Well I wrote "Parle-t-il?" because I thought "he" would be sufficient for indicating a man... but understandable mistake I guess.
What you did was an adaptation, not a translation. However, your proposal is perfectly correct, grammatically speaking.
why not le homme"? is it always l'homme?
Yes. If le(la) is followed by a vowel or h muet drops the vowel and contract with the second word = l'.
What's wrong with "Est-ce que l'homme dire?"
"dire" is "to say". In French as in English, these verbs need an object: "dire quelque chose" = "say something".
So, "does the man speak" is "est-ce que l'homme parle ?" or "l'homme parle-t-il ?" or (oral/familiar) "l'homme parle ?".
l'homme dit (quelque chose) = the man says (something)
why isn't that "the man speaks"? how is that a question?
In English, the way to as questions is to use auxiliary "do" + subject + verb + question mark.
The form "the man speaks?" is informal but not quite correct.
I wrote "Parle l'homme"
Why is that incorrect? :(
3 possibilities to ask a question in French, from very formal to casual:
I guess parle is always at the end
Thank you for the reply!
There is also subject-verb inversion in French, so "Parle l'homme?" should be correct (although it might not work with every verb?)
I have the same question as jeffers86. In earlier lessons questions definitely could have the verb first - "Court-il ?" Why does that not work here?
Because the subject is not a pronoun (like "il") but a noun (homme)
Thanks, Sitesurf. That makes sense, now that I know!
I tried "L'homme, fait-il parle?"... Would this not make sense?
No, it does not make sense.
what does the t mean inbetween speak and he??
It is used to ease pronunciation (avoid vowel conflict) and you will find it every time the verbal form ends with a vowel and the pronoun starts with a vowel as well:
où va-t-on ?
qui aime-t-elle ?
quand sera-t-il là ? (futur tense)