"Qu'est-ce?"

Translation:What is it?

January 12, 2013

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/chilenaDcorazon2

I thought that "Qu'est-ce" was just the beginning of some questions and that to say "What is it?" you would say "Qu'est-ce que c'est?"

January 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"Qu'est-ce ?" is a bit elitist actually, or outdated or both. This form is perfectly correct but not much used, particularly in oral.

January 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jdiab

If this is not much used, would one instead say "Qu'est-ce que c'est", as chilenaDcorazon2 mentioned?

January 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mauricecherry

Yes.

March 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/CourtenayR

That's interesting, that the short version ("Qu'est-ce?") is more old-fashioned/formal than the long version ("Qu'est-ce que c'est?")! Thanks for letting us know.

I take it "Qu'est-ce que c'est?" is pronounced something like "kess keh seh?" Unless it's used later in the course, perhaps Duolingo should be updated...

October 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

KèS Keu Sè

October 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/CourtenayR

Thanks, that's a big help! :o)

October 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewWaterloo

Shouldn't they accept "What?" as a valid translation then?

April 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

No, "what?" is "quoi ?"

April 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/TaraUnscripted

Hiw do you know when to use this and when to use quoi?

August 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

As Sitesurf mentioned above, however much it might have been used previously, it's not used much now.

Unless you are striving for a special effect in your writing and/or speech it's best to avoid it. However, if you do see or hear it, now you know what it means.

August 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/oreoginger

When I listened to the audio, it just sounded like "quesss' How do you say it?

August 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Exactly that: KESS

August 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/oreoginger

Really?

August 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

Both Google Translate and Larousse pronounce it that way.

August 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/1337nik

In informal oral language, people tend to blend syllables. (IE "Wassat?" in English.)

September 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

In English, people pronounce ..should have... as ..should of. This has become so commonplace that some think it actually is should of and so they write it that way.

September 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/alee0810

Qu = K sound, est = "eh", and ce = ss

October 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ElFFELTOWER

Can it be "What is"

September 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/alee0810

Upvoted, because I have the same question. Like, someone says, "Oh this is cute," and you answer "What is?"

October 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

your suggestion does not work:

"Oh! this is cute!" - "What is?" = "Oh ! c'est mignon !" - "qu'est-ce qui l'est ?" (or full question: qu'est-ce qui est mignon ?) - or relaxed: "quoi est mignon ?"

October 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/alee0810

Ok, I see it does not translate as exactly as I thought. Thanks; excellent explanation

October 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"what is?" = "qu'est-ce qui est ?" and it does not work in French.

October 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ElFFELTOWER

ok thank you :)

October 28, 2013
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