"Is the lemon yellow?"
Translation:Le citron est-il jaune ?
I missed out the second "est" (again!) Does anyone have a link that might help reinforce this rule please?
Maybe starting with this will help you: http://french.about.com/od/questions/French_Questions.htm
Yes, a little more background from that link was helpful for questions. Merci beaucoup!
Why is the simple 'est-ce citron jaune' not acceptable? Or is that too simple, like French caveman language or something?
You have a choice (alternative, so please don't mix them):
est-ce que le citron est jaune ? (standard)
le citron est-il jaune ? (formal)
le citron est jaune ? (relaxed)
Why the correct is "Le citron est-il jaune?" and not "Le citron est-ce jaune?". Why does the lemon become personal?
Personal pronouns are not different whether the noun they represent is a human being, an animal, a concrete object or a concept.
- "il" refers to any masculine noun.
- "elle" refers to any feminine noun.
"ce" is not a neutral personal pronoun, it is a demonstrative pronoun that you can use in relation to masculine or feminine nouns but in specific constructions:
- est-ce un citron jaune ? = is it a yellow lemon?
- est-ce un homme riche ? = is he a rich man?
- est-ce une femme riche ? = is she a rich woman?
Shouldn't "Est le citron jaune?" also work? That may be much more conversational, but I'm pretty sure I have heard francophones use it...
No, that is not the conversational way of asking this question. Please see above the 3 possible phrasings.
Quick question: Which of "Le citron est-il jaune" or "Est-ce que le citron est jaune" is more natural or more likely to be said by French natives?