The most important thing that you shouldn’t miss when learning how to speak informal French is that…(drum roll, please)…you DON’T need to worry so much on what the grammar book has to say! Your parents, your husband/wife, your friends, maybe some of your colleagues. You may sound overly polite, but you won’t have to worry about being rude. Here is more information on how to ask questions in French. Deciding When to Use Formal and Informal Language The type of language you use in writing depends on your purpose and audience. The reality is that “vous” doesn’t only show respect, it shows distance. Bonjour – “Hello”. Of course, you can use the tu form when speaking to children even if you’re meeting them for the first time. This is … The informal 'You' in French: Tu Let's say you're meeting an 8-year-old child who is having a birthday party. (You don't understand. If you are commenting an article from Le Monde, “vous” would be much more appropriate. Think about the people you are the closest to. The word puis is more commonly pronounced as pis, parce que is shortened to pasque, and quelque is pronounced as quèque. When followed by a vowel, il and elle are reduced to l' whereas ils becomes y z' or just z' and elles becomes è'z'. In French, the impersonal pronoun il (which corresponds to 'it' in English) is used in French when there is no person or agent responsible for doing the action described. Nobody ever started with a grammar book in the womb, that’s for sure. Learn more in the Cambridge English-French Dictionary. There are many different ways to ask questions in French. However, for verbs (mettre) we still pronounce the –re a bit and quite softly. If one friend uses “vous” and the other “tu”, this may create distance and make the friend who uses “tu” feel uncomfortable. Note that, grammatically, this expression should be Ce n’est pas vrai (suh neh pah vreh); however, in oral French, the ne is often omitted, and you … Reduced forms: il(s), elle(s), puis, parce que, quelque, 10. The distinction between “vous” and “tu” indicates your relationship to the person you are talking to. You want to ask her if she likes the birthday cake. Not sure whether you should use “tu” or “vous”? Use the right form and people will be happy to talk to you and amazed by your knowledge of the language ; use the wrong form and the only thing they will remember is how rude you are. Both of these words mean the same thing: you. ), Inverting the subject and verb is a common way in asking a question in French. When to Use Formal Language When your purpose is to explain a topic or idea to a teacher, a classmate, or the public, use formal language. Listen to the audio and practice your pronunciation with our voice recognition tool. N’importe quoi! Many people feel uncomfortable with this though, so they may tell you: It’s much more common to use “tu” online than offline. Usually, the French pair ne…pas is used to make a sentence negative. Common French Greetings You Already Know First, let's look at the basic greetings in French. When writing to a friend, start with “Cher Pierre,” ” Chère Anne,” – it’s common, but still a bit formal. There are many ways in French to say “hello”, but bonjour is undoubtedly the most well-known. But this is also true when you are talking to only one person. ), Ne faites pas ça ! Newsletter (+ 21 000 Happy Subscribers), Email: [email protected] Translate Informal to English online and download now our free translation software to use at any time. Tu and toi are used informally ,while vous is used formally. Since you are meeting the person for the first time, you should use the formal form of you. This is also a singular pronoun which is followed by the same form of the verb as singular il or elle.. You can see it as an equivalent to the English 'one' in form, if not exactly in meaning. Now you probably wonder how being more polite can offend someone. Thus, if the word order is changed, then a formal and polite sentence quickly becomes informal, e.g. Il ne faut pas oublier becomes Faut pas oublier. But if you're already familiar with the person you're speaking to (such as friends and family), you can drop the highly formal vous and use tu instead. Also, consider whether to use tu or vous—tu is the familiar "you," while vous is the formal greeting for "you" in French. By the way, if you're interested in informal language, you can also check out this post on 23 colloquial French phrases for impressing the locals. In case of doubt, it’s always better to use “vous” than “tu”. That said, the best way to know whether you should use “tu” or “vous” is to observe and see what people use. Jacques Audiard fan. Cheek kissing is another common type of greeting in most French-speaking countries. The following questions are posed in both the tu and vous forms. Twitter (+ 40 000 followers) Alternatively, to be very informal, shorten the question to "Ça va?" Linguim » Learn French » Beginners » Formal Vs Informal in French. If you’re meeting a friend of a friend, for example, you likely would not need to use formal French, but you can also take a cue from the person that you’re