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:
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.
- '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.)