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French in France - "Tu" or "Vous"?

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A perplexing question often not only for foreign visitors to France but to the French themselves is whether to use the "tu" form of "you" or the "vous" form for "you". The 'tu' form being traditionally judiciously used only for folks you really feel dear or close to - family and close friends mainly and the 'vous' form for all others, including neighbors and colleagues at work - the vast majority of daily greetings would be 'tu' - this all recently explained to me by a friend friend who is visiting my house for a few weeks -

after I asked her that I had read recently on Fodors that one Fodorite residing in England and who was furiously studying French had posted that it was her understanding that there had been some recently cracks in the 'tu' - 'vous' facade and that 'tu' was now being more widely used - and in response to that query my friend firmly stated - "No not all all" - saying there was certainly not any lessening of the 'tu' and 'vous' gulf and that she only used 'tu' with dear friends and family.

She did explain that one neighbor from North Africa called he 'tu' so she reciprocated but otherwise stated that she would never ever use the 'tu' form with neighbors or colleages at work unless they were also dear friends.

So for travelers not knowing the ins and outs of the 'tu' and 'vous' conundrum I guess are best off always using 'vous' unless they are talking with relatives or close friends.;

Well that is at least one French women's take on it all - do other French agree or not - that the 'tu'-'vous' matter is basically unchanged and one should be very careful in using 'tu' lest they be considering being too familiar!

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