Tu and vous are used for three types of you

In French there are two words for you but they cover three distinct cases:

Tu as faim?
Are you hungry?

Vous avez faim? 
Are you hungry?

Vous avez faim?
Are you hungry?

Two singular "you"s

- Tu is used to address someone informally: a friend, a relative or someone close.

- Vous is used to address someone formally: someone older, a superior at work, or just someone you don't know well.

One plural "you"

Vous is also used to address (formally or informally) two or more people.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources


To ask your children, Jean et Aurélie, if they're hungry


Vous avez faim?
Are you hungry?


To ask your friend, Michel, if he's hungry


Tu as faim?
Are you hungry?


To ask your manager, M. Dupont, if he's hungry


Vous avez faim? 
Are you hungry?


Q&A Forum 8 questions, 17 answers

em: why is vous used for you all too?

Asked 5 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super star

Hi Ellie, 

It is just a particularity of the French language ....

vous is used because in the french language vous is used to adress someone formally or as a group of people

em: why is vous used for you all too?

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Please can you explain why Tu is used before a vowel and not T'

Tu aimes 

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Gloria,

You will hear-

 'T'aimes ça? 

'T'as faim? 

in every day very informal speech (within a family setting) but normally the Tu would not be elided ...

Salut Cecile,

Would friends of the same age also use "T'as"?

CécileKwiziq language super star

Between friends definitely although a parent might use 'tu as faim' to a child to teach him/her to speak 'properly'.....

Please can you explain why Tu is used before a vowel and not T'

Tu aimes 

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i have a doubt. which is ''tu as faim''. question or sentence. because you are using in same way.

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1Correct answer
Tu as faim -- You are hungry.
Tu as faim ? -- Are you hungry.

It depends on the intonation; the words don't change.

There are three ways to phrase a question in French:

1) With est-ce que... : Est-ce que tu as faim?
2) With inversion: As-tu faim?
3) With intonation: Tu as faim?

All three are asking the same thing. But with the third option you just use intonation to make it into a question.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

i have a doubt. which is ''tu as faim''. question or sentence. because you are using in same way.

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comment ça va ?

Asked 1 year ago
RonC1
Bonjour Meth, ça va bien, et vous? Mais, il n'y a pas une question ici? Est-ce que vous avez une question?
"Comment ça va" is a bit familiar. You would not, in all likelihood, use it in a situation where you don't know the other person. You would probably use the more formal "Comment allez-vous?". I am not entirely sure if this is what you were trying to ask. Greetings, -- Chris (who is not a native speaker)
Ca va bien

ca va bien merci

comment ça va ?

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Vous avez fatigue?

Asked 2 years ago
Non, je ne fatigue pas
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Denis ! To express "to be tired" in French, you will use the verb "être" (to be) as such: "Vous êtes fatigué ? / Tu es fatigué ? - Non, je ne suis pas fatigué." "Je ne fatigue pas." means "I don't tire." I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !
Je ai fatigué
The french language tends not to like putting vowels in pairs......so it would be J'ai - however it is "I am tired" not I have tired.  So .........Je suis fatigué.

Vous avez fatigue?

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Why do we bother with tu? Most of us are never going to get that close to a French person.

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Malcolm ! Actually, you would also use "tu" when talking to someone younger than you, like a child or a teenager, or a classmate! Plus, speaking as a French woman whose partner is English, you never know what can happen in life :) Better be prepared ! À bientôt !

Why do we bother with tu? Most of us are never going to get that close to a French person.

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Two questions about Tu and Vous

If there's a case that my teacher (or teacher's assistent) is somewhere near my age or we have known each other for a while (usually educators want to be as quick as possible to befriend students during class, so that would be approximately two weeks), should I address them in Tu or Vous? Another case is that what if I've chatted with a person whom I've just met for an hour and after a while I text that person in Tu, would I sound repelling? Merci beaucoup in advance!
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Charles, When you're not sure, including in both of these cases, just ask "On peut se tutoyer?" This is typically French and the answer will almost always be "Oui!"

Two questions about Tu and Vous

If there's a case that my teacher (or teacher's assistent) is somewhere near my age or we have known each other for a while (usually educators want to be as quick as possible to befriend students during class, so that would be approximately two weeks), should I address them in Tu or Vous? Another case is that what if I've chatted with a person whom I've just met for an hour and after a while I text that person in Tu, would I sound repelling? Merci beaucoup in advance!

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Can vous be used as 'we' because i hv studied 'on' or 'nous'

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Rishabh, No, 'vous' can only mean 'you', whether it be a polite 'you' to address one person with reverence, or a plural 'you' to address a group of people. A bientôt !

Can vous be used as 'we' because i hv studied 'on' or 'nous'

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