The French phrase "À tes souhaits" explained

Ready to find out all the things you want to know about the basic French sentence “À tes souhaits”?

To be more specific, this includes a detailed explanation of what it is and how to use it in a dialogue with an audio example. Plus, we also added useful things like synonyms, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

Oh and in case you are interested, you will find our others sentences pages on this page and the list of all our French words guides on this page. Wish you a happy learning!

Table of Contents

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Translation in English

How to pronounce?

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does à tes souhaits mean?

Definition

The literal meaning is:

  • À → To
  • Tes → Your
  • Souhaits → Wishes

It’s the most classic way to say “Bless you” in French after someone sneezed. And it seems to come from the middle ages when sneezing was one of the first symptom of the plague. So it was basically a way to say “I wish you not to be sick

How to use

When a family member, a friend or someone that you are familiar with sneeze, you can use: “À tes souhaits” (Literally: To your wishes). But if you have to show some respect or be formal with the sneezing person, like a professor or an old person: use instead “À vos souhaits“.

Same principle if the person sneeze a second time, use: “À tes amours” (Literally: To your loves) for the informal situation and “À vos amours” for the formal one.

For the third sneeze, in both situations you can say: “Qu’ils durent toujours” → May they (the loves) last forever.

“Ok but what if the person sneeze a fourth time?

Wow… that’s rather unlikely! But if it happens, there is nothing special to say. Even though… if you really want to be funny, I heard a few times in this situation: “Que le bon Dieu te bénisse, et qu’il te change en pain d’épices” (Literally: May the good god bless you and turn you into gingerbread.)

Fun fact

As a joke, you can also use “À tes souhaits” when some mispronounced something or didn’t talk clearly, like if this person sneezed.

For example, if a friend mispronounced “Eiffel” and says: “J’adore la Tour Eirrel” (I ‘m fond of the Eirrel Tower) then you can tell her/him: “À tes souhaits !“.

Synonyms

  • À vos souhaits. (“Literally: To your loves → Bless you“)(Formal &/or Plural)
  • À tes amours. (“Literally: To your loves → Bless you“)
  • À vos amours. (“Literally: To your loves → Bless you“)(Formal &/or Plural)
  • Que le bon Dieu te bénisse, et qu’il te change en pain d’épices. (“Literally: May the good god bless you and turn you into gingerbread“)

Everyday life dialogue example

Audio dialogue by French natives

Dialogue audio

Dialogue script

” Atchoum ! “
” Atichoo! “
” À tes souhaits “
” Bless you “
” Merci “
” Thank you “
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