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POLITENESS (politesse)

August 14, 2012

When learning a new language, acquiring politeness and courtesy’s rules, is very important.

In France, from a very young age, children are taught to say “please” and “thank you” whenever they are asking something.

  • please : s’il vous plaît सिल्वूप्लै (formal) / s’il te plaît  सिल्तप्लै (informal)
  • thank you : merci मैर्सी
  • thank you very much : merci beaucoup मैर्सी बोकू


It’s very important to respect those courtesy rules if you don’t want to seem rude. For example when you enter a shop or when you are about to pay at the cash-counter, you should always greet the person who is about to serve you. If you are about to buy bread in a bakery you should say : “Bonjour Madame, une baguette, s’il vous plaît.” (“baguette” is this typical long French bread). When leaving don’t forget to say : “Merci, au revoir“.
If someone says “merci” to you, you can answer :
  • je vous en prie (formal) / je t’en prie (informal) : you are welcome, my pleasure, etc.
  • de rien (more casual) : you’re welcome, it’s nothing, etc.
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