Quoi ? / Comment ? - registre


English, USA

Y a-t-il une différence de régistre entre « Quoi ? » et « Comment ? » pour demander des éclaircissements? Est-ce que « quoi » est plus familier, ou les deux sont-ils interchangeables ?

Merci d’avance !
  • sangha

    English, USA
    That's what I was wondering, whether it's kind of rude. If I didn't understand someone, would "Comment?" be more polite? or Répétez, svp?


    Senior Member

    I would say either "Comment ?" or "Pardon ?" (both of which are close to the English "Sorry?"). "Quoi ?" is also very common in informal speech (just as "What?" is in English, as long as the tone is soft and it doesn't come out as "WHHAAAAT?!!!", of course).

    I wouldn't say "Répétez, s'il vous plaît ?" (were you thinking of the English "Come again, please?"). It sounds a bit blunt in French. Also, asking someone to repeat something in French can actually sound very provocative and aggressive.

    Répète un peu ça ! / Tu veux répéter ? = Run that by me again?! (said in a challenging tone).


    Senior Member
    France, French
    Pourriez-vous préciser ? Pourriez-vous répéter, s'il-vous-plait ?
    Comment is ok, but not formal or really polite - and you can't amend that by an "svp"…
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