Vous recherchez des Cours d'Anglais? Cliquez-ici.

VOUS vs TU

VOUS or TU ??

 

How embarrassing not to know which one to use ? Is there a rule, how do the French know which one to use ?

 

You are speaking to an adult :

If the person is a family member = TU

If the person is not a family member = VOUS (in general it’s better to go first for the « vous » until told otherwise)

If the person is your boss = VOUS

If you begin a new job and you speak to your new colleagues = VOUS (until they tell you otherwise)

If the person is your banker = VOUS

If the person is your hairdresser’s and you’ve had your hair cut many many many times there = VOUS (unless you meet her/him quite often outside of work for example at school, at your kids’ swimming class… in that case you can use the TU)

If the person is your father-in-law / mother-in-law = VOUS (until they tell you otherwise, but this way you will appear more polite and respectful)

If the person is your friend = TU

If the person is the friend of a friend = TU (unless he/she looks posh, in that case, use the VOUS)

If the person is your friend’s grand ma/ grand pa = VOUS (we always use « VOUS » for elderly people, not so much for the distance and hierachy but more for the respect of their experience in life).

If you are a child and you are speaking to your teacher at school (and you are in « maternelle » or « primaire » = TU (in that very case the child will adress the teacher as « maîtresse »)

If you are a child and you are speaking to your teacher at school (and you are in « collège » or « lycée » = VOUS (in that very case the child will adress the teacher as « madame » or « monsieur »).

 

If you are speaking to a child :Use = TU

In some very rich and religious families in Paris, people use « VOUS » to speak to each other within the family, but this tends to be less and less common these days and i don’t think you’ll meet them here in Morzine J, so relax and always go for « TU » with a kid.

 

CONCLUSION :

If one day you are in one situation not mentioned above and you have a big doubt, always go for the « VOUS » and then if the person feels uncomfortable you using « VOUS » he/she will tell you « on peut se tutoyer » or « c’est pas la peine de me vouvoyer ». That way you won’t offend anyone :)

 

 

 


Pronunciation

PRONUNCIATION   There is nothing worse than knowing the right word but once you pronounce it, people don’t understand you !! So let’s have a look at a few pronunciation rules. Once you know how to pronounce the word, your brain identifies it very rapidly when it hears it, so by…

Continue Reading

Grammar for Dummies Nous vs On

Nous / On    What’s the difference bewteen « nous » and « on » ? Is there any ? NOUS = ON In reality in 90% of the cases, they both mean « we » in English. When speaking, the French tend to use less and less the « nous » form as it is always longer to pronounce. Give…

Continue Reading

Devoir and its many facets

The verb « devoir » = to must, to have The verb “devoir” is an irregular verb with various meanings. Je dois Tu dois Il/elle doit Nous devons Vous devez Ils/ells doivent   1st meaning : the notion of debt in the literal and figurative meanings : Combien est-ce que je vous…

Continue Reading

Les salutations !

This month, we will not focuse on a specific grammar point but on vocabulary ! The different way to say “Hi” according to the time of the day and the person (s).   salut hi bienvenue welcome bonjour good day (greeting) bonsoir good evening/night (greeting) bonne journée good day (farewell)…

Continue Reading

Vous recherchez des Cours d'Anglais? Cliquez-ici.