"What does it consist of?"

Translation:Ça consiste en quoi ?

January 4, 2013

44 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Dellemonty

Still maintain that ''de quoi consiste-t-il'' is an acceptable translation for ''What does it consist of''. I have never, in my entire francophone life in Québec heard someone ask ''en quoi consiste-t-il'' when they were asking, say, ''what are the ingrediants of this stew?''

That may just be a regional peculiarity, and then again I may just be making this up, but I think I need a bit more elucidation regarding the pourquoi of it all!!! (thanks. really!!)

June 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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I realize I did not answer about "what are the ingredients of this stew ?"

  • En quoi consiste ce plat ?
  • Il consiste en deux ingrédients principaux: ...

  • En quoi consiste ton mot de passe ?

  • Il consiste en 7 signes, 3 lettres et 4 chiffres.

  • En quoi consiste la campagne publicitaire ?

  • Elle consiste en une combinaison d'annonces dans la presse et d'affiches extérieures.
June 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Dellemonty

This is extremely helpful. Thank you for your time here.

On the Ideas and concepts plane, I completely understand your point and will adopt it. (edited to add: even though, on rereading your examples, they mostly all seem very foreign and ''wrong'' to me)

I do have to say however, that when talking of physical objects (ie. potatoes and carrots), I would most probably still continue (outside of Duolingo, of course) with 'de quoi', given that the answer here would always be ''¨Ça consiste des patates et des carrotes, etc.¨' and even ''il consiste de deux ingrédients principaux''.

Now. That said, I have just looked for supporting evidence on the internet and have come up empty handed.

My unilingually-francophone neighbour, on the other hand, agrees with me.

Vive le français Québecois!!! :-)

June 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/bdgawmk

You and your neighbor are not imagining things! http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/fra/ae/demande/droit_responsabilites.shtml, http://www.canadavisa.com/fr/proving-french-language-ability-tef.html and loads of other examples on googling Quebec "consiste de"

February 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sigurdur130

With these official sources linking to usage of 'de' one wonders of Duolingo should start allowing it? Or is it a policy that Québecois not be taught or accepted?

June 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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This is what our Larousse says:

Definition:

  • Reposer sur quelque chose, résider dans quelque chose : En quoi consiste mon erreur ?

Construction

  • Consister en (+ nom) : le mobilier consiste en un lit et une armoire.
  • Consister dans (+ nom) : « le bonheur consiste [...] dans l'exercice de nos facultés appliquées à des réalités » (H. de Balzac). Cette construction est littéraire et légèrement vieillie.
  • Consister à (+ infinitif) : son travail consiste à accueillir les clients.

In other words, "consister de" is not even an option in France's French.

June 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/eibhinn
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Thanks for this discussion. Occasionally the duolingo answers seem completely and utterly wrong to me, and I can't figure out why. I had considered the possibility that it is because I've mostly been exposed to Canadian French (I'm an anglo New Brunswicker), and it's nice to get some verification that I'm not just pulling my answers out of thin air - they did come from somewhere (even if Duolingo and Sitesurf consider them wrong).

May 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Sorry, "de quoi consiste-t-il ?" is not correct.

Verb "consister" needs "en" not "de".

In English "consist of" may have pushed our Canadian cousins to change the preposition?

"En quoi consiste-t-il/elle ?" is the right question to know about the details of a new concept/idea.

The trick is with the answer (the dialogue is a bit silly, sorry) with a new change of preposition if the object is an infinitive verb:

  • J'ai un plan pour acheter de bons légumes.

  • En quoi consiste-t-il ?

  • Il consiste à les acheter directement à la ferme.

June 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/JoelFeil

With the inverted construction, can the "en quoi" come at the end? Thanks

August 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/billnpatarnold

Thanks so much - very clear

November 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LynnW2

That's interesting, Delle. Thanks for sharing! In my line in Paris I heard the flipped structure all the time... dit-il, doit-it, consiste-t-il

February 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Truc_Bidule

"De quoi consiste-t-il" is COMPLETELY INCORRECT. Just think about French language that it is that way : "What does it consist in?" and not "What does it consist of?". We say "en" in French (which would be "in" in English if you want a literal translation).It is not because "of" means literally "de" in French that it shall be translated like that in French. Remember that languages aren't built the same way so literal translation shall not work in any case.

December 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jktsmith
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'Consiste de' just feels right to the native English-speaker. My hint to eradicate 'de' and implant 'en:' See 'consiste' and think of the English word 'consistent' -- 'consiste' consistENtly requires 'en.' Convoluted yes, and when I have the verb construction down (per Sitesurf above), I will, of course, discard this particular set of language training wheels...

March 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/pattymac60

"De quoi contient-il" why is this a wrong answer?

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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consists =/= contain

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pattymac60

Is it correct to say " de quoi consiste-il?"

