"Doctor, how is he doing?"
Translation:Docteur, comment va-t-il ?
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A médecin is a medical doctor, that is to say someone who at the end of University studies and residency in a hospital can practice medicine as a general practitioner or specialise in a particular field which involves greater study and registry with a professional in that field.
On the other hand, you can undertake a PhD research doctorate (my son has almost finished his) and become a Doctor in Engineering, Law, Letters, etc .... it's a title awarded for a contribution to the field of study, summed up in a lengthy dissertation which, in most countries, needs to be defended by the candidate (though this does not apply in Australia).
"Médecin" is a profession, like an engineer, lawyer or architect ...
When you go to see a medical doctor you would say "Bonjour Docteur" using their title, but, in conversation, you would say "J'ai rendez-vous chez le médecin demain" when referring to a doctor's appointment.
To complete Ripcurlgirl's answer, be aware that in France, you only address people as "Doctor X" when they're are medical doctors. This is not the case in Germany or in Italy where teachers or lawyers who have PhDs in other disciplines are often called "doctors". So if you hear about "Docteur Dupond" in France, you're sure that he/she is "médecin"
That's very interesting because my son has spent more than 10 years at University in a double undergraduate degree and a PhD (literally a Doctor of Philosophy) in the field of Photovoltaic & Solar energy Engineering. The research has been very intense and, more than often, gruelling with him working 12-14 hours or more a day, so he will fully deserve the title once it is is conferred.
PhD researchers in France are ripped off if their contribution isn't recognised!
va alone translates to "is going" (or, in the case of asking after someone's well-being, "is doing"). So it is grammatically incorrect to add in the word est - "is".
Even if your sentence was grammatically correct, you cannot follow a conjugated verb (here est ) by another conjugated verb (va).
se porte-t-il is generally used following the reference to the person you are enquiring about.
Comment votre mari se porte t-il ? → "How's your husband doing?"
Et votre père, comment se porte-t-il ? → "And your father, how is he ?"
To say Docteur, comment se porte-t-il ? sounds like you are asking how the doctor is doing.
I was considering "Doctor, how is he doing?" as part of a continuing narrative between the first person and the doctor on the condition of a third known (male) person. And this person being the one that is being referenced in the question. I would then expect the doctor to perhaps respond with "Il semblait très bien se porter.", or to that respect, then maybe elaborate on his condition. This is why I was thinking "comment se porte-t-il ?" as a possible translation.
Thank you, but I thought in general, the intonation-based question structure was more of a spoken French structure, and not (the more formal) written French. So I'm still a little confused. Duo often accepts the intonation question as an answer. Is it now changing policy and moving to formal written French? Or is it just a matter of the "comment" usage and I just have to remember that? Or something else? :)
This situation is a little different. The comment makes the inversion required.
Ordinarily yes, you can ask a question with intonation and that is perfectly correct, written or orally, but not here.
Here is a useful link on questions with comment, où, combien, pourquoi... http://laits.utexas.edu/tex/gr/int7.html Good luck!