1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "What am I?"

"What am I?"

Translation:Que suis-je ?

April 2, 2013

49 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/learning5301

WHAT AM I? WHAT ARE YOU? What is the world possibly supposed to mean? Is there life after death?


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

Already thinking like the French


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

Why not Quoi suis-je?


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

this may help you: http://french.about.com/od/mistakes/a/what.htm

there are 3 options to translate "what am I?"

  • que suis-je ? (formal)
  • qu'est-ce que je suis ? (standard)
  • je suis quoi ? (familiar/oral)

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

I wrote 'Suis-je quoi?', but it was not accepted. Is it wrong in any way?


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

suis-je quoi ? = am I what?

"quoi" is used only in relaxed constructions, ie in the form of a statement (no inversion Verb-Subject pronoun): je suis quoi ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/love-day_123

Really helpful - thank you.


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

I wonder the same thing... what is the difference between Que and Quoi?


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

You don't use "quoi" at the beginning of a question.


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

thank you monsieur moderator..that really helped


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

Thanks it realy helped


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

If anyone watches Doctor Who, this reminds me of that first dalek going WHAT AM I ?? WHAT AM I ?!? In season 1.


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

Je suis un papillon =3


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

Saying "Qu'est ce que je suis?" is right too? Pourquoi?


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

Because "que suis-je ?" is the formal version and "qu'est-ce que je suis ?" is the standard version.

Note that the relaxed/spoken version is : "je suis quoi ?"


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

Oh, then I guess it depends on the type of conversation too. Like, if someone just insulted me, I'd probably say, "Je suis quoi?" Right? >.>


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

So "que suis-je" is an acceptable way to say it?


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

What does "qu'est-ce que" mean literally in English?


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

[qu'est-ce que] translates to [what] and means "what is it that"


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

Thank you for helping me all the time! I always get confused about "qu'est-ce que" and "que" and "quel" :( Could you clarify a bit?


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

"what" is difficult to translate for there are several alternative constructions requiring a different interrogative pronoun or phrase:

  • what is your name? =quel est ton nom ? - tip: if there is a choice and you could also understand the question as "which is...?", "quel" (quelle, quels, quelles) will introduce the question containing verb "être" and a noun.

  • what are you doing? = que fais-tu ? is the formal interrogative formula, with an inversion Verb-Subject pronoun.

  • what are you doing? = qu'est-ce que tu fais ? the interrogation is in the beginning (que + est-ce), then the question is asked with no inversion. This is the standard way of asking this type of question.

  • what are you doing? = tu fais quoi ? This is the relaxed/ in speech way of asking a question. Note that "quoi" never starts a question.


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

Why is "Qu'est ce que je suis" incorrect?


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

Why not que je suis ?


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

please read above, what you propose is not a correct interrogative form.


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

duolingo is having an existential crisis


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

Look into the mirrors and you shall see.


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

A suggestion: Duolingo should do a category of lessons specifically dealing with confusing subjects like Que/Quel(lle)..., C'est/Il... etc, giving plenty of example sentences. This would help learning greatly. Thanks.


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

Dealing with confusing subjects like those you list is exactly what the sentence discussion forums are doing.


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

http://www.forum.french-linguistics.co.uk/forum/topics/3179028:Topic:1083

I found this web page very helpful and it enabled me verify my understanding of Sitesurf's earlier related comments.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ocee10

why not Quelle suis-je or Quel suis je? what the difference btw Que, Quelle and Quel?


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

"quel, quelle, quels and quelles" are interrogative adjectives, meaning you will find them with nouns with which they have to agree: "quelle heure est-il ?"; "quel est ton nom ?" ; "quelles chaussures achètes-tu ?"... - in English which or what.

"que" is an invariable interrogative pronoun, meaning it can stand alone, as an object of the verb: "que fais-tu ?" - in English what


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

How am I? = Comment vais-je ?

que vais-je ? = what do I go?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthewAnd16

Can this be used when feeling ignored? Like "what am I, mince meat?"


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

is que used as the subject and quoi as the object?


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

"que" can be object: que fais-tu ? = what are you doing? "quoi" is not used at the beginning of a question: tu fais quoi ? = you are doing what?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tigerhull92

I wrote Qu'est ce que suis-Je? Can somebody explain why that is wrong?


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

If you use "qu'est-ce que" you don't use the inversion Verb-Subject pronoun - and vice versa.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deenah0

Why not est-ce que je suis?


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

est-ce que je suis ? = is it that I am = am I?


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

Duolingo keeps marking my selections incorrect, then i find commenters saying those options are correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lettie249882

I wrote je suis quoi, and was not accepted


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

It is an accepted translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/asli889088

Is this wrong to say? Ce que je suis?


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

"Ce que je suis" is an indirect question, as in:

  • Je me demande ce que je suis = I am wondering what I am.

This should not be confused with the 3 ways of asking a direct question:

  • Formal: Que suis-je ?
  • Standard: Qu'est-ce que je suis ?
  • Informal: Je suis quoi ?
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.