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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No it is not, the preposition is not the same in French.

Consister en = consist of

Another tranlation: "En quoi consiste-t-il ?"

January 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/graymelon
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But why doesn't de = of in this particular case?

There are french verbs/phrases like "parler de" (to speak of) and "en effet" (in effect) who have de meaning of and en meaning in.

I think that's where the confusion lies.

March 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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That shows it is not automatic that "in" translates in "en" or "to "in "à". You have to memorize the construction of verbs and expressions by themselves.

March 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ubernichts

What about "En quoi consiste ça ?"?

November 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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If you use familiar "ça", you will also use the informal interrogative structure:

  • ça consiste en quoi ? / en quoi ça consiste ? = en quoi cela consiste-t-il ?
November 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/rfong040

Why is qu'est-ce qu'il consiste wrong? Is it a sentence fragment? Or should en quoi always be used when asking for what something consists of?

January 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/prky
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Could you share rules about when to use the cidilla mark below a "c" as in "Ca" ? Thanks

April 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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A cedilla attached to a C will allow to pronounce that letter as an S in front of the following vowels: A, O, U.

  • "ça" is the abbreviation of "cela", so it is logical that it keeps its S sound, that is natural in "cela".
  • un garçon -> masculine of "garce" which is ancient French for "girl" (same reason as above)
  • une gerçure (skin cracking) -> substantive of verb "gercer" (same reason as above)
April 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/orlleite
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why 'que ça consiste?' is wrong?

March 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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What you propose is a fragment, not a full sentence.

if you want to ask what something consists of, you use "consister en":

  • en quoi cela consiste-t-il ? (formal)

  • en quoi est-ce que cela consiste ? (standard)

  • ça consiste en quoi ? (relaxed/oral)

March 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/dannybtran

Could use say "est-il en quoi?"

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Back translation: is it in what?

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaBroug

I have problem with "en quoi" and "de quoi " ;(

September 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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It depends which preposition the verb is constructed with:

  • de quoi est-il fait ? from "fait de" (made of)
  • en quoi consiste-t-il ? from "consister en" consist of)
September 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/RebeccaLaD1

I tried "qu'est-ce que ça consiste en?" Which was corrected to "en quoi est-ce que ça consiste ?" Pourquoi?

September 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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You have already understood that word order is not always the same in Fr. In this case, prepositions are not words you can end a sentence with.

September 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/RebeccaLaD1

I thought that might be it. We have that same rule in English, in theory, though we tend to ignore it. So literally (just because it helps me to remember the construction), it is "Of what is it that it consists?", oui?

September 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Oui. My definition was a half-joke actually, borrowed from what we learn about English. However, never will we push a preposition away from the object.

September 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/RebeccaLaD1

Ah, mockery of the English and all their silly rules :) But if that was a joke, then I'm back to not understanding why my attempt was wrong.

What do you mean "never push a preposition away from the verb"? Isn't that exactly what is done in this sentence? The verb (consiste) is at the opposite end of the sentence from the preposition (en).

September 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Sorry, lapsus calami...

I edited the above... away from the 'object':

  • à quoi penses-tu ? à quoi tu penses ?
  • avec quoi écris-tu ? tu écris avec quoi ?
  • de quoi as tu besoin ? tu as besoin de quoi ?

etc.

September 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/RebeccaLaD1

Ah... the object... je comprends

September 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Neverender6

I get that you can't end a sentence with "en" but why can't I use Qu'est to begin at all here? For example, why can't it be "Qu'est ce qu'il consiste" instead of "En quoi est-ce qu'il consiste?"

December 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Because "qu'est-ce que" is used only when the verb is directly transitive.

If the verb is constructed with a preposition, you have to place the proposition upfront and change "que" to "quoi":

  • qu'est-ce que tu dis ? = what are you saying? - dire qqch
  • de quoi parles-tu ? = what are you talking about? - parler de qqch
  • à quoi penses-tu ? = what are you thinking of? - penser à qqch
  • en quoi cela consiste-t-il ? = what does it consist of? - consister en qqch
December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/dru01

In your third paragraph in this post you use dire and parler but I do not see those words or meanings in your translations which follow your use of those verbs. VERY confusing. Can you please explain? Thank you!

January 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"tu dis" is simple present, because continuous present does not exist in French. Therefore both "you say" and "you are saying" translate to "tu dis" in French.

Same story with "tu parles" = you talk / you are talking.

January 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/chrysaphi
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Does it have to be "Ça consiste en quoi" and not "Ce consiste en quoi"?

November 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"ce", as a pronoun, is hardly ever used out of "c'est" and "ce sont".

As subject demonstrative pronouns of other verbs, you have to use "ceci, cela or ça" to mean this/that

November 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/chrysaphi
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Aha, ok, thanks!

November 6, 2014
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