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"What is of interest to you?"

Translation:Qu'est-ce qui vous intéresse ?

November 10, 2017



How do you know when to use the 'qui' instead of 'que' here?


'qui' holds the role of a subject in the clause "qui vous intéresse". "que" would be used if the role of direct object, eg "Qu'est-ce que vous voulez"

It's similar (not quite identical) to the who/whom thing in English - the guy who is interesting - the guy whom I called


But qui is who rather than what. Why would it be 'who' is your interest rather than 'what' is your interest?


Isn't you the subject???


You is the indirect object


thank you! could you also say 'Qu'est-ce que voulez-vous' ?


No, because you're asking what do you want rather than what interests you. I still can't get past using qui (who) rather than que (what).


No problem, I will explain it to you.

we use "qui" when it takes the role of a subject.

we use "que" when it takes the role of an object.

To explain it simply:

who ate an apple? (the boy ate an apple) so "who" is refering to the "boy", and 'boy' is the subject of the sentence. "qui a mangé une pomme"... (le garçon a mangé une pomme) so "qui" is refering to "garçon" which is the subject of this sentence.

What does the boy eat? (the boy eats an apple) "what" is refering to the "apple", which is the object of the sentence.

le garcon, que mange-t-il? (il mange une pomme). "que" is refering to "pomme", which is the object of the sentence.

so whenever you are refering to a subject, you write qui. and whenever you are refering to an object, you write que.

ps: que does not always mean what, and qui does not always mean who. They can both mean what or who depending on the sentence structure. But yeah sure, most of the time (not always), qui = who & que=what .

Hope this helps :D


Your explanation is valid for the relative pronouns "qui" and "que", not for the interrogative pronouns "qui" and "que".


"Qui" is "who" or "whom":

  • Qui est cette personne ? - subject "who"
  • Qui as-tu rencontré ? - object "whom"

"Que" is "what":

  • Que fais-tu ? - object "what"

Relative pronouns:

  • C'est le livre qui est sur la table. - subject "that/which"
  • C'est l'homme qui mange des frites. - subject "who/that"
  • C'est le livre que je lis. - object "that/which"
  • C'est la personne que je connais. - object "whom/that"


Per Sitesurf elsewhere on this page:

As a tip, I can also tell you that whenever a question starts with "qu'est-ce qui/que", there cannot be a Verb-Subject pronoun inversion.


Isn't "qu'est-ce" itself a subject-verb inversion?


It is indeed, and this is why the rest of the question is in a statement form.


Thank you so much for this answer. I've spoken French for a while and I'm just brushing back up after not using it for a while but none of my teachers ever told me the actual reason why qui was used instead of que.

You've literally solved a years old question of mine.


Essentially this is: what (subject) / interests (verb) / you (direct object).

When deciding between que/qui look to see if there is already a subject. If not, use qui. Qui can take the place of a subject. Que can act as the direct object.

Here is more information and some excellent exercises: http://laits.utexas.edu/tex/gr/pror1.html


But they don't use what (que). They use who (qui) as the correct usage.


Thanks for the resource! - I am a little late to this thread but I was wondering if someone could explain why in 'Tammy va voir un film ___ vient de sortir.' (an example from the link given), the correct answer is qui not que? I was under the impression that the film was the subject so que should be used.

The same goes with 'Joe-Bob aime les noix [qui] viennent du Brésil.' (also an example from the link). Aren't the nuts the subject? I'm especially confused because another sentence before this one, 'Tex aime la tarte [que] Tammy a faite' looks to me to have a similar structure, with the tart as the subject, but this time que is used. What is the difference between these sentences?


Careful. It's the subject that uses "qui", and the object that uses "que".

So, focusing on the relative clause, the question to ask yourself is who or what carries out the action, or "controls" the verb. This person or thing is the subject. The person or thing on the receiving end is the object. (Sometimes there's no object.)

  • "... qui vient de sortir" — It's the movie itself that has just come out, so the movie controls the verb, or carries out the action of coming out. (This is a grammatical question about the sentence, not a practical question of what happens in the world when a movie is released, since the movie itself can't really "do" anything on its own.)

  • "... qui viennent du Brésil" — Here the nuts are the subject. They carry out the action of coming from Brazil. (Again, this is a grammatical question, not a practical one, because in a practical sense the nuts cannot move on their own.)

  • "... que Tammy a faite" — Tammy has made the tart, so Tammy controls the verb, or carries out the action of making the tart. The tart is the object, the recipient of the action of making.


