How Are You?

Comment ça va ?

Introduction Introduction
French has both a formal and informal way of addressing people. This makes asking the simple question "How are you?" slightly more complicated than in English. You need to know which "you" to use:

tu the informal, which takes the second-person singular verb tense, or

vous the formal, which also doubles as the second-person plural pronoun, equivalent to "you all".

Tu is used among close friends, family, and people younger than you. Vous is used for strangers - or even acquaintances - and people older than you.

It is very important to use which level of formality to use. It can be very insulting to someone to address them incorrectly.

To learn more about tu, vous and similar words, check out the subject pronouns lesson.
Vocabulary Vocabulaire
Play être
to be temporal
Play bien
fine well
Play tu
you informal nominative personal
Play comment
how interrogative
Play bon
good
Play mal
bad badly
Play chance
fortune luck chance
Play vous
you all nominative personal you formal nominative personal you all accusative personal you formal accusative personal you all dative personal you dative personal you all disjunctive personal you formal disjunctive personal
Phrases Les phrases
Play Prends soin de toi
Take care
Play Bonne chance
Good Luck
Play Comment allez-vous ?
How are you? formal
Play Comment ça va ?
How are you? informal
Play Tout va bien ?
Everything okay?
Play Bien.
Fine.
Play Je vais bien.
I'm fine.
Play Je ne vais pas très bien.
I'm not very well.
Play Très bien.
Very good.
Play Mal
Bad
Play Et toi ?
And you? informal
Play Et vous ?
And you? formal
What's the difference between "vous" and "tu"?

A brief explanation about the use of <em>tu</em> and <em>vous</em> in the French Language: <br/> • When do you need to be formal (vous) or informal (tu)?<br/> • <em>Vous</em> shows distance and respect • <em>Tu</em> shows equality and camaraderie • Whach the video and get the answer!

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