October 15, 2004

Entry: Voulez-vous coucher

Petite Anglaise asks Voulez-vous coucher:

…avec moi ce soir?

That wasn’t an invitation. Sorry to disappoint.

It is however the French phrase which everyone seems to know. And I’ll come back to it in a minute.

The fact that there are two words for ‘you’ in French is another of the things which makes it difficult for English speakers to master the language.

In a nutshell, tu is the familiar you. It demonstrates a certain closeness and informality. So you would address a friend, peer, colleague, relative, child or pet as tu. If you talk to yourself, I imagine you would use it too.

Vous is the formal and plural you. It is used to show respect or maintain a certain distance or formality. To complicate matters, it is also the plural form of both tu and vous. Typically you would use this when talking to someone you don’t know well, an older person, an authority figure, or to two or more people or animals.

So coming back to my opening phrase, if you say ‘Voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir’ then I would assume that you are a slapper/prostitute (a complete stranger?), you are in the market for a sugar daddy, a policeman, a ‘partouse’ (orgy) or a spot of bestiality.

Posted by Simon at October 15, 2004 07:14 AM

So you leave us guys hanging....

How do we say "Let's get in on" in a proper way?
I am into self-improvement.

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