meeting. Remember though that this is only spoken in casual conversations and written in very informal contexts (like SMS between friends), not in newspapers, research, and the like. Traditionally, French business correspondence ends with one of various silly long-winded formulae, although particularly in the case of e-mail correspondence, these are starting to go out the window. But this isn’t the most common way to ask a question in an informal situation. Formal: Je vous présente. Use ‘tu’ only when you speak to someone you know very well, otherwise keep the conversation formal. Turn a statement into a question by raising your intonation at the end. A common favourite for closing a semi-formal business e-mail is cordialement. You can then sign off with: Bien à toi Best wishes A bientôt I’ll hear from you soon Je t’embrasse bien fort With much love Bons baisers/Grosses bises Love and kisses Meilleurs amities Sincerely Très amicalement With very best wishes There are many other expressions which you can research. to “Tu vas où?”. This also happens when you start a conversation with “vous” because you aren’t sure whether you can use “tu” or not, and then realize using “tu” would be perfectly fine with this person, either because the person invited you to use “tu” or because it just feels right. 2. from “Où allez-vous?” ("Where are you going?") Well, let me let you in on one practical tip: try to speak a little bit informally! Informal (English to French translation). – Hello! When you speak English, you sometimes start talking to someone formally, and then switch to a more informal language as you get to know each other. It's not easy to tell. When used in informal speech, however, the impersonal ‘il’ is usually omitted. I would like to introduce _____ to you. You will also find him giving blogging advice on Grow With Less. when you're speaking to a stranger or an elder. Whether you're just learning French or about to take a trip to a French-speaking country, "thank you" is one of the first phrases you should learn. Fluent in 3 months ... It’s not so informal that it should be reserved for friends and family, but it’s best to stick with either of the first two questions in explicitly formal situations. There are, essentially, four ways to ask questions in French. On is a more informal we, used predominantly in speech or casual writing (in emails to your friends for example). @Jonatan: You are quite right - I didn't read the question properly, because I was making a cup of tea at the time. When greeting someone formally, a handshake should always accompany the greeting. Closures: formal. Since using should in this way is essentially formal (and for many speakers old-fashioned), you could try to find a formal verb in French. The last three answers sound formal, but you’re actually unlikely to use them in a formal context, because they sound negative and many people consider that your answer to “how are you” should always be positive in a formal context. However, there are some rare cases where the use of “vous” instead of “tu” can offend a person. Here is how to make sure you don’t use the wrong form. You can contact him on Twitter and Google +, A Guide to the Different Varieties of French Used All Over the World, French Cheese Etiquette: How to Enjoy Cheese like the French, A Quick and Easy Guide to French Conjunctions, Facebook (+153 000 Fans) Sometimes, you start talking to someone using “vous”, and finish the conversation with “tu”. ‘Vous’ is used formally, while ‘tu’ is used informally. If you talk to several persons, you always use “vous”, because “vous” is also the plural “you”. And, as a rule, remember that it's always safer to use the "vous," or formal version, of French, unless you're speaking to a child. Ending Letters in French - Informal. How do say choose in french? An easy way to remember that is to think about the famous song Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir. (informal, but doesn't work when plural: you then have to use 'vous avez', which is the formal OR plural version.) You might think that you can use good afternoon (bon après-midi) as a greeting the way you can in the United States, but in most French-speaking countries, bon après-midi should only be used to as a form of goodbye.. Greeting with a cheek kiss. Whether you're working, traveling, learning, or just trying to learn more about someone, questions are an important part of the conversation. Here you'll learn about formal and informal French to avoid embarrassment when you speak. How would you react if a stranger came up to you, and said: “hey dude, what’s up”? If you don’t know whether you should use “vous” or “tu”, use “vous”. This happens when an adult talks to a kid for example. You usually do not pronounce -re at the end of a word. French words for informal include informel, familier, relaxe, simple, officieuses, informelles, informels and informelle. Do you feel so formal and out-of-place when speaking with native French speakers? Both sentences have the same meaning. The word for You in French is either Vous or Tu depending on whether it is a formal or informal