Thanks so much for taking the time to explain. I have one more question about the sentences - it looks like from your explanation that the use of qui/que is based on the action that comes after this word, is that right? For example, the Brazil nuts sentence starts with ‘Joe-Bob aime les noix’ making Joe-Bob the subject and the nuts the object (I think?), but in the second half of the sentence ‘qui viennent du Brésil’ I can see from your explanation that the nuts are the subject. Should I ignore the first half of the sentence when working out if it is qui or que?


Yes, exactly. The two parts of the sentence are often called the main clause and the relative clause. You ignore the main clause and focus on the relative clause. And it's actually "qui" and "que" that are the subject and object of the relative clause, not "film", "noix", or "tarte", though "qui" and "que" stand in for these other words.


To explain why it’s qui and not que in this exercise, let’s start with two simpler sentences

The box interests John – la boite intéresse John.
The box interests us – la boite nous intéresse

So in these two sentences we have the classic structure:

subject + verb + object

and note that in French object pronouns are usually placed before the verb

Now consider this sentence:

What interests John ? In this sentence the word what is acting as the subject.

In French when asking a what type question you use

Qu’est ce que when what acts as the object


Qu’est ce qui when what acts as the subject

Typically the following model works most of the time:

Qu’est-ce que + subject + verb.
Qu’est-ce qui + verb

Note you can have the structure Qu’est-ce qui + pronoun + verb when the pronoun is placed before the verb


Qu'est-ce qui est impossible ? - What is impossible ?
Qu'est-ce qui est dans la boîte ? - What is in the box ?
Qu’est-ce que tu penses ? - What do you think ?
Qu'est-ce que tu voulais me dire ? – What do you want to tell me ?

Now we are ready to translate the sentence :

What interest John ? – Qu’est-ce qui intéresse John ?

Now the final step:

What interest you ? - Qu’est-ce qui vous intéresse

Note here the direct object of the sentence, namely the pronoun vous, is placed directly before the verb


If the French version is given, the translation will be "Who interests you?" Is "What interests you?" also correct?


No, the French wouldn't be "who", because that's not what it means.

"Qu'est-ce qui...(vous intéresse ?)" means "What is it that...(interests you?)".

For "who", you would need "Qui est-ce qui...(vous intéresse ?)", i.e. "Who is it that...(interests you?)".


Yes, you are right. Thanks. I simply forgot that.


I think that I'm 'getting it' now. Lot's copied and pasted for further review, though!

[deactivated user]

    I understand that "qui" represents the subject.
    Regarding your examples: I just can't grasp why "John" & "Nous" are treated differently relative to intéresse
    Qu’est-ce qui intéresse John ? (Qu'est-ce = No inversion)
    Qu’est-ce qui vous intéresse? (why invert ?? )
    la boite intéresse John ("John"= direct object ?? )
    la boite nous intéresse ("We" = direct object)


    This isn't inversion, as it's typically conceived of. Note that the subject and verb are still in the same order. ("La boîte" is ahead of "intéresse".)

    Rather, it's just that object personal pronouns (e.g.: "vous", "nous") are placed before the verb in French. Nouns aren't, and "John" is of course a noun.

    [deactivated user]

      I have just re-read Tips & Notes Pronouns regarding Direct object pronouns. Sometimes I just can't keep track of all the rules. Thanks


      No - the subject of the verb is "what" not "you" - "you" is the direct or indirect object of "what interests you", so that the verb is 3rd person singular.

      I made the same mistake, but using the 2nd person singular.


      "Interessez" is also possible if you construct the sentence in another way. Altogether there are at least two possibilities: 1. Tu t'intéresses (short for: te intéresses, reflexive pronoun) à quoi? You are interested in what? (singular) 2. Vous vous intéressez (reflexive pronoun, plural) à quoi? You are interested in what? (plural)


      How do you know when to translate "what" as "quel", when to translate it as "quoi", and when to translate it as "qu'est-ce que/qui"?


      "Quel" suggests a choice among several options :

      • Quel est ton nom ? = What's your name?

      "Lequel" suggests a choice among 2 to 3 options:

      • Lequel de ces deux stylos est le tien ? = Which of these two pens is yours?

      "Qu'est-ce que" means "what thing" in the standard interrogative form:

      • Qu'est-ce que tu fais ? = What are you doing?

      "Que" means "what thing" in the formal interrogative form:

      • Que fais-tu ? = What are you doing?

