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Definition 2022


vous

vous

Czech

Noun

vous m

  1. beard

Declension

See also


French

Etymology

From Middle French vous, from Old French vos, vous, from Latin vōs, from Proto-Italic *wōs.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /vu/
  • Homophone: voue
  • Rhymes: -u

Pronoun

vous (formal singular, and plural)

  1. The plural personal pronoun in the second person:
    1. (subject pronoun) You.
      Vous allez - You go.
    2. (direct object pronoun) You.
      Je vous adore - I love you.
  2. You, to you (indirect object pronoun).
    Je vous donne mon adresse - I give you my address or I give my address to you.
  3. The plural or singular personal pronoun in the second person, at the polite form:
    Monsieur, je ne vous connais pas. - Mister, I don't know you.

Usage notes

  • vous is used to address more than one person or to address one person formally.
  • vous is used, for example, when two people meet for the first time. Each person would continue to use vous even if the pair spent the whole day and evening together. But the next time they meet, even the next day, each would use tu instead.
  • The use of vous is always considered professional and is used in office settings, schools, etc. to address a single person even when the speaker knows that person well. Thus, Avez-vous fini? (are you finished) may often be heard in an office setting, while As-tu fini? (singular, personal you) is not as common.

Related terms

Derived terms


Middle French

Etymology

From Old French vos, vous, from Latin vōs.

Pronoun

vous

  1. you (plural or polite)
  2. yourself (second-person plural or polite reflexive pronoun)

Descendants

Usage notes

  • As in modern French, vous is either plural or polite as both a subject pronoun and a reflexive pronoun:
    • 1488, Jean Dupré, Lancelot du Lac, page 12:
      Car se vous vous mettez en ceste forest qui est grande et espesse
      For if you put yourself into this forest which is big and thick
      (The first vous is the subject pronoun, and the second is the reflexive pronoun. Both are singular, referring to Lancelot)

Old French

Etymology

From Latin vōs.

Pronoun

vous

  1. Alternative form of vos