"Tu es quoi ?"

Translation:You are what?

February 24, 2013

79 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Ditsy-Doo

Je suis quoi? Tu es un magicien, Harry.

January 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/KingxFav

Je suis quoi?

November 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Osnakezz

Un magicien, 'Arry!

December 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sushifaye

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

March 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dragon321

Why not 'Quoi es-tu'?

March 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Jose-Rocha.

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?"

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JuliaRooFrench

true, true

October 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ddrrnt

How would one use this?

February 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/dessiner

At a Halloween party, perhaps. :D

February 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/BluJai

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

March 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Ian.Maxwell

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

April 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

"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.

is

  • Voici la robe que je veux.

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

April 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ian.Maxwell

Thank you for a very thorough answer!

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lucario_909

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

August 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/itstoobig

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

January 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BakinToast

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.

March 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ThomasClarke9

A dolphin. I'm a dolphin.

July 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ViKaTaKaVi

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?

February 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hari2095

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 ?".

May 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Stella_solitas

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 :-(

June 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/qyjiang

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?"

October 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CameronPirie

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

October 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rachel66E

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

February 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/abayomimandela

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

September 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/WandersFar

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

June 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

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

November 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/julietze

true?

November 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

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?
November 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee

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

Or - What and why? = Quoi et pourquoi ?

December 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

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! :-)

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/reg_ray

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

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

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?".

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/reg_ray

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. :)

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kosheryosher

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

July 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/paddy2555

great simple answer

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AmaruEvere

But Why?

May 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/filipibc

I also need this answer, can anyone help us?

July 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/-penguin-

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


Examples


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.


Exceptions

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.

July 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Djones123

Fantastic. I love you right now.

October 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SourireCache

Wow, thanks! I totally get that lol

February 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/thazrail

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

December 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Atena_Ileana

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

August 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ItzikBo.

why is it not accepted "are you what"?

June 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JulienTheCheese

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

July 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/inguinie

did you figure it out? why can't you do 'you are who'?

February 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Feeniqs

What kinda question is this?

October 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AntonioM3

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

November 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/GrayHat4Life

Je suis L'Homme Chauve-Souris!

September 10, 2017

[deactivated user]

    Je suis une pomme de terre.

    January 2, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/roddubitsk

    what a dumb question

    February 6, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/julietze

    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... :(

    November 30, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

    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.

    November 30, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/julietze

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

    December 1, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/lolo5lolo

    Tu es ce que tu manges!

    June 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/lashan.r

    Tu es un sorcier, Harry!

    October 12, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/cactusxj

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

    November 23, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Noemi51

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

    April 10, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/duo149

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

    April 23, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Floofie_

    This is weird

    August 18, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/gracekma

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

    August 30, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Ahmadhadd

    Luke, Je suis ton père

    September 30, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Trixeri

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

    January 6, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/LitenStjarna

    Je vous suis, mais plus fort.

    May 17, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/LaFleur23
    1. I am an alien
    2. Can anyone give me an example of when I would use this?
    February 21, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/LunaAngelE

    I wonder what situations this could be used in

    March 7, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/Dthsong2001

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

    May 4, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/JackMacMer

    très pécial de dire cela...

    September 25, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/Nora824775

    I prefer WHO are you, thank you very much

    September 26, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/1brandon_E

    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.

    September 28, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/heavensgate321

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

    November 9, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/nblaki

    AN IDIOT SANDWICH

    November 13, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/Bill2254

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

    December 17, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/leoyang356649

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

    February 17, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/ayman.herz

    U wut m8?

    June 1, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/rennes_i

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

    August 2, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/shunchu

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

    August 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/HasanBaria

    Shouldn't it be what are you?

    September 14, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/SourishBanerjee

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

    December 1, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/gab80

    What are you? should be more correct?

    January 29, 2019
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