À tes souhaits

À tes souhaits
Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Polite French Expression

Meaning bless you (after a sneeze)
Literally to your wishes
Register informal
Pronunciation French sound files [ah tay sweh]
IPA   [a tɛ swɛ]

Usage notes: When someone sneezes, it may be polite* to say à tes souhaits (to someone you tutoie) or à vos souhaits (to someone you vouvoie). The English equivalents are "bless you" and, oddly, "Gesundheit" (which means "health" in German but is commonly used in English). While "bless you" clearly has a religious connotation, à tes souhaits (like Gesundheit) does not, though they’re all used in response to the same trigger.

When someone sneezes more than once, the potential responses get more elaborate:

1st sneeze

À tes souhaits / À vos souhaits – "To your health"

2nd sneeze

À tes amours / À vos amours – "To your loves"

3rd sneeze (several options)

  – et qu’elles durent toujours – "and may they last forever"
  – que les tiennes / vôtres durent toujours – "may yours last forever"
  – avec un grand A et beaucoup de s – "with a capital A and many an s"
  – et à tes enfants / et à vos enfants – "and to your children"
  – et à ton argent / et à votre argent – "and to your money"

* There’s some debate about how polite it really is to respond to a sneeze with one of these phrases as it interrupts whatever is being said at that moment, so do be a bit careful with it. It’s probably ok while sitting in a restaurant (if no one is talking right then) but probably not during a class or business meeting.

 The noun un souhait comes from the verb souhaiter (to wish).

 Related lessons

 Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

À tes souhaits - Bless you in French

Stay up to date with Lawless French

Questions about French?

 Visit the Progress with Lawless French Q+A forum to get help from native French speakers and fellow learners.

More Lawless French

 Subscribe to my twice-weekly newsletter.

Support Lawless French

  This free website is created with love and a great deal of work.

If you love it, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation.

Your support is entirely optional but tremendously appreciated.

Leave a Reply