      "Quoi" should not be the first word in a question:

      • Tu fais quoi ? = You're doing what?
      • A quoi penses-tu ? = What are you thinking about?


      I think of "quell" as "which."


      Why is qu'est-ce que intéressez-vous wrong? can someone break it down for me? the suggested answer given is: "Qu'est-ce qui t'intéresse ?"


      "To be of interest to sb" translates to a single verb "intéresser qqn".

      qu'est-ce qui = what (lit. what is it that)

      t' (te) = to you (there is no need for a preposition in French, so "te" is the direct object)

      intéresse = is of interest


      Thank you, but i still don't understand why qu'est ce qui interessez-vous is wrong? I understand that I have to use qui instead of que. But why must it be "t'interesse" instead of "interessez-vous"?


      May I try to clarify this?

      Your subject here is "qu'est-ce qui" (what). Verb conjugations must agree with the subject of the sentence. In this case, qui, which is the third person singular, hence "intéresse."

      So far that is: Qu'est-ce qui..... + intéresse.

      In French, direct object pronouns (me, te, le, la, nous, vous, les) precede the verb. In the English sentence given, the pronoun is "you" so that would be either "te" or "vous." Either is correct:

      Qu'est-ce qui t'intéresse ?
      Qu'est-ce qui vous intéresse ?


      As a tip, I can also tell you that whenever a question starts with "qu'est-ce qui/que", there cannot be a Verb-Subject pronoun inversion.


      Why not "Qui t'interesse?" or "Qui interesse toi?"


      "Qui t'intéresse ?" has the interrogative pronoun "qui" which means "who" = Who is of interest to you?


      So, Qui at the beginning is 'Who', but Qu'est-ce qui is just a stand-in subject?


      "Qui" can be the subject or the object of the next verb:

      • "qui est-ce qui" means "who" and is the subject of the next verb
      • "qui est-ce que" means "whom" and is the object of the next verb
      • "qu'est-ce qui" means "what" and is the subject of the next verb
      • "qu'est-ce que" means "what" and it the object of the next verb.


      Isn't "qui" more generally the interrogative that stands in for the subject? And how would you frame this using inversion, if not "qui t'intéresse ?"?


      The interrogative "qui" is not necessarily the subject of a question. It can be an object, direct or indirect:

      • qui vas-tu rencontrer ?
      • à qui parles-tu ?

      But if "qui" is the subject, there is no inversion.


      But in both of the examples, qui still translates as who, doesn't it?


      Yes, it does, because it is a "who/whom", either a subject or an object (poubelledelangue had said that "qui" stands in for the subject).


      Qui translates as "who" in English when it is the subject. It is "whom" when it is the object of the verb or preposition.


      What is wrong with "Quel vous interesse?"


      I think that words like quel have to be attached to a noun - "what book" quel livre.


      Really good explanations are already given but I am still a bit confused because I thought that 'qui' is 'who'? So I am thinking this would mean "Who is of interest to you?"

      Can anyone help with my confusion?


      Qui is a relative pronoun that can mean who, what, that, which, or whom.

      J'aime le chat qui est dans la maison. = I like the cat that is in the house.
      Qu'est-ce qui se passe ici ? = What's happening here? / What's going on here?
      Je cherche M. Vallaeys qui travaille dans ce bureau. = I'm looking for Mr. Vallaeys who works in this office.
      La femme à qui j'ai parlé est responsable. = The woman to whom I spoke is responsible.


      Thank you Sitesurf PeaceJoyPancakes CommeUneTexane, wow this discussion thread is rich with your great tutorials and insights. merci beaucoup

      • 2125

      "De quoi es-tu interesse ?" ne marche pas ? Merci.


      The preposition used with the reflexive verb "s'intéresser" is "à", not "de": à quoi t'intéresses-tu ?

      If you use "être intéressé", which is passive, you will need the preposition "par": Par quoi es-tu intéressé(e) ?


      "Qu'est-ce qui vous intéresse" = what does interest you?


      <<Qu'est-ce que c'est intéressant pour toi?>> did not work.


      With this construction, the correct wording is "qu'est-ce qui est intéressant pour vous ?"


      Que vous intéresse? NOT accepted 19 Jan 2018.



      in using que to ask a question and que is the subject, it must be followed by est-ce qui


      Qu'est-ce qui est arrivé? - What happened?
      Qu'est-ce qui est ouverte? - What is open?
      Qu'est-ce qui a fait ce bruit ?
- What made that noise?
      Qu'est-ce qui est dans la boîte? - What is in the box?

