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  5. "Est-ce que" vs "Est-ce"


"Est-ce que" vs "Est-ce"

I was under the impression that the phrase "Est-ce que" was an invariable phrase turning the sentence into a question, and that the sentence would have the exact same meaning in its absence...

But I'm starting to see "Est-ce" a lot more often in duo lessons....I had assumed that adding the "que" at the end was mandatory but I'm not so sure any more.

If any one could explain the difference and when we can add and omit the second 'que' I'm sure it could cure my half week long headache about the issue.

Cheers! :)

June 4, 2014



1) "Est-ce que" is followed by a verb. Ex. "Est-ce que tu travailles ?" but, it is better to say "Travailles-tu ?" = Are you working? Do you work?

2) "Est-ce" is followed by a noun, a pronoun.... Ex. "Est-ce un oiseau ? Is it a bird? "Est-ce ta couleur préférée ?" Is it you favourite colour?


Thank you! This makes the most sense. :)


You're welcome all! It's easy for me, I'm French ;-)


impressive that you have gotten to level 25 in so many languages must have taken a lot of effort


Thank you for that! I've lost a few hearts over this and now I finally see the difference!


My favourite is "what is it that that is?" (in French)


Even better.. Qu'est-ce que c'est que ce truc?


Est-ce que c'est? Or am I missing another que...or c'est?


It needs a "what" on the front :)


Even better is "qu'est-ce que c'est que ça ?"


That is it that it is that...what?


It's like "qu'est-ce que c'est" but in a shocked way, like "what the hell is that" - "qu'est-ce que c'est que ça ?"


Ah, que est-ce que c'est. Merci beaucoup. Glad I found this post though. The questions skill made me quit French because it was driving me mad. I'll have to try it again. :)


Remember you have two vowels "que est.." so you need an apostrophe to replace the first one "qu'est.." :)


Oui, I forgot that. Qu'est-ce que c'est. :)


For what it's worth, Alexis, the questions skill is what drove me to dig up (and drop a fair chunk of money on) French grammar workbooks and phone apps because DL's instructions alone just weren't cutting it, resulting in much confusion and frustration on my part. Just saying, you're not alone. :)


Yes, I'll make sure to use About.com's french grammar lessons next time around. ;)


I think est-ce is just a standard inversion of c'est. I think you would use it just like english It is vs Is it. Est-ce que - Is it that.

Est-ce que tu veux quelque chose? - Is it that you want something?

C'est un chien - It is a dog.

Est-ce un chien? - Is it a dog?


I usually say "est-ce que", because est-ce is more formal and they use it more in France. usually you just add "c'est" after "est-ce que", and it means the same thing as "est-ce".


"Est-ce que" also can be translated to "Is it true/Is that true?". Examples: "Est-ce que tu est beau?" "Is true that you are beautiful?" "É verdade que você é bonito?"


Yes "est-ce que" implies "est-ce vrai ? = Is it true?" so, it cannot be translated in French by "est-ce vrai ?" Ex. Do you like classical music ? = aimes-tu la musique classique OR est-ce que tu aimes la musique classique BUT NOT est-ce vrai que tu aimes la musique classique. In this last case the translation = Is is true that you like classical music?


Thank you for that! I've always translated it as "Is it that..." but it sounds a lot more natural to me to say "Is it true that..."


There are great collocations here... I also thought "É que você gosta?" (Is that you like it?) but it's kinda informal... I also thought in another sentence: "est-ce verité que tu aime ça?"


I am a beginner but. I have got the impression that in the sentence EST-ce que tu aimes la musique classical example it means do you like classical music ...or would you use it only if the person 's interest is known and you are confirming if it's true


"Est-ce que tu aimes la musique classique ?" Translation "Do you like classical music?" - For all intents and purposes you may as well translate Est-ce que as "To do + subject", for example..."Do you like classical music? Does he like classical music?" etc.

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