https://www.duolingo.com/Pickletoepi

Que with Être.

I know that "que" is a very versatile word. One use of it is "what" at the beginning of inverted questions. For example, I might say:

"Que manges-tu?" to mean "what are you eating?"

However, I've never heard it used in inverted questions with a form of "être." Take the sentence:

"Que es-tu" to mean "what are you." I'm assuming you would contract the "que" and the "es" to get:

"Qu'es-tu."

Is this correct? According to the grammar rules that I've studied, It should be, but yet it seems strange. Is it correct but not used, or is there another rule that I have to be aware of here?

Also, as a side note, in "Qu'est-ce que c'est," is the beginning "qu'" here standing for "quel," "quoi," or "que." "Quoi" doesn't really work, so I'm assuming it's one of the other two.

Merci d'avance!

-Pickletoepi

March 25, 2018

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ajHenrot
  • 'Qu'es-tu' is correct, for example in 'Qu'es-tu en train de faire?' (What are you doing right now?) or, in the third person 'Qu'est-il devenu?' (What has become of him?)
  • The "qu'" in "qu'est-ce que c'est" is standing for "quoi" = "C'est quoi?" in colloquial language, but "Qu'est-ce que c'est?" is the correct way of saying it.

(French is my native language.)

March 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Pickletoepi

This was very clear and helpful. Thanks a million!

March 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Camilla-danesa

beautifully explained, thank you!

March 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/pippipippip

Que es-tu? doesn't sound right to me -- I would avoid it and say "Tu es quoi?" instead.

Also, in "Qu'est-ce que c'est"? That's a "que"

March 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Pickletoepi

Thank you! :)

March 25, 2018
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