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"Qu'est-ce?"

Translation:What is it?

January 12, 2013

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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 is a bit elitist actually, or outdated or both.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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdiab

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CourtenayR

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrewWaterloo

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

No, "what?" is "quoi ?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TaraUnscripted

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oreoginger

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Exactly that: KESS


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

Both Google Translate and Larousse pronounce it that way.


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alee0810

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElFFELTOWER

Can it be "What is"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alee0810

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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 ?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alee0810

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

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

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