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I see "voyez-vous" used at the top or end of a sentence. I think it means “you see” or “you know”. Do you use "voyez-vous" like this when you are explaining a certain fact that the person you’re talking to isn’t aware of yet?

And one more thing, is it incorrect to say "vois-tu" instead to mean “you see” or “you know”?

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At the end of a sentence, voyez-vous is literary and slightly outdated and so is vois-tu. In France, is is almost never used in "normal" conversations, maybe in a speech or a very formal context but not at all like the English you see.

At the beginning of a sentence (I overlook you that part of your question), voyez-vous and vois-tu are common and, unless followed by a comma, mean "do you see/know", not "you see/know"

At the end of a sentence, the casual tu vois is extremely common in spoken French, can be used with someone you are familiar with, and appears in situation where you would have said "you see or you know" in English. If talking to someone you do not use tu with, that would be vous voyez.

  • I disagree with this formulation being quite outdated. Maybe less frequent but not rare. – ApplePie Oct 15 '16 at 5:17
  • @AlexandreP.Levasseur You are right, I was focused on "voyez-vous" isolated at the end of a sentence, and missed the question was also asking about a starting "voyez-vous". – jlliagre Oct 17 '16 at 20:50
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Yes you do use "voyez-vous" or "vois-tu" at the end of a sentence. But from experience, I would tend to use it at the beginning of the sentence. Like "voyez-vous ce que je veux dire?" or "vois-tu ce que je veux dire?" And you are correct when you say that it means "you know" or "you see".

In English, I often say "do you see what I mean?" or "do you know what I mean?". This would be the perfect use for "vois-tu" or "voyez-vous" if you are speaking to more than one person.

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You can use it to be sure your interlocutor understand what you mean. It is also sometimes employed to verify that he's still listening you.

This expression is commonly placed at the end of the sentence.

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