"Is your hat orange?"
Translation:Ton chapeau est-il orange ?
Overview of some rules for forming questions.
Correct - the noun subject ("ton chapeau") remains in front of the verb ("est") and is repeated after the verb in the form of a personal pronoun ("-il"):
- Ton chapeau est-il orange?
Correct - when used, "est-ce que" is placed before the subject ("ton chapeau") and there is no subject-verb inversion:
- Est-ce que ton chapeau est orange?
Incorrect - you do not invert a noun subject ("ton chapeau") and a verb ("est"):
- Est ton chapeau orange?
Inversion of subject and verb when "est-ce que" is not used. When "est-ce que" is not used, the subject and verb are inverted IF the subject is a personal pronoun (e.g. "il") or "ce" or "on":
- "Is it orange?" = "Est-il orange?"
- "Is this orange?" = "Est-ce orange?"
- "Is it difficult?" = "Est-ce difficile?"
There are restrictions on subject-verb inversions with the subject "je". But I won't go into that here.
"Is it that your hat is orange?" Is kind of like saying "Is it true that your hat is orange?" Or "Is it the case that your hat is orange?"
It's a great way to think about things to help clarify. In the English above, there there are two "is"s in both sentences (one for the into and one for describing the subject of the question)
In spoken French it is permissible to say "Your hat is orange" with an uptick on the last word to indicate to the listener that it's a question, not a statement. Duolingo can't hear this voice inflection, obviously, so stick with "est-ce que..." type of sentence structure for questions.
The way my old French prof explained it, "est-ce que" basically means, "Is it true that..." followed by a statement. So the sentence, in this case, would need to be "Est-ce que ton chapeau est orange?" (Is it true that your hat is orange?). As you've written it, it's more like, "Is it true that your orange hat?" which doesn't make much sense.