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https://www.duolingo.com/colondee

"Do I have my apple?"

colondee
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5 years ago

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/learnallthetime

"ai-je" is an example of inversion- its a way to ask a question. est-ce que is a more formal way to ask a question. In general, there are three ways to ask a question, in order of formality: 1. Inflection- don't change anything in the sentence, just make it SOUND like a question. (you have an apple?) 2. Inversion- switch the subject and the verb (you have an apple ... have you an apple? it makes sense). 3. Est-ce que- translates as "do" (I have an apple ... DO I have an apple?)

All these types are used in French. Hope this helps!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sbwoodside

When you say it's more formal, does that mean you'd use it in a professional situation, or to an elder, or something like that?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/learnallthetime

I was wondering the same thing, so I did a little research. Est-ce que is sort of the "safe" question form, because you can use it pretty much ANYWHERE. That's rare in French. Inversion is only really formal, and inflection is really informal.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/colondee
colondee
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Is "ai-je" or "j'ai" more commonly used in questions by actual French speakers?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/learnallthetime

"Inversion of the verb with the first person je to form a yes/no question is characteristic of ONLY THE MOST FORMAL FRENCH. Many speakers and writers these days would avoid it and use est-ce que. Furthermore, there are idiosyncratic restrictions on its use." French Grammar and Usage, 3rd edition, 2010

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sbwoodside

Fascinating, that's not what I would have thought based on my years of (informal) french learning. Thanks for looking it up!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tim24
tim24
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"est-ce que j'ai ma pomme" is acceptable. looks like that's the way to form some questions without reversing the order

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Halliwell

Thank you very much. This is an easy strategy.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sbwoodside

Ai-je I think ... Edit: I was wrong!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/em.me
em.me
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I put "dois-je ma pomme?" and it was marked wrong. Can someone explain to me why this is incorrect and what the difference is between ai and dois?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mRaviela

While both "avoir" and "devoir" mean "have", the first has to do with possession and the second with obligation or duty.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amitmis

Why is it not "mon pomme"? who says its a female speaking?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/em.me
em.me
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It actually has nothing to do with the gender of the speaker; it's "ma pomme" because the word "pomme" is feminine. Every noun in french is either masculine or feminine (ex. LA pomme vs LE livre) and it doesn't matter whether it is a man or a woman speaking, the word will always keep it's gender. So because "pomme" is feminine it will never be "mon pomme" it will always be "ma pomme".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amitmis

got it! thanks so much!

5 years ago