French Grammar Explained /

Politeness - How to master "la politesse"

Prix du café
« Un café ! »6€50
« Un café, s'il vous plaît. »4€50
« Bonjour, je voudrais un café, s'il vous plaît. »2€50
Is this real?
I will let you find out for yourself.
I don't know what je voudrais is...
It's a polite way of asking for something or expressing a wish, just like in English:
Je voudrais une salade.
I would like a salad.
Je voudrais aller à Montréal.
I would like to go to Montreal.
Hold on a sec! Polite? The French?
Aren't they particularly blunt and arrogant? The French have mastered the art of being utterly polite and surprisingly disdainful at the same time. Raising eyebrows and simultaneously saying "Monsieur" or "Madame" isn't something you learn in a couple of days. Don't worry, we'll help you get the hang of French courtesy. Our tips:
1. Always use vous when talking to someone you don't know.
2. Say bonjour or bonsoir rather than salut.
3. Keep reading this topic because there's one more!
Now, let me show you how to master the art of French politeness.
To a friend...
In a formal situation...
Sounding like a maître de courtesy...
Tu peux répéter ? Can you repeat?
Vous pouvez répéter ? Can you repeat?
Vous pourriez répéter ? Could you repeat?
At which point do I raise my eyebrows?
You'll develop a feeling for that with time ;)