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"Is it a dog?"

Translation:Est-ce un chien?

March 23, 2013

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kelly.obrien

Why can't it be "Est-il un chien?" The question is not asking in English if THIS is a dog...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/canuck_1989

i agree. "est-il un chien?" or "est-elle une chienne?" seems much more natural than "est-ce".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

no, the rule remains with the interrogative form:

In French, "c'est" (sing.) and "ce sont" (plural) are used every time that pronouns: it, she, he or they is subject of verb "être" and followed by a nominal group, ie: modifier (1) + noun (+ adjective)

o it is + noun => c'est + modifier + noun (+ adjective)

o she is + noun => c'est + modifier + noun (+ adjective)

o he is + noun => c'est c'est + modifier + noun (+ adjective)

o they are + noun => ce sont + modifier + noun (+ adjective)

(1)NOTE: French nouns are always used with "modifiers": articles, definite or indefinite (le/la/les, un/une/des) or possessive adjectives (mon/ma/mes, etc) or demonstrative adjectives (ce/cette/ces) or numeral (deux, trois...).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KingArt

Why is "est-ce qu'il un chien?" not right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

it misses the verb "être" (est-ce que does not count) and you should use the "c'est" formula:

  • est-ce que c'est un chien ?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KingArt

I understand the part about missing the verb. Would "est-ce qu'il est un chien?" be a valid alternate?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

we would rather say "est-ce un chien (une chienne) ?" or "est-ce que c'est un chien (une chienne) ?". remember the rule about he/she/it/they + être + noun => c'est or ce sont + indefinite article + noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimbojet

Ah, I definitely did not know this from French class. So I suppose "Est-ce qu'il est un chien?" would sound awkward? Going along with KingArt said though, is it technically incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Yes, "est-ce qu'il est un chien" would sound awkward.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/glowmaker

why isn't it an inverted "est-ce" question?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

It should be inverted, since the English is.

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