"Tu es quoi ?"

Translation:You are what?

February 24, 2013

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Je suis quoi? Tu es un magicien, Harry.


Un magicien, 'Arry!


I keep hearing this in my head every time this question comes around.


Why not 'Quoi es-tu'?


I think it could be either "Qu'es-tu" (not "Quoi es-tu" because of the vowels) and "Qu'est-ce que tu est" to ask "what are you?"; and "Tu est quoi" would translate more as: "you are what?"


How would one use this?


At a Halloween party, perhaps. :D


"ddrrnt, I'm pregnant." "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you. What are you?"


What is the distinction between ‹quoi› and ‹que›?


"Quoi" is, basically, "what" - the interrogative pronoun ( = it stands for a noun about which you're asking). Yet "quoi" becomes "que" when :

  • you're asking a question about "what"

AND (very important : )

  • when it is the first word of the question.

So let's take a more "natural" question than the one in this example:

  • What do you want?

Informal, popular, everyday translation (most used by natives):

  • Tu veux quoi?

Formal, literary translation (what you first learn in school):

  • Que veux-tu?

In this exercise here, "Tu es quoi?" is totally correct but colloquial French; a "real" question with inversion of verb and subject (as in English) would be "Qu'es-tu?, which is a contracted form of "Que es-tu" (you drop the -e in "que" to avoid vowels collision).

The only exception is the single-word question "What ???", which is "Quoi ???" in French (and not just "Que?", which can't stand alone as a question).

Watch out though, be aware that "que" is not always a form of "quoi". That's why I mentioned interrogative pronoun above. Most of the time, "que" is the equivalent of the relative pronoun "that", "which":

  • This is the dress that I want.


  • Voici la robe que je veux.

Here you couldn't replace "que" by "quoi", as it's not asking about "what".


Thank you for a very thorough answer!


This is one of the few explanations I can actually understand. Merci beacoup!


If I heard "et" as in "you and what?" instead of "es" , what am I missing in order to tell them apart?


Honestly, I don't think you're missing anything. Other than it not being a complete sentence and sounding weird, but that hasn't stopped DL before.


A dolphin. I'm a dolphin.


Can this be a question like "What is your dad?" - which means "what does your dad do?" ?

So is this question supposed to ask me what do I do?


No, I believe that would be "Qu'est-ce que fait votre père ?". Now, Imagine that a French-speaking alien came to Earth ( I'm stretching it a bit too far, aren't I? :-P) and did not know about humans before and chanced to meet you first. It would ask you "Tu es quoi ?".


What are you? : Tu es quoi? = Quoi es-tu? = Qu'est-ce que tu es? then, Who are you? : Tu es qui? = Qui es-tu? = (?????) Can I use "Qu'est-ce que tu es?" again to express "WHO are you?" or Are there other pronouns to specifically represent 'WHO' or Do I just have to use the two representations only?

My poor brain is going to explode :-(


What is the situation this sentence is used? Is it used in daily life to ask "what job are you doing", or to ask "who you are" ? Or is it a philosophical question to ask "WHAT are you?"


I cannot think of a time any native English speaker would say - 'you are what?' unless some one told them what they were and they answered with incredulity. Very uncommon though


Actually there is a game called this. We often play it after a family meal.


It's the same game that appears in tarantino movie, "Inglourious Basterds"? When they are in the tavern?


What’s the difference between «Que» and «Quoi» since they both mean ‘what’? Can they be used interchangeably?


Simply put: you NEVER start a question with "quoi".


Uh... yes, it's true. As a native French speaker, I can't think right away of a question that would start directly with "quoi".

  • What do you want? = Que veux-tu? (or "tu veux quoi" in more informal, every-day French)
  • What do you need? = De quoi as-tu besoin? (or "tu as besoin de quoi?"). Here you can use "quoi" because it's used with a preposition ("de"), as "to need something" in French is "avoir besoin DE quelque chose".

  • What do you say? = Que dis-tu?

  • What are you talking ABOUT? = DE quoi parles-tu?


Well, there are exceptions. What?! Quoi ?!

Or - What and why? = Quoi et pourquoi ?


Indeed, you are right. That's why I wrote you don't start a question with 'quoi', meaning there is something following. 'Quoi?!' is a question in itself, it's not technically 'starting' it. But good point actually! :-)


What about "Quoi de neuf"? I often say that to mean "What's up?"


That's 100% correct, and another very good point! ;-)

Yet "Quoi de neuf?" is an expression, not an entire sentence, as there is no verb. Here, "...de neuf" just qualifies the "Quoi?", i.e. "What new?" literally.

So indeed I should've been clearer, and say that "Quoi..." doesn't generally start an entire question, with a proper verb and subject structure (I didn't think of exceptions at this level of learning).

