its: what men drink,, in English the subject is before the verb in statement ,, in question, the auxiliary before then verb then subject
I gave this man a LINGOT
So this sentence is like "que boivent-ils", but since we know "ils" is "les hommes" there is no "-"
But the grammar notes say this about inversion "However, if the subject of the sentence is a noun, then the noun should appear before the verb, although a pronoun still needs to appear afterwards" So if we are to follow this rule then it becomes "Que les hommes boivent-ils?" Can someone shed more light on this.
What is the proper use or distinction between "que" and "qois"? Can they be used interchangeably?
Why wouldn't this be "Les hommes boivent que?" It's clear that the men are the subject, but from the placement it looks like they are the object.
In your case, it should be "Les hommes boivent quoi?" and not "Les hommes boivent que?". When "que" is used as "what", it should be used at the beginning of sentences while "quoi" is used at the end of the sentence.
then it'll be "Les hommes boivent quoi?" whenever "what" is following a verb, we must use "quoi" "boivent" is a verb, so we must use "quoi"
Why isn't it "Que les hommes boivent?" It is correct both ways or is this incorrect?
As a native FR speaker, I confirm that Que les hommes boivent ? is not correct, either formal or colloquial.
The "What... ?" question ("what" being the object) in French in the shape of "Que... ?" is quite formal, we do not talk like that in a regular, casual conversation. We'd rather use the gallicism "Qu'est-ce que... ?". It's the equivalent to "What is that ... ?", and although it looks more complex, it is less formal than the simple "Que...?", which demands the inversion (and inversions often sound formal in French).
With "Qu'est-ce que... ?", you can indeed choose the order of subject verb:
- Qu'est-ce que boivent les hommes ? (a bit more formal than below)
- Qu'est-ce que les hommes boivent ? (informal yet 100% correct)
This third option is even more colloquial and frequently used:
- Qu'est-ce qu'ils boivent, les hommes ? (purely oral, also correct)
According to my (old) grammar book:
Contrary to [certain other rules] the subject follows the verb and is not repeated in the form of a personal pronoun when the sentence contains quel (as a predicate adjective), qui ( as a subjective completion) or que (other than as a subjective completion or a direct object).
- Quelle est la différence entre un lapin et un lièvre?
- Quels (Qui) sont ces messieurs?
- Que sont devenus les Marchand?
- Que désire Suzanne pour son anniversaire?
Source: Current French by St. John, Jones, Stickland, probably 1950s
"Quoi?" as a question word in front of the sentence must be "Que...?".
"Les hommes boivent quoi?" (most common form, actually) = "Que boivent les hommes?" (more formal, literary).
However, what you'll hear the most is "Qu'est-ce que boivent les hommes?" or even more : "Qu'est-ce que les hommes boivent?" or "Qu'est-ce qu'ils boivent, les hommes?" (= "What is it that men drink / that the men are drinking?").
In every-day use, most of our questions start with "Qu'est-ce que...?" (What is it that...?). After that, it's easier to form the question because you can keep the normal order of words: "Qu'est-ce que tu fais?" (= "Tu fais quoi?", What are you doing?"), "Qu'est-ce qu'on mange ce soir?" (= "On mange quoi ce soir?", What are we eating tonight?), "Qu'est-ce que les filles vont mettre au bal?" (= "les filles vont mettre quoi au bal?", What are the girls going to wear at the ball?), etc.
Of course, learn the standard, formal way first! ;-)
I learned from the other sentence: Est-ce qu'elle boit, which translated in: what does she drink? so what about: Est-ce que les hommes boivent? Does it right?
"Est-ce que les hommes boivent?" would mean "Do the men drink?". If you want to ask what, you should add que to the beginning: "Qu'est-ce que les hommes boivent?". I'm not sure what you're talking about with "Est-ce qu'elle boit" meaning "what does she drink," because that's wrong.
Totally right. And "est-ce qu'elle boit?" is "does she drink / is she drinking?", not "what does she drink / what is it she's drinking?".
Est-ce que...? = simple question, interrogative form of a sentence
Qu'est-ce que...? = question about "what"
thanks,this method is used here in france ,when you asking the question this is very practical way "Qu'est-ce que......"
Why would you need the pronoun in "Ou'est-ce qu'ils boivent, les hommes?" Wouldn't that just be repetitive? (What are they drinking, the men?)
It wouldn't be "needed", it's just a common phrasing (more in French than in English), especially used in regular, colloquial conversations.
It's the same with names in a question: we often phrase it with both the pronoun and the name, e.g. "Qu'est-ce qu'elle fait ici, Isabelle ?"
What do men drink?
What in this sentence shows that we refer to a specific group of men, "the men", rather than all men in general?
