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  1. M’aiderez-vous à trouver un moyen de le faire ? {Will you help me?}

  2. M’aideriez-vous à trouver un moyen de le faire ? {Would you help me?}

  3. Aidez-moi à trouver un moyen de le faire ? {Please help me.}

  4. Veuillez m’aider à trouver un moyen de le faire ? {Would you please help me?}

I wonder how these four expressions rank in terms of politeness levels. I mean, from the least polite to the most polite.

Do my English translations correctly reflect the different levels of politeness suggested in the French sentences?

  • 1
    Parmi les formules les plus polies : Pourriez-vous m'aider à... – cl-r May 10 '16 at 16:13
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  • 4) "veuillez m'aider" is an imperative, like (3) but with a pedantic tone, so it is not polite at all.
  • 3) "aidez-moi" is an imperative without the pedantic tone, equivalent to "help me.". It's not particularly polite.
  • 1) "m'aiderez-vous" is equivalent to "will you help me?".
  • 2) "m'aideriez-vous" is equivalent to "would you help me?".

The equivalent to "please, help me" is "s'il vous plait, aidez-moi." It is quite the same level of politeness as (2) but is more used in spoken language, whereas (2) and (1) are rarely found outside written French and sound more literary.

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