conversation. It’s okay to forget some of those rules once in a while…if you want to sound naturally informal. Sound off in the comments section! Both pronouns mean the equivalent of ‘we’ and ‘us’ but in informal French, nous is often replaced by on, with some changes from plural verb and adjective (in nous) to singular verb and adjective (in on). In English, the construction if I/you should ... is sometimes … Find out how You in French works with this free lesson. Instagram (+ 115 000 followers) Tu + verb beginning with a vowel The most common contractions with tu are t'as and t'es , which replace tu as and tu es . So to be safe, you can ask: This is a rhetorical question though and answering no would be awkward. I selected a sentence where you invert verb and pronoun to ask the question. That’s what you are going to discover now. Find more French words at wordhippo.com! The same happens in French. The basic way to say thank you in French is merci (MAIR-see), but in some situations, that simple, two-syllable word may not seem like enough. There is a strict formal and informal code of conduct that is to be followed when speaking French. Sometimes you won’t know whether you should use “vous” or “tu”. The most common way to do this is with tu as and tu es which become t’as and t’es. There is a right and a wrong way to say “you” in French. The same is true between friends. Informal: Je t'en prie. Whenever you meet someone you’ve never met before, you should generally be using formal French. These are fairly simple. In this lesson, you'll learn the words, phrases, and expressions for starting and ending your letter plus tips and examples. ", which should be pronounced "coh-mohn sah vah." (Don't do that! Informal and Spoken French includes more than 200 pages of informal speech, slang vocabulary, spontaneous listening resources with transcripts and exercises, and authentic French-language realia images from Europe.This e-book also comes with 91 mp3s recorded by several native speakers and FREE lifetime updates. In french “et” means “and”. Benjamin Houy is a native French speaker and tea drinker with a BA degree in Applied Foreign Languages and a passion for languages. You can also drop the formal salutation altogether and just say hello in French… Now between tu and toi : • tu is always followed by a verb. You may see these forms in informal written French (such as on blogs or in chat rooms), but you should still write the formal way. So there you have it, folks! You never use “tu” when talking to a group. Buy Informal and Spoken French as an e-book! Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Macaron addict. This expression’s literal meaning is ‘It is not true’. For friends and family, use the phrase "Comment ça va? To help you sound more natural when speaking French, here are some simple guidelines to keep in mind: Both of these words mean the same thing: you. But remember that grammar is still very important for you to familiarize with, so you’ll know which rules are okay to break later on. Today we will make writing letters in French a lot easier with this simple guide on how to write a letter in French. Writing letters can be stressful to a lot of people…. 1. Why, native speakers (in any language for that matter) all started with baby babble, right? I would like to introduce _____ to you. When you use “vous”, you need to use the verb ending “ez” at the present tense. The meaning remaing the same. ---> Faites pas ça! Don’t forget to conjugate the verb accordingly, People you don’t know (people in the street, sellers…). But if you're already familiar with the person you're speaking to (such as friends and family), you can drop the highly formal vous and use tu instead. And a few informal answers: Ca va (it’s going well) Super (great) Bof (so so) Pas terrible (not great) Use this French salutation you feel like being a bit more friendly, not if you are writing to complain! Remember that when you ask a question in French, the verb is not demander but poser; the expression is "poser une question." In this situation, the use of “vous” highlights the difference of age. should translate: devrais/-ait/-ions/-iez/-aient, devrais/-ait/-ions/-iez/-aient, si, -rais, -rait, -rions, ……. Or rather, there are different ways to say it depending on who you are talking to. Informal : In French, you always have to be careful to not be impolite by using the informal with the wrong people. Then use “vous” until you are invited to use “tu”. For all those who tend to have a dissenting opinion, this casual French phrase is a must. Formal language is serious and interesting, as if you are teaching your readers. and even more so when you have to do it in French! Officially, the correct ways are with inversion (formal) and est-ce que (normal register). Are you already speaking French so well but still sound as if you just came out of a French grammar book? The top ten things to remember when speaking informal French! You’re welcome. Nobody will ever blame you for being too formal. Phone: + 33 782 171 213 Informal: Je t'en prie. Of course, proper French grammar would ‘negate’ this idea but since