Is there a more concise way to say "En anglais, s'il vous plaît?" or "En anglais, s'il te plaît?" I guess the primary question is, is there any more concise phrase or slang for "s'il vous plaît" or "s'il te plaît"?

I am an English speaker who studied French in high school many years ago, but I have not practiced regularly. I occasionally travel to Montreal for vacation. Although nearly everyone there knows English, I prefer to respond in French if the other person initiated it.

  • 2
    I think it's always confusing for the other person if you speak French to them, but you're asking them to speak another language. Why not just ask in English? I don't think there's anyone who doesn't understand "English, please".
    – Oin
    Jun 8, 2013 at 11:18
  • It may be confusing but it shows that you tried to learn a little bit of the language
    – Subert
    Jun 30, 2017 at 9:09

4 Answers 4


There is no shorter form to say s'il te/vous plait in french, but in fact you can skip this part in a discussion.

I usually use the verb pouvoir to ask some help.

In France, I've never heard "S.T.P" or "S.V.P" in an oral exchange.

  • So, what do Parisians use in oral exchange to say "please" if they never use S.V.P or S.T.P? So curious!
    – verve
    Jun 29, 2013 at 23:59
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    @verve "steplait", i.e. "s'il te plait" pronounced fast. OP meant they never heard it abbreviated out loud as "S T P" like a spelled acronym. Apr 16, 2020 at 5:02

s'il vous plaît and s'il te plaît are the shortest and most concise way to express "please" when you talk to someone. The simplest way to ask someone to speak English is probably : "S'il vous plaît... en anglais ?", which mean: "S'il vous plaît, pourriez-vous parler en anglais ?" or "Pourriez-vous parler en anglais s'il vous plaît ?".

Be careful, "English, please" may sound or can be offensive. It's too short. If you want to ask someone to speak English, just use a full sentence "Could you speak..., I don't understand..., please". They will understand it, don't be afraid.

Or.. at least, begin by "Please," or "S'il vous plaît,". That's a big difference. Whatever (almost) you say after, will be welcomed. If you say it this way : "English, please", it may sounds like: "English!!", in most cases. The "please" will be forgotten.


Très poliment: "Sauriez-vous s'il vous plait me le dire en anglais?"

Amicalement ou familièrement: "Tu saurais le dire en anglais s'il te plait?"

Amicalement ou familièrement: "Tu saurais le dire en anglais?" (Le "s'il te plait" n'est vraiment pas obligatoire dans une conversation si il a été utilisé auparavant. Dans ce cas plutôt utiliser: "Tu saurais le dire en anglais, je préférerai." pour marquer/intensifier le besoin personnel, ce qui est bien plus approprié dans ce cas.)

Grossièrement ou usuellement: "En anglais?" (Avec la bonne prononciation)


The "s'il vous plaît" bit can be expressed as "S.V.P." (S.T.P. for "s'il te plaît")

It is more commonly seen in writing (informal or memos), but perfectly understood in oral conversations (at least in France).

  • 6
    In speech, it would sound way too weird to me. I don't think that's good advice. And by the way, I doubt it's any shorter. Jun 8, 2013 at 12:15
  • Yeah, it's still three syllables either way.
    – bneely
    Jun 9, 2013 at 1:00
  • 1
    Je viens de Montreal et ce genre de parler serait considere comme particulierement etrange. Le Quebec n'est pas la France.
    – ApplePie
    Jun 24, 2013 at 4:00

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