Virtual Kollage: Information questions in French

Posted by / Friday, 10 February 2017 / No comments

Information questions in French



Information Questions
Information questions begin with an interrogative word or expression such as Qu’est-ce que... ? (What . . . ?); Quel(le)(s)... ? (Which . . . ?); and Comment... ? (How . . . ?).
Information questions may be expressed with the interrogative expression _ subject-verb inversion and also with est-ce que, with no change in word order. Some of the following examples use verbs you will learn to conjugate later.

Interrogative Subject of the Verb
In the sentences She sees the dog and Sam buys a car, the words She and Sam are both subjects of the sentence. Questions corresponding to those sentences would be: Who sees the dog? and Who is buying a car? A thing can also be the subject of a question: What’s happening? What makes that noise? In French, there is no short form for asking about things as subject of the question. Study the following French forms and their English equivalents.



Persons:     Subject;  Long Form
Qui est-ce qui (as subject) _ verb               Who . . . ?
Qui est-ce qui arrive?                               Who’s arriving?

Persons: Subject Short Form (Most Common)
Qui (as subject) _ verb            Who . . . ?
Qui arrive?                                        Who’s arriving?
Qui parle?                                         Who’s speaking?

Things: Subject ; Long Form
Qu’est-ce qui (as subject) _ verb                What . . . ?
Qu’est-ce qui arrive?                                What’s happening?
Qu’est-ce qui est dans la rue?                What’s (down there) in the street?

Interrogative Object of the Verb
In the English sentences I see Richard and I see the car, Richard and the car are both objects of the verb see. Corresponding English questions would be: Who(m) do you see? and What do you see? Study the following French forms and their English equivalents.
Persons: Object; Long Form
Qui est-ce que/qu’ _ subject _ verb Who(m) . . . ?
Qui est-ce que tu invites?                                    Who(m) are you inviting?
Qui est-ce que vous attendez?               Who(m) are you waiting for?
Qui est-ce qu’elle aime?                          Who(m) does she love?

Persons: Object; Short Form
Qui (as object) _ inverted verb/subject Who(m) . . . ?
Qui invitez-vous?                                        Who(m) are you inviting?
Qui est-ce?                                                   Who is it?/Who’s that?
Qui aime-t-elle?                                           Who(m) does she love?

Things: Object Long Form
Qu’est-ce que/qu’ _ subject _ verb             What . . . ?
Qu’est-ce que tu as?        What do you have?/What’s the matter with you?
Qu’est-ce que vous pensez?      What do you think?

Things: Object Short Form
Que/Qu’ _ inverted verb/pronoun subject What . . . ?
Qu’a-t-il?                               What does he have?/ What’s the matter with him?
Que cherchez-vous?          What are you looking for?
Que/Qu’ _ verb _ inverted noun subject What . . . ?
Que regarde Iris?                What’s Iris looking at?
Que cherche le prof?          What’s the teacher looking for?

Interrogative Words (with Word Inversion or with est-ce que/qu’ )

Questions asking information other than What . . . ? or Who . . . ? (as subject or object) use specifi c question words.
Comment... ? How . . . ?               What . . . ?
Comment vas-tu?               How are you?
Comment est-elle?                         What’s she like?
Comment est-il?                 What’s he like?
Combien (de/d’)... ?                How much/many . . . ?
Combien coûte-t-il? _                    How much does it cost?
Combien est-ce que ça coûte?                    How much does it cost?
Combien d’heures travaillez- vous?       How  many hours are you working?
Combien d’argent as-tu?              How much money do you have?
Où... ?                                               Where . . . ?
vas-tu?/Où est-ce que tu vas?         Where are you going?
allons-nous?                                          Where are we going?
Quand... ?                               When . . . ?
Quand arrive-t-elle?/Quand est-ce qu’elle arrive?     When does she arrive?
Quand est-ce qu’on dîne?                                  When are we (people) having dinner?
Quand dîne-t-on?                                        When are we (people) having dinner?
Quel(le)(s) (as adjective) _ noun _ verb What (Which) . . . ?
Quel(le)(s) is an adjective that always agrees with its noun.
Quelle heure est-il?                                  What time is it?
Quel(le)(s) _ être _ noun
Quel est ton film préféré?              What is your favorite movie?
Quelles sont vos opinions?         What are your opinions?
Quel livre aimes-tu?                       Which book do you like?
Quelle est son adresse?              What is his/her address?

