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Thread: how to use

  1. negar_aghili's Avatar
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: May 2005
    • Posts: 30

    Talking how to use

    hi dear masters
    i have a question and it is about thethe word ( you ) in english
    in our language , Farsi , we have two different words for ( you ) as gingular and plural . the singular one is used for one person or when the speaker is rude to the audience . sometimes , in translated films , specially when a child is talking to his mom or a clerk is talking to his boss , mom or the boss says , ( dont say you ( with the singular meaning ) . say you ( with the plural meaning ) .
    do these two have any difference in english?

    thanks a million

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: how to use

    French also has that distinction: tu (informal 'you') and vous (formal 'you'), but English does not. Traditionally, though, it was impolite, and may still be considered so, to address a third party as 'he' or 'she' if that person is present in the conversation.

    • Join Date: Jun 2004
    • Posts: 1,369

    Re: how to use

    Using informal 'you' is called 'tutoyer', and the opposite is 'vouvoyer'. The informal you' is not at all impolite, and very frequent among colleagues, friends, people who share a common interest, family etc. In fact, you use the formal 'you' with strangers, your boss, policemen etc. It creates some distance between the two speakers, and sometimes this distance is welcome, sometimes it is awkward (stilted/aloof). The Spanish have this distinction too, and use the informal 'you' even more liberally.
    Actually, the absence of formal/informal 'you' in English turns out to be pretty convenient



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