"What are you saying?"
Translation:Qu'est-ce que tu dis ?
whats wrong with "Qu'est-ce que dis-tu?" as opposed to "Qu'est-ce que tu dis ?"
There are 3 ways of asking this question in French:
- formal with a Verb-Subject pronoun inversion: que dis-tu ? / que dites-vous ?
- standard with "est-ce que" + a statement form: qu'est-ce que tu dis ? / qu'est-ce que vous dites ?
- informal/in speech, as a statement: tu dis quoi ? / vous dites quoi ?
"Dis-tu" belongs to the formal register of speech (which needs the interrogative word before) and "quoi" to the informal one (to be placed at the end of the question). So you cannot combine them.
I thought 'Que dis toi?'' would work. Now it looks like it should be 'Que dis tu?'
But 'tais toi' is allowed. Please explain tu vs toi?
Thanks in advance from the still- mostly-frozen Canadian Prairies!
"Dis-tu" has "tu" as the subject of "dis", and this is a formal question.
"Tais-toi" has "toi" as the direct object of "tais" and this is a command in imperative.
The reason for this is that if it were not a question or a command, you would have:
- Tu dis = you are saying
- Tu te tais: reflexive verb = you keep quiet
In the imperative, the subject disappears:
- Dis ! = Say!
- Tais-toi ! = Keep quiet!
In the interrogative, the subject is inverted with the verb:
- Dis-tu ? = Are you saying?
- Te tais-tu ? = Do you keep quiet?
The first que in Qu'est-ce que tu dis ? is interrogative, and the usual subject-verb inversion follows it. The second que is a relative pronoun and doesn't call for an inversion.
Qu'est-[ce que tu dis] ? is grammatically similar to Que mange [le chat que tu vois] ?
Basically, you can't combine two different forms of a question in one sentence. You have combined the "qu'est-ce que" form with the inversion form. Use "(qu')est-ce que" before a statement.
"quoi" cannot start a question:
- que dites-vous ?
- qu'est-ce que vous dites ?
- vous dites quoi ?
"qu'est-ce que tu es en train de me dire" looks ok to me ... feedback gratefully received ...
This is all good except "me", because there is not "to me" in the English sentence.