All about the French quote "À vos souhaits"

You are in the right place to find out everything you want to know about the basic French phrase “À vos souhaits”.

Are included a complete definition of what it is and how you can use it in a conversation with an audio example. Along with the cool informations we sprinkled like dialogue example, synonym, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Finally, you can also find our others phrases pages on this page plus the directory of all our French words pages on this page. Ready to learn? C’est parti ! (Let’s go!)

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English translation

How to pronounce

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does à vos souhaits mean?

Definition

The literal meaning is:

  • À → To
  • Vos → 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

If you have to show some respect or be formal with the sneezing person, like a professor or an old person: use “À vos souhaits“. But if it’s a family member, a friend or someone that you are familiar with, you can use: “À tes souhaits“.

Same principle if the person sneezes 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 sneezes 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.)

Funny stuff

As a joke, you can also use “À vos/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 and similarities

  • À tes/vos souhaits. (“Literally: To your loves → Bless you“)
  • À tes/vos amours. (“Literally: To your loves → Bless you“)
  • 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“)

Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this phrase in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Foutues allergies
Damn allergies
___
Joe cherchait un restaurant pour le déjeuner.
Joe was looking for a restaurant for lunch.
Il marchait dans les rues de Paris et s’arrêta devant un joli restaurant…
He was walking in the streets of Paris and stopped in front of a nice restaurant…
Il regarda la liste des plats à l’extérieur du restaurant puis décida de rentrer…
He looked at the outside list of dishes of the restaurant and decided to enter…
Une fois à l’intérieur, le serveur donna le menu du jour à Joe.
Once inside, the server gave today’s menu to Joe.
Joe choisit une pizza quatre fromages et commença à attendre…
Joe chose a four cheese pizza and began to wait…
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