      In contrast

      Qu'est-ce que tu ouvres ? - What are you opening ?

      in this what type question what is acting as the object: You are opening what ?


      "Que" can't go in the subject position like that. Here's a decent overview:


      why do you keep using tu and not vous. tu is for close family and friends vous is a more formal term of address.


      You object to learning how to use both "tu" and "vous" in sentences? This is for practice as you will need to know both.

      Vous is also used when addressing more than one person; it is the plural "you".


      "Q'est ce-qui t'intéresse" Pas possible? Pourquoi s'il vous plaît?


      Non, pas possible. Qu'est-ce qui t'intéresse. "Que" is contracted to Qu' and the hyphen goes between "est" and "ce."


      I thought qui meant "who", so why does it mean "what" here???


      Qui is a relative pronoun that can mean who, what, that, which, or whom.

      J'aime le chat qui est dans la maison. = I like the cat that is in the house.
      Qu'est-ce qui se passe ici ? = What's happening here? / What's going on here?
      Je cherche M. Vallaeys qui travaille dans ce bureau. = I'm looking for Mr. Vallaeys who works in this office.
      La femme à qui j'ai parlé est responsable. = The woman to whom I spoke is responsible.


      Bonne journee! I still don't see why "que" is not the right answer here. "Qui" sounds wrong in so many ways. So, unless this is one of them inexplicable exceptions present in every language, i'd rather stick to "que" :).


      Qui, subject

      • "Qu'est-ce" = "what is it"; "qui vous intéresse" = "that interests you".
      • "Qu'est-ce qui vous intéresse" = "what is it that interests you".

      Note that "intéresse" is in the third person, as is "interests". "Qui" is the subject of this verb, as is "that". The relative pronoun "that" translates to "qui" when it's the subject.

      Que, object

      • "Qu'est-ce que vous voyez" = "what is it that you see".

      Note that "voyez" is in the second person, as is "see". "Que" is the object of this verb, as is "that". The relative pronoun "that" translates to "que" when it's the object.


      I'll have to scratch my head on this one. I don't see a structural difference between your two examples. For example 'que' in the second also looks like the subject and should also be 'qui.'


      The larger structure is the same in French, but you can think about it in English. "X interests you": "X" is the subject of "interests", and "you" is the object. "You see X": "X" is the object of "see", and "you" is the subject. And in English, "...that you see" has structure that's different from "...that interests you".

      In French, though, a clue is the difference between the verb conjugations. "Vous" is the subject of "voyez", which is why we have the second-person conjugation, whereas "qui" is the subject of "intéresse", which is why we have the third-person conjugation.


      "À quoi t'intéresses-tu ?" What does this mean?


      It means "what is interesting to you?" or "what are you interested in?".


      pourquoi qui, not que


      If you are using the full web version on Duolingo from your computer, I urge you to check out the rest of the comments on this page. This question has been answered dozens of times. Here, here, here, and here. There's also some good information on asking questions, quel/quoi/que, and more. Just fyi, sometimes the mobile version does not show all the comments.


      Wouldn't this be WHO is of interest to you rather than WHAT?


      Who is of interest to you? = Qui est-ce qui vous intéresse ?


      What's wrong with: Qu'est-ce que-t-intéresse?


      firstly, you need to use qu'est ce qui (for an explanation see comments above)

      secondly, in forming questions you do not use inversion with qu'est-ce qui or qu'est-ce que, qu'est-ce qui or qu'est-ce que are sufficient to convey a question


      But Qu'est-ce is an inversion and who (qui) is still being used for what (que). Sorry, I'm a hard headed ❤❤❤❤❤, please explain further?


      qu'est-ce que vous intéresse , when do i use que or qui ?


      how to translate this "qui vous intéresse ? "


      "Who is of interest to you?"


      Alternatively, "Who interests you?"


      is this correct > qui vous intéresse ?=qui intéresse vous ?


      The object pronoun (vous) must be placed before the verb, so only "Qui vous intéresse ?" is correct.


      "Qu'est-ce qui" tends to refer to a person. Here it refers to something. That is tricky...


      Sorry, no. "qu'est-ce qui" means "what" as the subject of the question's verb.

      To refer to a person, you need "qui est-ce qui/que".


      Why not tu interesse


      Because we need the object form, "te", which becomes "t' " in front of a vowel.


