Comment tu as fait pour me trouver ?

vs : Comment tu m'as trouvé ?

Both sentences boil down to expressing the idea of "How did you (find me)?", but I seem to notice that the first construction is more commonly used than the second. The first one sounds more idiomatic, perhaps?

I wonder about the possible nuances of meaning between the two.

  • 1
    Note that the second one may be used to ask someone how you look, or how was your performance, where you could answer something like "tu était au top !" – Random Nov 26 '16 at 13:51
  • Comment as-tu fait (colloquial: tu as fait) pour me trouver? Versus Comment m'as-tu trouvé. What did you do to find me? versus How did you find me? – Lambie Jan 11 '17 at 23:19
  • @Frank Yes, if one wanted it to mean that. I doubt the asker was thinking of that. It would be: How did I do? [in acting, sports, etc.] – Lambie Jan 11 '17 at 23:40

There could IMHO be a difference between the two sentences, depending on the context.

The second sentence's ("Comment tu m'as trouvé ?") meaning would be "How did you find (my performance, my speech...)?", whereas the first one means "How did you manage to find me?". But this is hard to decide without the context.

Now, in spoken language, the second sentence could be understood to mean the same as the first one, but it could be ambiguous.

  • From an English-speaker's perspective, it is easy to fall into the trap of opting for the 2nd, more word-for-word construction. So I wasn't sure at first why French speakers tend to use the 1st, more long-winded construction to essentially mean "How did you find me?". Now I clearly understand the why: the 2nd could well be misinterpreted as the interrogative form of "je t'ai trouvée belle{adjectif} sur les photos". Merci ! – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Jan 12 '17 at 0:57
  • Yes, but this is somewhat lessened by the context, I think. If e.g. you are surprised because somebody found your address or phone number, sentence #2 is not ambiguous at all. If you are waling together with a friend coming out of a meeting where you presented something, again #2 is no longer ambiguous. It looks like it's all in the context for this one. – Frank Jan 12 '17 at 1:13

Heard in spoken French in everyday speech: Comment tu as fait pour me trouver?:

Better grammar, if you care about that: Comment as-tu fait pour me trouver? People actually use the first one, all the time, in everyday speech. Translation: What did you do to find me?

Heard in spoken French in everyday speech: Comment tu m'as trouvé? Also expressed as: Comment m'as-tu trouvé? Translation: How did you find me?

Conclusion: the two sentences are not the same thing and they have more formal and less formal ways of being said.

  • "pour me trouvé" with "é" is plain incorrect, should be "er". – Frank Jan 11 '17 at 23:28
  • Yes, I'll correct that. – Lambie Jan 11 '17 at 23:38
  • There is still one é to be changed in the first sentence. And if you include the question mark in the french sentence, there should be a space before it: Comment tu as fait pour me trouver ? – SdaliM Jan 12 '17 at 8:54
  • Ok, I fixed that too. When writing fast, I don't always pay attention closely. – Lambie Jan 12 '17 at 16:49

There is no real difference, maybe the latter is more friendly. I'd use the first one if I really wanted to know how I was found, and the second one to show I'm surprised to be found.

  • There is not much of an explanation here at all. And yes, they are different as I explained in my answer. – Lambie Jan 11 '17 at 23:39
  • See below - that's not all there is to it, IMHO. – Frank Jan 11 '17 at 23:39

I don't think there is much of a difference. Both are oral forms of asking a question, and I'd say the first one is less graceful.

In english, you can compare: How did you do to find me? versus How did you find me?. Using the faire word is unnecessary here. Maybe it is used more often but if you have the choice chose the second option.

A more formal way to ask this question would be to change verb and subject: Comment m'as-tu trouvé ?

  • I do not understand point givers around here. /How did you do to find me/ is not English at all. Grrgh. – Lambie Jan 11 '17 at 23:20
  • @Lambie Feel free to edit my answer if you think you can improve/correct it. – SdaliM Jan 12 '17 at 7:31

Well grammatically the second one is incorrect. The second sentence is not chocking when you informally speak but it may be considered by some people as incorrect even rude.

  • 1
    Neither is incorrect, and I'd check my spelling for shocking. :) Chocante, Portuguese...right? – Lambie Jan 11 '17 at 23:29

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