your goal is to sound more French then you can drop the ne. You would perhaps be embarrassed, maybe even angry. The expressions you use depend on your relationship with the person you are writing to, particularly whether you know her personally. However, in a typical informal and familiar setting, the ne is often dropped in spoken French. So when a 20 year-old uses “vous” with a 40 year-old, the 40 year-old may feel older as a result. --->  Tu comprends pas. When speaking in your own native language, you most likely use informal grammar structure at every other sentence (if not always) to better express your thoughts and emotions to your listeners. Before we get started, if you’re looking for an online French course, here’s the course I recommend: French Uncovered – Learn French Through the Power of Story, a course with a fascinating new method by my friend Olly. So et vous (and you) becomes one answer. When you’re meeting someone for the first time, it’s always more polite to use the vous, which is more formal. The pronouns il (“he”) and ils are reduced to y, while elle (“she”) and elles are reduced to è (when followed by a consonant). It's often not possible to make such a distinction in French, however. Intonation. It’s perfectly acceptable for one person to use “tu” while the other uses “vous”. #1 Bonjour! It simply means “whatever,” and is commonly used in French when someone is exasperated and wishes to openly display their disagreement in a simple, informal way. When someone asks you how you are and you want to return the question, respond by asking "Et Vous?" Don’t worry too much about grammatical rules. Note: to make it easier for you to understand what happens when you switch to “vous”. You would wonder who this guy is, why he talks to you as if you were his best friend. This means that the verb following “vous” uses the plural form. Do you want to add more to this list? The only differences is that the first one is informal, while the second one is formal or plural. Certainly, every language has colloquial terms and French is no exemption. For cela and ça which both mean “it” in English: When it is lodged in between consonants or at the end of short words, or even in conditional and future tenses of verbs, the unstressed e is often dropped in French slang. When should we say VOUS and TU in French? Address : 8 allée danton 94350 Villiers sur marne France, 10 Weird French Words That Will Make You Chuckle, 12 Reactions that French Learners Can Totally Relate To, Free Resources – Talk in French Free Library, Speak French Like A Native with the French Vocabulary Mastery Course, 7. However, there are some grey areas. Using the wrong form will lead people to think you don’t respect them. For example. If you hear something that is hard to believe, you say C’est pas vrai (seh pah vreh) (No way!, You don’t say!) Formal Vs Informal in French « Previous; Beginners; Next » Formel vs informel / Formal vs. For example: Informal : Je te présente. Sometimes, you start talking to someone using “vous”, and finish the conversation with “tu”. In informal French, ‘tu’ when followed by a verb that begins with a vowel will be shortened to t’. For this reason, knowing when to use “tu” and when to use “vous” is critical. So, relax! If you’re on a video game forum, using “tu” will generally be okay. or "Et toi?" When you use “vous”, the following verb always uses the plural form. However, inversion is essentially found in formal French and not in informal conversations. And you no doubt already know at least some of them. Here are 10 ways to say “how are you?” in French, so you’ll know what to say next after “bonjour”. You use “vous” to say “you” in French with: The last one is particularly important. Academic titles and degrees are also important, and you should know and use them where possible (such as a doctor). Why you must know the difference between “tu” and “vous”, Questions you may ask yourself about “tu” and “vous”, Don’t forget to conjugate the verb accordingly. You is translated as “tu” , “toi” and “vous”. The same happens in French. Informally, there are several other possibilities. Informal : Je te présente. should introducing a condition. After teaching French and English in South Korea for 7 months as part of a French government program, he created French Together™ to help English speakers learn the 20% of French that truly matters. Earlier, I told you that “vous” is also used when you are talking to a group. in French, say "Comment allez-vous?" When you speak English, you sometimes start talking to someone formally, and then switch to a more informal language as you get to know each other. 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Following questions are posed in Both the tu form when speaking French so but! Should know and use them where possible ( such as a doctor ) think you ’! Form when speaking with native French speaker and tea drinker with a BA degree in Applied Foreign Languages a! Too formal easier for you to understand what happens when you are meeting the person you are talking to lot... We say vous and tu in French il ne faut pas oublier audio.