      A native (at least around here) would say «Quoi t’intéresse, a more direct "What interests you?". but it might be a bit vernacular


      I don't know about your environment, but "quoi t'intéresse" is completely improper. "Quoi" is never used at the beginning of a question but you can say:

      • Qu'est-ce qui t'intéresse ?
      • Tu t'intéresse à quoi ?


      why does duolingo say that qu'est-ce qu'interesse vous is the right answer when i ask for hints yet when i wrote it down, it said that qu'est-ce qu'interesse vous was wrong and "Qu'est-ce qui t'intéresse ?" is right?


      "Qu'est-ce qu'intéresse vous ?" is definitely wrong.

      Remember that the hints are possible translations for individual words, irrespective of their context in the sentence you have to translate.

      "What is of interest to you?" has "what" as the subject of "is". So in the French sentence, the translation for "what" will also be the subject of the verb.

      At the beginning of a question, "what" can translate to "Qu'est-ce que" or "qu'est-ce qui".

      • What are you saying? = Qu'est-ce que tu dis ?: both "what" and "qu'est-ce que" are the direct objects of the verb, and the subject is "you/tu".
      • What is interesting? = Qu'est-ce qui est intéressant ?: "what" and "qu'est-ce qui" are the subjects of the verb.

      Besides, "que" must elide to "qu'" before a word starting with a vowel sound, but "qui" never elides.
      Finally, object pronouns are placed before the verb they depend on.

      "What is of interest to you?" or "what is interesting for you?" = Qu'est-ce qui t'intéresse ?


      Sitesurf, this is a little off topic, but what are your thoughts on "qu'est-ce qu'il se passe" instead of "qu'est-ce qui se passe"?

      I can see the argument for both "je fais ce qu'il me plaît (de faire)" and "je fais ce qui me plaît", but I don't see how the argument extends to "ce qu'il se passe".

      However, I've seen it said online that the latter is also correct (though I've also read that the Académie doesn't like it), and it's used in Duolingo's French stories (though maybe in the passé composé).


      Using "qui" or "qu'il" should be both grammatically correct in my opinion. It is a matter of context or perspective.

      "Il se passe quelque chose" is impersonal and "Quelque chose se passe" is not. This is why both questions "Qu'est-ce qu'il se passe ?" and "Qu'est-ce qui se passe ?" (= quelle est la chose qui se passe ?) are acceptable.

      However, the formal and informal questions will both be impersonal: "Que se passe-t-il ?" and "Il se passe quoi ?"

      "Je fais ce qu'il me plaît de faire" is impersonal and "Je fais ce qui me plaît" has "ce que" = what (the thing that/which). I assume the difference would be the same between "I do what it pleases me to do" vs "I do what pleases me".

      In this case, I am less comfortable with an ellipsis in the first case "Je fais ce qu'il me plaît" (without "de faire") and I would use the "qui" version every time.

      There are probably a few other verbs that can be used both impersonally and not, like "se produire", "survenir", "arriver" or "convenir" and for which the same thinking should work.

      But you cannot use "Je fais ce qui faut" because "il faut" will always be impersonal.


      Thank you. "Il se passe quelque chose" ("something's going on", according to the internet) is a construction I wouldn't have expected.

      I guess it's largely analogous to "it happens that...". It's a slightly different construction, but I see on the translation sites that "il se passe que..." is also possible.

      I believe you're right that "what it pleases me to do" and "what pleases me" exhibit the same difference between impersonal and personal. And thanks for the correction of "ce qu'il me plaît de faire". I mixed it up in my reading with "ce qui/qu’il me reste à faire". (I've now fixed my mistake.)


      I am sorry I really dont understand can you make the explanation more simple why qui not que .


      For the same reason you can't say "me go to the store", or "me interest you". You have to say "I go to the store", and "I interest you" (meaning "you are interested in me").

      In the context of this sentence, "qui" and "que" are related to one another like "I" and "me". In the English translation you can't tell, because "which" or "that" can both be used as either subject or object. French is different.

      The phrase "...qui vous interesse" is "...that interests you" or "...which interests you". You can see that this structure is the same as "I interest you". You can't use "me" as the subject instead of "I", and you can't use "que" instead of "qui".


      How would you do this sentence with "tu" for you?


      Qu'est-ce qui t'intéresse ?


      That is my third ( I think) correct answer that is being rejected. please duo revise this section.


      What were your answers?

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