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être à tu et à toi

“Être à tu et à toi” is a French expression that translates literally to “to be at you and you”. The meaning in English is as follows:

  • to be on a first name basis with somebody
  • to be good friends

A French definition on is “to be close or informal”. In French there are two ways of saying you: tu and vous. Tu is considered informal and vous is considered formal. Hence, “être à tu et à toi” is to use the informal “tu” with somebody.

Here’s an example sentence:

  • Quand j’étais a l’université j’étais à tu et toi avec mes profs: on se connaissait bien et discutait souvent après les cours. When I was in university I was on a first-name basis with my professors. We knew each other well and chatted often after class.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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