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"Is this gentleman Vietnamese?"

Translation:Ce monsieur est-il vietnamien ?

April 20, 2018



Why not, "Est-ce monsieur vietnamien?"


Not quite. To ask as question in that form, you need to use "est-ce que." Est-ce que ce monsieur est vietnamien ?


The French seem to like introducing something or someone before referring to them with a pronoun.

So, "Ce monsieur" comes first, then the pronoun part, "est-il ...".


Further to Summerstore5's reply:

You can only do the verb-subject inversion with a pronoun. So if you want to mention the actual subject-noun, you have to introduce it first and then do the inversion using the appropriate pronoun = Ce monsieur [subject-noun], est-il [verb-subject pronoun inversion] vietnamien?

I am not sure whether the "ce homme" can also be placed after the inverted question (Est-il vietnamien, ce monsieur) - French experts please comment.

[EDIT: The preceding only refers to questions.]


Is there a reason why gentilhomme is not accepted in this instance? I wrote "Ce gentilhomme est-il vietnamien?" and Duo suggested using monsieur instead.


It is a bit literary to use "gentilhomme" to mean "gentleman" in contemporary French. That term usually refers to a nobleman.


Ah, that makes sense. Thank you!


I tried "Est-ce monsieur vietnamien?" DL: "Non"

I see CommeuneTexane says we need another form to ask that kind of question. I'm guessing it is to get a "Yes/No" answer we need "Est-ce que ..." form.

I also see the answer "Ce monsieur est-il vietnamien" follows the sentence form recently introduced (at least to me in the tree) of introducing "monsieur" (the topic of discussion) at the beginning and then asking the question. In English we would always include a comma (virgule) after the introductory phrase and we also don't use that form often, so remembering to do that will require a bit of thinking.

Switching it around, it's like "C'est un vietnamien. Est-il un monsieur?"

First you introduce the thing/person/action/situation, then you ask about it with a pronoun.


This form of introducing a subject and then using the inverted verb-pronoun question is not really used in English, but it is very common in French.
Vos filles, sont-elles à l'école ? / Are your daughters at school?
Ta maman, comment va-t-elle ? / How is your mom?

As far as punctuation, I am not sure about the rule in this case. I have seen it both ways, both with a comma and without. I'll have to ask a higher authority.


What's wrong with "messieur" here?


Monsieur → gentleman (singular)
Messieurs → gentlemen (plural)


Why not "ce monsieur il est vietnamien?"


Here is the French pronunciation of the words 'Vietnam' or 'vietnamien' correct.

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