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On peut se tutoyer ?

French expressions analyzed and explained

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Expression: On peut se tutoyer ?

Pronunciation: [o(n) peu seu tu twa yay]

Meaning: Can we use tu with each other?

Register: informal

Notes: French makes an important distinction between tu, the informal "you," and vous, the formal "you." There are even verbs: tutoyer means "to use tu" and vouvoyer means "to use vous." Deciding whether to use tu or vous can be difficult for non-native speakers, and then even when you do choose correctly, you sometimes need to make a switch. That's where the French expression on peut se tutoyer comes in.

Some situations, such as a meeting between friends of friends, are borderline - the French feel that maybe they should use vous but would prefer tu. In order to avoid offense, they'll ask on peut se tutoyer ? Another common scenario occurs when you start out using vous with someone and eventually become friends - at some point you'll want to make the switch to tu.

Variations: Peut-on se tutoyer ? On se tutoie ?

Lesson: tu vs vous

Quiz: tu or vous?

Conjugations: tutoyer | vouvoyer


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