"What am I?"
Translation:Que suis-je ?
"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.
I found this web page very helpful and it enabled me verify my understanding of Sitesurf's earlier related comments.
"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