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"Pourquoi le chien grogne-t-il ?"

Translation:Why is the dog growling?

April 2, 2018



Why is the "-t-il" necessary? Is it a relexive verb? If so, why isn't it "se grogne"?

Any help to understand is appreciated :)


Purely for sound/pronunciation. It is using an inversion to ask a question (reversing order of subject and verb). But "grogne-il" is hard to say and/or not pleasing to the ear, so the 't' is added: grogne-t-il.

Maybe the most common example of this is the inversion of 'there are': il y a becomes y a-t-il. Much easier to say than y a-il!


But why the -il and not just grogne?


why does he speak = pourquoi parle -t-il

why do they read = pourquoi lisent-ils

why are we stopped = pourquoi sommes nous arrêtés

what does he read = que lit-il

what do they eat = que mangent-ils

what do we do = que faisons-nous

to ask for questions in french the subject is often invert ( more formal ) especially for written


Thank you, but in your examples the subject is specified by the il/ils/nous etc., whereas in the Duolingo question, the subject (le chien) is already specified, so the 'il' seems redundant.

E.g. in English: "Why does he bark?" - ok "Why does the dog bark?" - ok "Why does the dog he bark?" - not ok

Is this something specific to the sentence or is it always required. Would "Pourquoi l'homme mange?" be correct or would it always need to be "Pourquoi l'homme mange-t-il?"

Many thanks for your help


yes, in french we say to ask for questions more or less formal especially for an emphatic way ( at speaking ) but not in english ( I think ) ?

why does the child speak

pourquoi l'enfant parle

pourquoi il parle ( cet enfant )

pourquoi l'enfant parle t-il


Thanks - so are you saying "Pourquoi le chien grogne?" and " Pourquoi le chien grogne-t-il?" are both correct, but the second one is more formal and more emphatic?


But in the DL question, the subject is "le chien." So why do you have to repeat a subject with "il"?


Inversion is one of three ways to ask a question. But you can only invert a verb with a pronoun. It's illegal to say grogne-le chien. So you add in the pronoun (il). That gives you Le chien grogne-t-il? "Is the dog growling?"

The "-t-" is a little pronunciation assistance. It has no meaning. It isn't always used. Only use -t- with certain verbs, and only in the third person, which is il/elle.


But can we just say "Pourquoi le chien grogne?"


Je ne sais pas "pourquoi le chien grogne" is correct I don't know why the dog is barking.

Pourquoi le chien grogne-t-il Why is the dog barking?

To turn it around, if you said in English "I don't know why is the dog barking" it sounds wrong.

It's not quite that bad in French, but adding -t-il improves the question.

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my answers are " why does the dog bark" / "why does the dog grumble", and both are rejected.

Can any one tell me what is the difference between the words?


Barking is the loud sound dogs make and only people grumble (complain). Growling is the low, constant, quiet sound dogs make, generally to show displeasure.


I also don't understand why it couldn't be "pourquoi le chien grogne?" There is a noun and a verb, the "t-il" seems superfluous to me.


why do the dogs growl, is not correct ?


That's plural. The sentence is singular. There is only one dog, no more. Le chien. Not les chiens.


thanks I did not read me over


Hallllllppppp why is g There "t-il"??


Can the "le chien" and "grogne-t-il" swap places?

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