All about the French sentence "S'il te plaît"

You are going to learn everything you need to know about the basic phrase “S’il te plaît”.

Are included a full guide of what it is and how you can use it in everyday life with an audio example. And because we care about you, we also added some super useful stuff like synonyms, dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

In case you are interested, you will find more of these phrases tutorials on this page and the list of all our French words guides on this page. Have fun!

Table of Contents

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French to English translation

How to pronounce?

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does s'il te plaît mean?

Definition

This is a must-know sentence for everybody trying to learn French as we use it (massively) every day. It literally means “If it pleases you” which is translated in English as “Please“.

How to use

There are two variations that you should know: the first one is “S’il te plait” which you should use when talking to only one person and if you “know” this person already (a friend, family member, a lover or anybody you can be informal with).

For example: “Papa, tu peux m’aider s’il te plait ?” (Dad, can you help me please?)

Now, it’s different if you are talking to several people and/or people you should show respect (strangers, elderly, police, when meeting colleagues, etc.). In this case you should use: “S’il vous plait“.

For example: “Pouvez-vous me donner le dossier s’il vous plait ?” (Can you give me the folder please?)

Also, both are invariable, so you should never add an “s” at “plait” or at “il“. Just like you should never conjugate it with the genre and say “S’elle te plait” for example.

Finally, you will probably see often the variations of  “plait” with ‘î’ instead of ‘i’. Know that since 1990, both are ok and we prefer using the version with the “simple i” but it’s still used for official documents and some other situations. Anyway, you will NEVER be wrong by not putting the accent over the ‘i’.

Fun facts

In some part of Eastern France and Belgium, people are using “S’il vous plait” as a way to say “There you go / Here is” when politely giving something to you.

For example: “Pouvez-vous me passer le sel s’il vous plait ?” (Can you pass me the salt please?) then the person will grab the salt, give it to you and say “S’il vous plait“.

But this person is not really asking you “please” but just being polite, you can see it as “please accept this salt“. And so you simply say: “Merci” (Thank you).

Synonyms and similarities

The “full” synonyms are:

  • S’il vous plait. (“Please“)(Formal and/or plural)
  • S’il te plait. (“Please“)(Neutral and singular)
  • S’te plait. (“Please“)(Familiar)
  • Steup. (“Please“)(Very familiar)
  • STP. (“Please“)(Texting)

And if you want something stronger, use one of these:

  • Je t’en prie. (“I beg you“)(Medium strong)
  • Je t’en supplie. (“I beg you“)(Super strong)
  • Je t’implore. (“I’m pleading you“)(Super strong)

N.B: Regarding of context “Je t’en prie” can also mean: “You are welcome

Example with audio dialogue

Audio dialogue from French people

Dialogue audio

Dialogue transcription

” Tu peux me passer le pain, s’il te plaît ? “
” Can you pass me the bread, please? “
” Voilà “
” There you go “
” Merci “
” Thank you “
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