Pourquoi... ?                                     Why . . . ?
Pourquoi Gérard arrive-t-il si tard?                      Why is Gérard arriving so late?
Pourquoi est-ce que Gérard arrive si tard?
Pourquoi es-tu en retard?                                                 Why are you late?

The conversational answer to a pourquoi (why) question often begins with parce que (because).

Key Vocabulary
In the following lists, you will see that the nouns are divided into masculine
and feminine.
Noms masculins (Masculine Nouns)
l’an (year)                 l’anniversaire (birthday; anniversary)    l’arbre (tree)            
l’argent (money)     l’ascenseur (elevator)                               l’autobus (bus)      
l’avion (airplane)    les bagages (luggage)                              le bâtiment (building)     le bruit (noise)                 les cheveux (hair)                                      le crayon (pencil)
les devoirs (homework)    l’enfant (child)                            l’escalier (stairway)             l’étage (fl oor [building])       le feutre (felt-tip pen)                      le foyer (fi replace; hearth)    les gens (people)                       le jardin (garden, yard)                  le jour (day)            
le journal (newspaper)      le lieu (place)                                              le magasin (store)      le mail (e-mail)                           le médicament (medicine)                       le message (message)
le mois (month)                   le mot (word)                                                le mur (wall)
le musée (museum)                       le papier (paper)                             le parc (park)
le pays (country)                 le prix (price)                                               le rêve (dream)
le stylo (ballpoint pen)       le théâtre (theater)                         le thème (theme)
le voyage (trip)

Noms féminins (Feminine Nouns)
l’addition (check, bill)        la librairie (bookstore)       l’avenue (avenue)
la maison (house, home)  la bibliothèque (library)    la musique (music) 
la campagne (countryside)          la page (page)                    la carte postale (postcard)
la phrase (sentence)          la chambre (bedroom)     la pièce (room; play [theater])
la chemise (shirt)               la plage (beach)                 la clé (key) la porte (door)
la cuisine (kitchen; cooking)  la question (question) la douche (shower, bath)
la rue (street)                                   l’école (school)                   la salle de classe (classroom)
l’église (church)                  la santé (health)                  l’entrée (entry; fi rst course)
la semaine (week)
la fête (party; holiday) la soirée (evening; party)
la feuille (leaf; sheet [paper]) la sortie (exit)
la guerre (war) la ville (city)
la lettre (letter) la voiture (car)

Adjectifs (Adjectives)
affectueux (-euse) (affectionate)            fier (-ère) (proud)               aimable (nice, kind) gentil(le) (kind)                                    amical(e) (friendly)                         grand(e) (tall)
aveugle (blind)                                large (wide)                          bas(se) (low, short)
lent(e) (slow)                                               beau/bel/belle (beautiful) libre (free)
court(e) (short [in length])              long(ue) (long)              curieux (-euse) (curious; odd) lourd(e) (heavy)                                   dangereux (-euse) (dangerous) nouveau/nouvel/nouvelle (new)            difficile (difficult)                 paresseux (-euse) (lazy)
doux (-ce) (sweet; mild; soft)        particulier (-ière) (special)          drôle (funny) passionnant(e) (exciting)                    dur(e) (hard)                                     petit(e) (short [height])
élégant(e) (elegant)                       profond(e) (deep)               étrange (strange)
rapide (fast)                                      étroit(e) (narrow)                 sourd(e) (deaf)
facile (easy)                                                 spécial(e) (special)                        faible (weak)
timide (shy)                                      fidèle (faithful)                      tranquille (calme)


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