Could you / would you please do something

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Mathématicien Fabuleux, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. Salut à tous,

    In English it is very common to say "Could you please do something?" or "Would you please do something?".
    I almost always translate this using "Pourriez-vous faire quelque chose ?" but this seems terribly English. I seem to remember that it could be translated as "Feriez-vous quelquechose?" (not very imaginitive examples I'm afraid). Could someone please tell me if this is commonly (or at all) used and polite in France, or perhaps suggest a better translation?

    Merci d'avance,

  2. RuK Senior Member

    Outside Paris
    English/lives France
    "Feriez-vous qqchose" would translate as "Would you do something". (If you were me, would you take an aspirin"). I don't see anything wrong with "Pourriez-vous" (m'aider à soulever la poubelle), but then I AM English... Maybe, to be less formal, you could say "Tu pourrais m'aider à...?"
  3. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    "Pourriez-vous faire quelque chose (pour moi)?"
  4. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Est-ce que tu pourrais m'aider à soulever la poubelle?"
  5. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Tu peux m'aider à soulever la poubelle, s'il te plaît?"
  6. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    "Tu vas rester là à gober des mouches toute la journée? souleve-moi cette poubelle, et que ça saute!"

    extrait tiré de "how to make friends and influence people whilst abroad" by benjy.

    Seriously though, pouvoir in the conditional is usually the way to go (as has been already mentioned), although there are other more wordy routes (avoir l'obligeance de, prier de) but I guess that's moving away from the nice and simple "would you" in english.
  7. Sangriabuena Senior Member

    I think this is a good thread. Cause in psychology the way you use these words can make a great deal of difference in english. If you say "Could you?" it means "are you able" and most people are able to carry out the trash but perhaps they don't want to. Therefor "would you" is "would you do it for me?" thusly giving the other person a choice. In french it seems the most part is focused on the "could" tu peux m' aider? etc,
  8. Merci à tous de vos réponses :)

    Thanks for your help everyone :)

    -x x x-
  9. RuK Senior Member

    Outside Paris
    English/lives France
    Ah, in that case, perhaps "Tu voudrais bien me soulever cette poubelle?"
  10. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    Please note that "Would you" in this context suggests the verb vouloir.
    One could say Voulez-vous m'aider or Voudriez-vous m'aider... It is not a simple conditional form.
  11. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    Yes. Just like RuK already suggested above.;) We can also avoid using 2 verbs and simply say... "m'aideriez-vous / m'aiderais-tu".

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