposes, since "you" has the same form):

"if it pleases thee" or if it pleases to thou"

in french you could say:

"s'il te plaît" or "s'il plaît a toi"... the "te" kind of merges the pronoun and the preposition ("toi" is the stressed form, as shown at the table)

the link you gave actually has a little mistake since the "direct", "indirect" and "stressed" columns would have to be merged into a single one called "oblique"... the "direct" and "indirect" would be "atonic obliques" and the stressed "tonic obliques" respectively

... but actually it's a good reference, not accurate but didatic in the sense that it helps you to "get it" (better than trying to explain the whole grammar of pronouns and prepositions)


andrew- in this sentence it's an indirect object.


Why is it te and not tu please?


@Baxterpac Tu is subject pronoun, it does the action. Te is the object pronoun to whom the action is done and Toi is a stressed pronoun used at the end of the sentence after a preposition; when you want to say with you, to you, for you etc.


When pronouncing this, is the 'l' in 's'il' actually pronounced, or is it skipped over?


it is pronounced


The easy way to remember it is the 'careful' consonants . Consonants at the end of a word are silent UNLESS they are C R F L (the consononts in 'careful'). There are exceptions - for example, if the following word begins with a vowel then you do pronounce the consonant - but I find it a good general rule.

For example:

vous mangez - silent 's' at the end of 'vous' vous ecrivez - pronounce the 's' at the end of 'vous'


This three words hava the same meaning! Do we have to say three of this when we want to say please?


They don't have the same meaning, they have this meaning when they're used toget in this expression.

S'il te plaît = litterally: si ça te plaît. "Plaît" is from the verb "plaire". Remember the English "please" is from the French verb "plaire". It's the same root than "pleasure" (from the French "plaisir"), so when you use the English "please" and the French "s'il te plaît" you use basically the same thing.


Verb "plaire":
Il me plait = He pleased me, I like him.


Yes. A direct translation would be "If it pleases you." In most colloquial English, people just say "Please."


What is "if you want" in french?


if you want = si tu veux


If this pleases you could be an acceptable translation


No, because S'il te plaît is only "please" and doesn't mean anything else in French.

If it pleases you (and not "this") is only the litteral translation to be able to understand the expression.


If you like. If it pleases you. There are more alternatives, n'est pas?


It's a fixed expression, and none really bother to understand it with the original meaning in French, you know, when expressions are very common, we keep the meaning they have, and forget the original meaning...

If you like = Si vous aimez, si vous préférez... (depends on the context), but never s'il vous plaît, this form is too archaic.


I support this question. Is it wrong to translate the phrase as "if you like"?


Duo will mark you down for that. S'il vous/te plaît means Please, or archaically If You Please. If you like is something close to Si vous aimez. Either whichway it doesn't equate to Please.


Thanks, Jackjon!


How come three different words put together is please


It's actually 4 words and it is an idiom. In England we used to say precisely the same: "If you please" rather than just "Please". So, even in English we've constricted the phrase from three words to just the one. Nowadays in UK English "Please" is polite and "If you please" is instructional if not patronising. Any way, the way it works is: "Si=If","Il=It "te/vous=You" and "Plaït=Please" Becauase The "i" of "Si" precedes a vowel it is replaced by an apostrophe, so "Si il te/vous plaït" becomes "S'il te/vous plaït" and just means "Please".


Consider it as French people do, as a whole entity. It's the same than a single word. Imagine you have silvousplaît and silteplaît instead of "s'il vous plaît" and "s'il te plaît".


what's the difference between te and tu ?



"Tu" and "te" both mean "you" but they are used differently.

"Tu" is used when "you" is the subject -- when "you" are the person doing the action.

"Te" is used when "you" is the object - when "you" are the person receiving the action.

"You are looking at the cat" = "Tu regardes le chat"

"The cat is looking at you" = "Le chat te regarde"


Thank you so much for your informative reply. Someone also told me in other discussion that: (No, "te" is not the same as "tu"..

When people speak quickly "tu es" sounds like "t'es", but you can only write it like this when chatting with someone on the internet by writing. It's similar to how "gonna" = "going to")


You are welcome ;)


i put vous instead of te is that such a big deal that i get it wrong?


You can say either s'il te plaît or s'il vous plaît. The first one is informal, the second one formal.


I thought s'il vous plait was please??? I'm CONFUSED HELP!!!!!!


They mean the same thing, but one is addressed to "tu", and one is addressed to "vous".

-"s'il vous plaît" is not more formal than "s'il te plaît" if you address to several person informally. Let me explain. It depends on the person you address, the formality is not inside the expression itself.

  • "Tu" is for only one person addressed informally. Someone you know well, etc... My daughter: tu. It's unformal and singular.

  • "Vous" can be addressed to only one person formally. Ex: my boss, it's only one person, I say "vous" (but in some firm, they say "tu" to their boss) It's formal and singular here.

  • "Vous" can be addressed to several persons formally. It's the plural of the previous one. Ex: my bosses, I say "vous", it's formal and plural here.

  • "Vous" can be unformal, if addressed to several persons unformally, it is here the plural of "tu". My daughters, "vous", unformal and plural here.

So, in conclusion:

  • s'il te plaît is always unformal and adressed to only one person (because the "te" is the object pronoun for "tu", exactly the same way "his" is the object pronoun for "he".

  • s'il vous plaît addressed to only one person is always formal

  • s'il vous plaît addressed to several persons can be either formal or unformal, we don't know, we can know it only with the context...

[deactivated user]

    why is it not just S'te plait because wouldn't mean "If he/it you please"?


    Si te plait is not a grammatically correct sentence in French because it lacks a subject. The il is the the thing that might be pleasing the person. Si te plait would basically translate as If pleases you*, which wouldn't make sense in English either.

    [And just a side note: you can't put an apostrophe between si and te to make a contraction. That can only be done in front of certain words beginning with vowels.]


    "S'te plaît" is the childish form used by children or by people colloquially, but it's never written, it can be pronunced like this but never written (it's not a word)

    "Si" can't be contracted in front of a consonnant. (except in the unproper expression above)

    Si + il fait beau = s'il fait beau. (if the weather is fine), because there's 2 vowels, here, 2 "i".

    If you don't contract the "si" because of the rule I explained above, you must write "si te plaît" and it makes no sense without the "il". If it pleases you = there's the "it" as there's the "il" in French.


    I am sorry, is tis possible to translate the phrase as 'You are welome?'


    Please/ S'il te plaît/ S'il vous plaît = When you ask something.

    De rien/ You're welcome = when someone told you "merci/thank you/thanks" and you reply to the person.


    Would "if you wish!" be wrong?


    Hi lost1. There are translations and then there are interpretations. "S'il vous plaït" and "S'il te plaït" mean Please. If You Wish is something like "Si Vous Le Souhaitez" I think.


    I know the difference between "vous" and "tu" but is it fine to use the vous form always?


    Well, if you wish to go back 150 years and call your dad "Sir"...... Address your brother by his Surname.....Call your son "Boy"..... "Vous" in singular is well formal and polite and has its place, but how distant and cold would you wish to be with your loved ones?

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