Please In French

How do you you say please in French?

In French, the two most common ways to say please are: s’il vous plaît (pronounced s-il vu plɛ or “seel voo play”) and s’il te plaît (pronounced s-il tə plɛ or “seel tuh play”). This article will explore many more ways of how to say please in French.

The meaning of s’il vous plaît is please in the formal and plural forms, used for strangers and groups of people. The translation of s’il te plaît is please in the singular and informal forms, used for close acquaintances and friends.

Two main ways to say please in French:

S’il vous plaît and s’il te plaît pronunciation

The pronunciation of s’il vous plaît (formal and plural please) is “seel voo play”. This page on Forvo provides a good audio sample.

The pronunciation of s’il te plaît is “seel tuh play”. This page on Forvo gives a good audio sample.

This video by Julien Miquel also shows how to pronounce s’il vous plaît.

What is the literal translation of s’il vous plaît?

In French, “s’il vous plaît” comes from the verb “plaire“, which means to please. The literal translation of “s’il vous plaît” is “If it please to you”.

The difference between the “vous” and “te” in “s’il vous plaît” and “s’il te plaît” is that “vous” is formal and “te” is informal for “to you”.

What are some different ways to say please in French?

In addition to s’il vous plaît, here are several other ways to say please in French.

Veuillez

Veuillez is the imperative (command) of the verb vouloir (to want) in the second-person plural (vous) form. In formal language, veuillez is followed by an infinitive (“to” form of the verb, e.g., “parler” to speak) to mean please.

Veuillez is often seen on signs. For example:

  • Veuillez attendre ici. Please wait here.
  • Veuillez patienter. Please wait patiently.

This page on Forvo offers pronunciation clips of veuillez.

Merci de

Merci de is an another formal way of saying please when giving a polite command. The grammatical structure is: Merci de + infinitive. For example, on websites or surveys you may see:

  • Merci de commenter. Please comment.

Prière

Prière is a polite way to say please. The grammatical construction is: “Prière de + infinitive”. For example, on a sign you may see:

  • Prière de fermer la porte. Please close the door.

Je vous en prie

“Je vous en prie” translates literally to “I beg of thee”. It can be followed by “de” plus infinitive to mean please in formal letter writing. For example:

  • Je vous en prie de trouver ci-joint. Please see attached.

Vous êtes priés

“Vous êtes priés” is another formal way to say please which translates literally to “You are begged to”. The grammatrical structure is: “Vous êtes priés de + infinitive”.

For example, in a hotel you may see a sign that says:

  • Vous êtes priés de fermer la porte avant de partir. Please close the door before leaving.

Oh, c’est bon

“Oh, c’est bon” is an interjection that means “Please!” when expressing indignation. For example:

Speed up your learning with an app

Many of our students have greatly enhanced their learning by using an app. On these pages we've examined the top-30 apps for learning French. On this pages we've written comprehensive reviews for Pimsleur (great for people struggling with pronunciation), Rosetta Stone and FrenchPod101 (both great for visual learners).

  • Oh, c’est bon! J’en ai assez de cette situation! Please! I’ve had enough of this situation!

Other expressions which can be used for “Please!” in this context of indignation are “Ça suffit!”, which translates to “That’s enough!” and “Non mais arrête!”, which translates literally to “No but stop!”.

Voudriez-vous, pourriez vous

Voudriez-vous and pourriez-vous do not mean please per say, but are used with please to make polite requests.

“Voudriez-vous” translates to “would you” and is the second-person plural (vous) form of the verb vouloir (to want) in the conditional tense.

“Pourriez-vous” translates to “could you” and is the vous form of the verb pouvoir (can, able to) in the conditional tense.

Voudriez-vous and pourriez-vous are used to make polite requests. For example:

  • Voudriez-vous m’aider, s’il vous plaît? Would you help me, please?
  • Pourriez-vous m’aider, s’il vous plaît. Could you help me, please?

How do you say, “Yes, please”?

When being offered something, there are three main ways to say “yes, please!”. All three are equally acceptable and show a high level of respect.

For example, if asked “Voulez-vous un café?” (Would you like a coffee?), you can answer with:

  • Oui, volontiers! Yes, please! (Liter translation: Yes, gladly!)
  • Oui, avec plaisir! Yes, please! (Literal translation: Yes, with pleasure!)
  • Oui, merci! Yes, please! (Literal translation: Yes, thank you!)

Is there a way to say “pretty please”?

In English, the expression “pretty please” is used to beg or cajole. The full English expression is: “Pretty please with sugar on top”.

French does have a version of “pretty please”. The informal “s’il te plaît” is shortened to “s’te plaît”. The “il” is omitted to make a kind of cutesy language.

For example:

  • Papa, est-ce que je peux avoir une glace? S’te plaît, s’te plaît! Daddy, can I have an ice cream? Pretty please?

What are some useful phrases containing please in French?

The following is a list of French phrases with English translations containing the word please.

  • Un moment s’il vous plaît. One moment, please.
  • Un instant, s’il vous plaît. One moment please.
  • Aidez-moi, s’il vous plaît! Help me please!
  • S’il vous plaît, taisez-vous! Please be quiet!
  • Répétez, s’il vous plaît. Repeat please (formal or plural).
  • Répète s’il te plaît. Repeat please (singular, informal).
  • De l’eau, s’il vous plaît. Some water, please.
  • Encore, s’il vous plaît. More, please.
  • Encore un/une (depending on gender of item) s’il vous plaît., One more, please.
  • Bon appétit! Please enjoy! (for meal)
  • Un café, s’il vous plaît. A coffee, please.
  • Un croissant, s’il vous plaît. A croissant, please.
  • Une bière, s’il vous plaît. A beer, please.
  • Entrez, s’il vous plaît. Please enter.
  • Asseyez-vous, s’il vous plaît. Please sit.
  • L’addition, s’il vous plaît. The bill, please.

Please in French – summary table and video

We hope that this page has helped you to discover more ways of saying please in French than s’il vous plait and s’il te plait. We’ve summarized the lesson in the following table:

FrenchEnglishComments
S'il vous plaîtplease Formal and plural. Use with people you don't know and groups of people.
S'il te plaîtplease Informal and singular. Use with close acquaintances and younger people.
Veuillez + infinitive, Prière + infinitive, Merci de + infinitive, Je vous en prie + infinitive, Vous êtes priés + infinitivepleaseAll formal ways of saying please, often used on signs and when writing letters.
Oh, c'est bon!Oh, please!Used to express indignation. "Ça suffit!" (That's enough) and "Non mais arrête!" (No but stop!" are synonyms.
Volontiers! Avec plaisir! Oui, merci!Yes please!All three are acceptable ways to say "Yes please" when being offered something.
S'te plaît!Pretty please!Expression for begging. Children's langauge.

Finally, this video from Learn French With Frencheezi does a wonderful job teaching how to say please in French.

Related lessons:

If you've found this post useful you might want to considering looking at our post covering the best apps for learning French. We've looked a total 33 apps and have written comprehensive reviews of Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur and FrenchPod101.

Sign Up For A FREE Trial French Lesson On Skype And Get Instant Access To My French Pronunciation Crash Course.

Get the French Pronunciation Crash Course!