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De quelle couleur est ta voiture ?

Do we really need "de"? Is the literal translate "Of which color is your car?"

So do you answer with ma voiture est du rouge or ma voiture est rouge? I thought it is ma voiture est rouge, but if so, why "de" is needed in the question form?

August 6, 2017



For example

De quelle couleur est ta voiture -> Ma voiture est rouge / de couleur rouge

En quelle matière est ta voiture -> Ma voiture est en métal


Exactly. We ask 'de quelle couleur' because things/persons are 'de couleur X', and not 'couleur X'.


It makes sense but still a bit odd because the answer is usually ma voiture est rouge. You would rarely say ma voiture est de couleur rouge, right? Same in English, we don't say my car is of the color red. We just say it's red. So it's still odd to say ma voiture est rouge but ask de quelle.


No, it is not odd at all. Even though you can answer 'ma voiture est rouge', if you want to ask which colour is the car, you have to use 'de', because there is always 'de' with 'couleur' and the verb 'être'.

Also, adding 'de' does not make it 'more proper' but correct.

  • De quelle couleur est ta voiture ?
  • (Ma voiture est) (de couleur) rouge.


I will add that 'Quelle couleur est ta voiture ?' is not colloquial, it is stupid.

The colloquial version is: 'Elle est de quelle couleur, ta voiture ?' (with contractions: 'Elle est d' quell' couleur, ta voitur' ?')


De is needed in the question form to make it sound more proper. And you were right about the answer.


Thanks. Are there rules or anything to know when to put "de" in to make it sound more proper? I hope we don't have to learn this on a case by case basis :-(


I'm pretty sure it would help to know it case by case but generally once you practice this for a while you just start knowing when it sounds right.


@MErX9Y do you know a site who define the use de, des??


I'm sorry I don't but you could probably google it to find out

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