What is the difference between "faire plaisir" and "plaire"? Example:

  • Ça me fait plaisir.
  • Ça me plaît.

If I say :

Ton cadeau me fait plaisir et il me plaît.

I'm not being redundant, I express two different ideas.

  • Ton cadeau me plaît :
    I'm talking about the present, I like it, I think it's nice, useful, etc.

  • Ton cadeau me fait plaisir :
    I'm talking about the gesture involved and not about the nature of the present. I appreciate receiving a gift from you, I'm happy about it. Faire plaisir allows you to express an emotion, a feeling.

  • So "X me plaît" is not usually understood (literally) as "X pleases me", but rather "I like X" (=J'aime/aime bien X)? – Alan Evangelista Sep 25 at 17:21
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    Precisely. To please is faire plaisir. I like it → Ça me plait. – Laure SO - Écoute-nous Sep 25 at 17:40
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    'Plaire' also has that meaning when it comes to people: 'Il me plaît' = 'I like him' ('I am attracted to him'). – Mathieu Bouville Sep 26 at 6:51
  • Could any of them be used as a polite answer to a "merci" ? – Alan Evangelista Oct 24 at 15:33
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    @AlanEvangelista Not as such. I expect you are thinking of the English my pleasure. In French we could say tout le plaisir est pour moi, which I think is more formal than the English "my pleasure". The usual response to a merci would be: Il n'y a pas de quoi or slightly more formal: je vous en prie. – Laure SO - Écoute-nous Oct 24 at 15:44

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