Monday, October 21, 2019

How to Use Est-ce Que to Ask Questions in French

How to Use Est-ce Que to Ask Questions in French Est-ce que  (pronounced  es keu) is a French expression that is useful for asking a question. Literally translated, this phrase means is it that..., although in conversation it rarely is interpreted that way. Instead, it is a convenience of everyday French, an interrogatory phrase that easily turns a statement into a question. It is a slightly informal construction; the more formal or polite way to ask questions is with inversion, which involves inverting the normal pronoun/noun verb order. But in everyday spoken French, est-ce que is far more common because it does the inverting for you: Est-ce que is the inversion of cest que. (Note that a hyphen is required between ce and est when they  are inverted to est-ce.) The word order of the original sentence stays exactly the same; you just add the already inverted phrase est-ce que to the front of the sentence. This simple structure works best for yes/no questions. For example:   Ã‚  Ã‚  Tu travailles. / Est-ce que tu travailles?   You work. / Do you work?  Ã‚  Ã‚  Paulette la trouvà ©. / Est-ce que Paulette la trouvà ©?   Paulette found it. / Did Paulette find it?  Ã‚  Ã‚  Vous navez pas faim. / Est-ce que vous navez pas faim?   You arent hungry. / Arent you hungry? OR Are you not hungry? Note that que must contract when it follows a word beginning with a vowel:   Ã‚  Ã‚  Elle est arrivà ©e. / Est-ce quelle est arrivà ©e?   She has arrived. / Has she arrived?  Ã‚  Ã‚  Il y a des problà ¨mes. / Est-ce quil y a des problà ¨mes?   There are problems. / Are there problems?  Ã‚  Ã‚  Anny vient avec nous. / Est-ce quAnny vient avec nous?   Anny is coming with us. Is Anny coming with us? To ask questions that ask for information like who, what, where, when, why and how, place an interrogative pronoun, adverb or adjective before est-ce que. For example: Qui est-ce que vous avez vu?   Whom did you see?​Quand est-ce que tu vas partir?   When are you going to leave?​Quel livre est-ce quil veut?   Which book does he want? Remember that est-ce que is the inversion of cest que, meaning literally, It is that. Thats why a hyphen is required between est and ce: cest ce est which are inverted to est-ce. Depending on their place in the sentence, the variations  quest-ce qui and qui est-ce qui  are also useful, but understanding them requires further discussion of  interrogative pronouns. For now, heres a summary. SUMMARY OF FRENCH INTERROGATIVE PRONOUNS Subject of question Object of question After preposition People quiqui est-ce qui quiqui est-ce que qui Things quest-ce qui quequest-ce que quoi Additional Resources Asking questions in FrenchFrench interrogativesExpressions with à ªtreMost common French phrases

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