If we go on like this, then a question like "Quoi lui dire?" ("What to tell him?" literally) is correct, just as the more formal "Que lui dire?" is correct.

Whereas "Que vais-je lui dire?" (What am I going to tell him?) can't be replaced, even informally, by "Quoi vais-je lui dire?".


Merci, ElGusso. I admit, I sometimes get confused regarding the usage of comment, quoi, and que. After learning French from books, I shifted to streetspeak and informal usage. So at times I sound like a fifty-year-old French grammarian from the countryside, or a sixteen-year-old rapper in the heart of Paris. Technicalities often elude me. Thanks for the insight. :)


But you would never actually say "What to tell him?" It would be "What should I tell him?"


great simple answer


I also need this answer, can anyone help us?


Simply put, "que" is for direct objects and "quoi" is for indirect objects.


Direct Objects

Elle sait la bonne réponse.

She knows the correct answer.

"the correct answer" is the object, and it's a direct object because there's no prepositions like à, avec, de before the object.

In a question, you would ask:

Que sait-elle?

What does she know?

She knows the direct object that is "the correct answer".

Indirect objects

Tu parles d'un livre.

You're talking about a book.

the book is what you're talking about. It's the object. This time it's indirect because of about, or in the case of the French text, d'

In a question, you ask:

De quoi parles-tu?

What are you talking about?

You are talking about a book.


In conversational French, it's common to just use "quoi" and not use the inverted question format, take for example:

Que sait-elle?

which in conversational French becomes

Elle sait quoi?

Hopefully this helps.


Fantastic. I love you right now.


Wow, thanks! I totally get that lol


you should check the tips and notes section on below the page of every lesson or on the left cornet top of every quiz


If you are on the pc..... because on the smart phone you don't have acces to the Tips and Notes...


why is it not accepted "are you what"?


Hm... I did "you are who?" Now i dunno if this is a problem with duo, or me, but i would like some help!


What kinda question is this?


I feel like Tarzan "You are what?" Hahaha...


Je suis L'Homme Chauve-Souris!

[deactivated user]

    Je suis une pomme de terre.


    what a dumb question


    why in a question using "tu" we don't say "tu etes?", is it wrong if we say "Tu etes quoi?" I am a little bit confused with french questions... someone help me... I was really good duolingo- student and when I met questions I am not... :(


    What you say has nothing to do with the sentence being a question: "êtes" is the form of "être" (to be) used with "vous", and only "vous" (music, maestro! : "Only vouuuuuuuuuuuuus...").

    "Vous" is the plural form of "tu" (= you) used when you talk to more than one person ("you guys"), or the formal form of "tu" used when you talk to someone you don't know, someone you "respect", etc. ("you Sir", "you Madam"). And even when "vous" refers to one single person (as in "you Sir"), you MUST use "êtes", while with "tu" you always use "es".

    Probably that's where your confusion comes from, since in English "tu" and "vous" both means "you":

    • tu es drôle (to someone you know, someone younger, etc.) = you are funny
    • vous êtes drôle (to someone you don't know, someone older, etc.) = you are funny
    • vous êtes drôles (to more than one person, whether you know them or not) = you are funny

    But saying "tu êtes quoi?" would be like saying "What are I?" or "what are he?" in English.


    ok! I understand exactly what you mean!! thank you!!!!


    Tu es ce que tu manges!


    Tu es un sorcier, Harry!


    Que sui je? Qui sui je? Tu es quoi? Just feel i maight touch somthing deep inside duo.


    What are you?! When would we use this, even in English?


    Um, I am a human. Duolingo, you should know that.


    "What are you?" sounds like something you'd ask an extraterrestrial.


    Luke, Je suis ton père


    Not "Who are you" but "What are you." That's painful man.. painfull


    Je vous suis, mais plus fort.

    1. I am an alien
    2. Can anyone give me an example of when I would use this?


    I wonder what situations this could be used in


    Well, according to Duolingo, I'm a dog, a duck, a bear, a turtle, a cat, a dolphin, a whale, a necktie, etc.....


    très pécial de dire cela...


    I prefer WHO are you, thank you very much


    For sentences such as this, should it be directly translated as "you are what" or should it be "What are you?" I get a little confused because the Tips and Notes do not necessarily follow direct French to English translation.


    i think that you are part of the heavens gate cult and have two people on yor side




    That is not an expression used in English, at least no politely


    The translation that makes most sense is "who are you?"


    Is the translation of this phrase correct - "What are you?" what kind of question is even that? :D


    How does one tell this apart from "tu as quoi"?


    Shouldn't it be what are you?


    What is the difference between "que" and "quoi" ?


    What are you? should be more correct?

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