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  5. "Do I have my apple?"

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

"Do I have my apple?"

January 30, 2013

14 Comments


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


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


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


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

Is "ai-je" or "j'ai" more commonly used in questions by actual French speakers?


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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tim24

"est-ce que j'ai ma pomme" is acceptable. looks like that's the way to form some questions without reversing the order


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

Thank you very much. This is an easy strategy.


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

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


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

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?


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

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


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

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


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

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".


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

got it! thanks so much!

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