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I'm having some trouble with these French words.

My apologies for the less-than-descriptive title. But what I'm having trouble with are the words like: quelle, qu, qui, qu'est-ce que and others like that. I feel ashamed for not understanding this yet, but I just kept moving on thinking that it would come to me eventually. Sorry.

December 1, 2017



quel (quelle, quelles) = what, which

que, qu' = that

qui = who

qu’est que c’est? = what is it?

You know how we talk about Wh questions in English (and thrown in the How with them)? In French they tend to be Qu words.

It's worth bookmarking a decent dictionary.


Thank you! So, if I'm not mistaken, "qu'est que c'est" would be a more literal translation to "what is that this is"?



sorry, failed to post the link


ETA, there is something really, really weird going on when I edit a post, I'm sorry if this is all turning into gibberish.


No, seems alright to me. Thank you!


Hi there! I am not a native speaker, but what I understand from French is the following: quel, quelle, quels and quelles all mean which or what, and are used in a question in French when it refers to a specific noun or is used in combination with a noun. Hence, the different gender and singular/plural. For example, Quel âge as-tu? Quelle est ta couleur préférée? Qui means who or that, and sometimes whom. It can be used in a question or in a statement. In a question as the subject one can also use Qui est-ce qui = Who? Qu'est-ce que = What? In front of a vowel sound, the e or i gets eliminated. The grammar for sure is not complete, but I think I have covered a bit. Good luck!


That makes sense. Je comprend, merci !


Hello! I suggest reading a bit more about them online, there are plenty of resources with usage examples, e.g. a) https://about-france.com/french/relative-clauses.htm and b) (seems to be the old french.about.com) https://www.thoughtco.com/french-relative-pronouns-1368937. Depending on your level there might be more information than what you're looking for, but don't be disheartened. Get what you need and come back with your questions if you have any. Happy learning!


These websites are a godsend, thank you!


Have you read the Tips&Notes in the lessons?


I didn't know they existed, mighty Sitesurf, where may I find them?

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