I think it's the word "les". I suppose (but am not totally sure) that if you were asking about men in general, you'd say "Que boivent des hommes?"
unfortunately I think this one depends on context, 'les hommes' refers to both 'the men' and 'men in general' while 'des hommes' refers to 'some men'
yeah the translation of "What do men drink" would be exactly the same. DL should accept both. Reported.
That would be, in French, "Que boivent ces hommes?". It does not change the meaning very much, we're still talking about men drinking ; yet it's another word altogether. "Those" is what is called a demonstrative determiner, i.e. it demonstrates, it is used to "show" who precisely you are talking about. In this case, "those men over there" and not the other men here, nor all the men in general.
Whereas the sentence in French, in this exercise, is about "les hommes", and "les" is not a demonstrative determiner, it's a basic definite article, used to define what/who you're talking about and express that it's not just "a" something/someone. "Les hommes" in English, and without any given context, is not "those men", but can mean either:
"the men" - maybe as opposed to the women who are present when you ask this question;
or just "men" - if you ask about men in general. Say for instance in a brainstorming/marketing meeting, and you're wondering what men (with no precision) drink.
Just because of 'those' I think, this could be about men in general or "the" men, not those, or these men.
I attempted to use "que" for a different question prior to this & it was incorrect. It suggested i used "quelle" as "what" but why isn't quelle useable for this too?
I think that you need to have some noun in that case, standing along "quelle(s)/quel(s)", since "quel" is adjective; for example, "quelle(s) boisson(s) boivent les hommes ?"
Nope. Boivent is already an indication that it is 3rd person plural. So you don't need to use "ils" since they've already given you the subject - "les hommes". So in a way, "les hommes" replaces "ils". What you're saying there is actually "What the men are drinking they"...So if you used the correct one, "Que boivent les hommes", it would mean "What are the men drinking?" Or if you want to use "ils", it would go like this "Que boivent-ils?" which means "What are they drinking?".
You're basically right, but not for the good reasons.
Indeed, 'ils' stand for 'les hommes' - and not the other way round, 'ils' is a pronoun, it is there for, instead of, the noun, here 'les hommes'. But that does not prevent them to be in the same sentence, but in a correct form:
Either: "Les hommes, que boivent-ils?" (more formal)
Or: "Les hommes, ils boivent quoi?" (more informal but most commonly used)
It also works with 'les hommes' put in the end.
in tips and notes,it was written que can not start a question then why here que is used at beginning.
Keep in mind that boivent itself means "they drink", and I guess the subject is sometimes placed last in the french language, compared to english. So it's more so thinking in terms of: "What do they drink, the men?"
'boivent' does not mean 'they drink', it's just 'drink' used in the 3d person plural. Do not mix up with Spanish or Portuguese or Italian, where pronouns do not need to be used, e.g. 'Beben agua' does mean 'they drink water' in Spanish.
The subject being placed after the main verb in questions happens in French as well as in English: 'who are you?' for instance. It's just that in English you will mostly ask a question using 'do / does' - but the inversion still happens.
Repeating the subject in the end is colloquial, just as in English, like you wrote - but it's not the formal, normal way of making questions (it's generally to insist on or highlight that subject).
how about "what do the men drink?" isn't that easier and makes more sense?
Hello there! ElGusso gave a much better explanation than I did. I hope that you see their comment.
Great explanation! I think it makes more sense when you said that also: "What do they drink, the men?"
when using "que" as what, you need to invert the composition of the sentence
- Que boivent les hommes?
* Les hommes boivent de l'eau.
Or you can use "quoi" as what. In that case the sentence won't be inverted.
- Les hommes boivent quoi?
* Les hommes boivent de l'eau.
Hi Yahya, you are right - but beware, it's 'Les hommes boivent DE L'EAU'.
Let me know if you need explanations about this. Cheers.
oops! sorry about that, dunno how I missed it.... I know water "eau" is feminine and must get the article "de la" or in this case "de l'"
btw, I've edited the comment above, so in case anyone tries to learn from it, they learn the right way.
If someone could please reply to this with a translation of "what is drinking the men", I would be much delighted, I can't seem to do it. I mean, spanish would be "Lo que esta bebiendo los hombres", I think, is it the same idea here as with the "lo que"?
No, it's not the equivalent of "lo que", but just of "qué" asked in a question:
- ¿Qué beben/estan bebiendo los hombres?
In English, it's harder to tell the difference because you'd use "what" in both cases; but not in French, look:
- What are the men drinking? = Que boivent les hommes? = ¿Qué estan bebiendo los hombres?
(please read other comments on this page, explaining that "que...?" is here in fact a form of the interrogative pronoun "quoi?")
- What the men are drinking is delicious = Ce que boivent les hommes est délicieux = Lo que estan bebiendo los hombres es delicioso.
In this second example, "que" is not the same "que" as in the first example, it's not another form of "quoi", but literally "This which the men drink....". It's called a relative pronoun, and not an interrogative one. It's even clearer in Spanish, since you write it "que", whereas the interrogative one is "qué" with an accent.
