"What are you saying?"

Translation:Qu'est-ce que tu dis ?

July 18, 2017



whats wrong with "Qu'est-ce que dis-tu?" as opposed to "Qu'est-ce que tu dis ?"

July 18, 2017


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 ?
September 3, 2017


Could you say "Dis-tu quoi?"

December 17, 2017


"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.

December 18, 2017


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!

April 18, 2018


"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?
April 19, 2018


That sentence seemed very long to me Thank you for the alternatives.

April 12, 2018


Thanks for your explanation. Now it makes sense to me!

July 30, 2018


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] ?

July 18, 2017

  • 1664

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.

May 8, 2019


Why not "Quoi dites-vous?"

September 3, 2017


"quoi" cannot start a question:

  • que dites-vous ?
  • qu'est-ce que vous dites ?
  • vous dites quoi ?
September 3, 2017


I thought "Que" meant "That" not "What" ? Am confused!

February 28, 2018


Just like the English word "that," which has multiple meanings depending on context, so goes the French word "que."

April 7, 2019


"qu'est-ce que tu es en train de me dire" looks ok to me ... feedback gratefully received ...

December 27, 2017


This is all good except "me", because there is not "to me" in the English sentence.

December 27, 2017


Why not "Qu'est-ce que tu parles"?

October 22, 2018


"Parler" is to speak or talk.

"To say sg" is "dire quelque chose".

October 23, 2018
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