I hope my Spanish is correct, and that you get the point.
By the way, in your question, there's a mistake: "what is drinking the men" must be either "what are drinking the men" or "what is drinking the man". Plus, it needs either a question mark in the end, or "what the men drink is blablabla / looks blablabla / etc. (cf. my example above with "delicious").
Yep, you've certainly helped a lot with my idea of the construction of both of those languages, thank you kindly. I still want to know what "What is drinking the men?" would be in French (and Spanish, because I apparently got that wrong, haha). Also, one thing or 'entity' could be drinking multiple men (somehow), so, what is drinking the men stands.
You're welcome, my pleasure to help.
But I'm sorry to say that I still don't get what you're asking... "What is drinking the men?" makes no sense, grammatically ; "to be" should be plural form ("are") since the subject is "the men", i.e. more than one man.
Yet if you want to know what the same mistake is in French, that would be "Que boit les hommes?", but why would you wanna know that?!?
Ooooh, alright! :-)
OK, I get your point, "What is drinking the men?" as in (a more realistic example) "What is motivating the men?" for instance...
In French, you can't keep the "Que + verb" structure, as in that structure "que" should always be the object. You must use the Gallicism (a structure proper to French) "Qu'est-ce qui...? ", i.e. " What is it that...? ".
if you want to know about something that drinks men ( !! ), that would be:
- "Qu'est-ce qui boit les hommes?" (What is it that drinks men?)
or, with a more realistic example:
- "Qu'est-ce qui motive les hommes?" (what is it that motivates men? = what motivates men?)
Note that you don't have to use that structure when you use "Qui...?", i.e. "Who does something to someone?":
- Qui motive les hommes? = Who motivates the men ?
- Qui est-ce qui motive les hommes? (Gallicism)
N.B.: "Qui" can be the object too:
- Qui les hommes motivent-ils? = Who do the men motivate?
Nonono, I'm saying that 'it' is the subject, and it is drinking a man slushie, like some alien or anomaly.
I thought the subject would be 'what' and the direct object would be the men.
That one usually comes out after they have had a few. What're yu gawnna der abert it UH?!@-hic-.
why is it wrong to translate it as: what the men drink?. aren't we say that in daily live?
uh... "aren't we say that in daily live?"... mmmh, looks like English is NOT your mother tongue! ;-) "What the men drink?" is not a proper question, and as far as I know you can't compare that sort of colloquial, "cool" English to what is said above about French. I think in English, if your question start with a "question word" (what, where, which, how, etc.) you need to make the inversion (using "do" for most verbs), while you can indeed hear things like "You're coming or not?", "The client is there?", "You need some help, guys?"...
LoL, right, English is not my mother tongue neither does French. and I see your point there. thank you for the explanation. ;-)
"What will the men drink?" was incorrect. What would this be translated to?
If you know your English a bit well, you should be aware that "will" is generally the mark of future tense - even though sometimes in English there's the idea of "the will to...", i.e. somewhat like "to want".
So, yes, you could ask "What will you drink?" to someone you're at a bar with, and you're about to drink right now. But it's still a future tense, which you haven't learned yet on Duolingo, I think (sorry if I'm wrong).
But if you want to know, the future tense for "boire" in the 3d person plural (= "they", les hommes in this exercise) is "ils boiront", literally "they will drink". So, literally, "What will the men drink?" would be "Que boiront les hommes?".
The simple future in French is a bit harder to build than the English equivalent, because we don't just use another word like "will" to make a future; yet it's not too difficult as you only need to learn the endings based on the subject-person (I, or you, or he, or it, or we, etc.) and add that ending to the infinitive form of the verb. So, here, "to drink" is "boire", so you take that and add the correct ending, also suppressing the final "-e" to avoid bizarre spelling and pronounciation: je boirAI, tu boirAS, il/elle boirA, nous boirONS, vous boirEZ, ils boirONT.
We all learn that in school, and you must learn it at some point, and it's frequently used. Yet most of the time, that form of the future tense sounds quite formal and there's another, easier way to build future tense: by using the verb "aller" (= "to go") + the main verb, i.e. "boire" in this exercise (= "to drink"). This is more the equivalent of "to be going to + main verb" in English. So:
Que boiront les hommes? (quite formal) = What will the men drink?
Que vont boire les hommes? (more natural and informal) = What are the men going to drink?
Qu'est-ce que vont boire les hommes? (even more natural and more common) = What are the men going to drink? (literally, "What is it that the men are going to drink?").
Qu'est-ce que les hommes vont boire? : same as the one just above, but even more natural, colloquial, casual (but not a mistake, and it doesn't sound "poor French" or vulgar).
I am the only one hearing Que boivent les l'hommes? Why is there an L sound AFTER les but BEFORE hommes?
What are differences from "Do the men drink?" and "What do the men drink?"... in French???
Do the men drink ? =
"Les hommes boivent ?" (The men drink ?). Your tone will show it's a question. Informal, common usage.
"Est-ce que les hommes boivent ?" (Is it that the men drink?). A bit less informal, still very common usage.
"Les hommes boivent-ils ?". This is the most formal way to make a question. Rarely used in oral, everyday speech. Rather literary, official (e.g. the title of a magazine article ; it doesn't have to be serious and very formal).
Basically, in those questions there is simply no trace of "what", which is "quoi / que". You just add that word to say "What do the men drink ?", knowing that "Quoi" becomes "Que...?" if starting a question about "what...?", and "que... ?" becomes "qu'... ?" in front of a vowel. The questions above then become :
Les hommes boivent quoi ?
Qu'est-ce que les hommes boivent ? OR Qu'est-ce que boivent les hommes ?
Que boivent les hommes ?
Don't try to understand why suddenly the verb "boivent" can be placed before "les hommes". With practice, it'll become natural to make, and most of all, it's more important to understand them when reading or listening to an official speech. When you need to talk in regular, informal context, remember the easiest way to build questions (lines #1 and/or #2)
Could this also be translated to "what do men drink"? Or would it have to be "Que boivent des hommes?" (But wouldn't that be "what do SOME men drink?)
Yes, the question "Que boivent les hommes ?" can be both :
What do the men drink ? (in this bar, or as opposed to the women in the room, or the men over there, etc.)
What do men drink ? (men in general)
Both need "les" in French.
"Que boivent des hommes ?" is a strange question, but grammatically it can be "What do men drink ?" or "What do some men drink ?" ; "some" is not necessary (only if "des hommes" implies "certains hommes"), and "men" is not in the general sense (not as in "men come from Mars" but rather "there are men outside the house"). In any case, "the" must not be used if the French sentence states the indefinite article "des".
They're here the same word, i.e. "what ?", taking a different form depending on where it is in the sentence :
Que veux-tu ? = Tu veux quoi ? = What do you want ?
À quoi penses-tu ? = Tu penses à quoi ? = What are you thinking about ?
So, except for the simple and alone-standing "What ?" which is "Quoi ?" in French, basically "que... ?" only can start a question ; "...quoi...?" never starts it.
Of course, there are exceptions, it's deeper and more complex than that in other structures, but that's all you need to know by now.
Just please remember "que" does not only mean the interrogative "what" (it can be "that/which" in affirmative sentences), and "what" is not always "que" (it can be "ce que" in affirmative sentences).
...........................................what drink the men...? that sounds like a typo asking "what drank the men?" as in the men were the drink...why...?
So from what I understand in this sentence, you can either say " Qu'est-ce que les hommes boivent ." or " Que boivent les hommes ?" I forgot that when asking a question, the position of the noun and verb reverse. But why is there no hyphen to indicate this? Can someone explain?
The hyphen in that type of case (subject-verb inversion in a classic, formal question) appears only if the subject is a pronoun (= je, tu, il, elle, on, ce, nous, vous, ils, elles,...).
- Que fait Isabelle ici ? / Que fait Adrien ici ?
- Que fait-elle ici ? / Que fait-il ici ?
An extra -t- may appear between two vowels, but again only with pronouns:
- Que mange Isabelle ? / Que mange Adrien ?
- Que mange-t-elle ? / Que mange-t-il ?
That hyphen is the same one we use in Qu'est-ce que.... : this structure is used in colloquial, informal French too, although it is formal in its shape.
I am using duolingo in my android and don't know how to see my previous comments.if someone can help please reply.
why isn't it où???
Ross007 and all others they use a different grammar so that i can translate to english gri noir to dark gray
English verbs are really irregular compared to other languages. It's the only language i know of that does this. There's three ways to say each verb in english, but only one way in every other language. Je mange=i eat, i am eating, or i do eat. When we ask questions, we say what are you eating? Or what do you eat? In french, to ask questions with the word what, they do either "what eat i?" (Que mange-je, slightly more formal than the other way) or "what is it that i eat" (qu'est-ce que je mange). Theres also "je mange quoi" (i eat what) You can change what (que/qu') to any other other question word, or just take it off completely so it becomes "I eat?" (Am i eating?) They also often say "i eat?" so the only way to tell it's a question is if the voice raises at the end of the question when spoken or a question mark at the end when written
What do the Men drink? White Water?
There was an 'a' sound in 'boivent'. I thought 'boive' and 'boivent' were pronounced the same.
the "correct" answer is 'What are the men drinking?'. But there was no option to select 'are' or the word 'drinking'. Therefore, i answered 'what do the men drink?'. This was counted as wrong though. Duolingo snapped, the wrong way
What drinks men?
Well, I dunno.