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Est-elle annulée

In the French (from English) course, skill "Hotel 2," this sentence was used: " Pourquoi la réservation est-elle annulée ? " I don't understand the construction. The Collins dictionary web site doesn't show "annulé" as an adjective, but it seemed "annulé" was being used as an adjective in this skill. The Reverso Conjugator web site shows 'annulé" as the past participle and the auxiliary verb as "avoir." Can someone explain the use of "annulé" and this particular inverted construction? Thanks very much! Geoffrey

April 6, 2020



The French do some thing English speakers don't always do. Check out these forms.

La réservation est annulée. The reservation is canceled.

Elle est annulée. It is cancelled.

Est-elle annulée ? Is it cancelled?

La réservation, est-elle annulée ? The reservation, is it cancelled? <-- not typical

Est-elle annulée, la reservation ? Is it cancelled, the reservation? <--not typical English

The French don't reverse subject and verb when the subject isn't a pronoun. They don't do: Is the reservation cancelled?


Thanks! This is helps, too. In looking in the Collins dictionary they don't show annulé(e) as an adjective but only as one of the forms of annuler (like past participle) and passé composé uses avoir. Here it seems to be used as an adjective. Is that just an idiomatic usage that's allowed? I'm just trying to put the pieces together so I understand how it's used and can reproduce it when talking (and maybe apply it to other verbs). It's enjoyable to learn WHY and HOW things work.


«Annulé» isn't an adjective, though a past participle can sometimes be used as an adjective. In the sentences I've given the conjugated verb is être -> est and annulé or annulée is the past participle of the verb «annuler» with the appropriate gender and plurality added.


Excellent! Your last two comments are what I was looking for, the explanation of the " La réservation, est-elle annulée ? " form and the past participle used as an adjective. I found this little article that covers the latter: https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/past-participle/ I understand now. Have to make it my own still. Thanks so much for your help! And thanks to everyone for chiming in. That's what makes forums so helpful. God bless you all.


There was a time in French, long ago, when it was considered an adjective. But, in modern French, the passé composé has two parts (it's composed of two parts) and the past participle is the second part. The two together ARE the conjugated verb.


I disagree, here "annulée" is an adjective to me, not a past participle.


"Why has the reservation been cancelled." I guess this is the passive verb form in the perfect tense of the verb "to cancel".


It's "to be cancelled" in this case, not "to cancel"


C'est "être annulé(e)" et ce n'est pas la même chose que "annuler quelque chose". Alors, ce que je veux dire c'est que "être annulé(e)" est un adjectiv en ce cas et pas le verbe.


Thank you. It was a new construction I hadn't seen in Duolingo before. Duo has been using annulé in the current skill, but not explaining in detail, and this was the first time "est-elle annulée" was used. I know we slowly get used to things with Duo, but sometimes it helps me to know the grammar behind the usage. Que Dieu vous bénisse.


annulé= cancel/cancelled -Google says that annulé means cancel


The sentence in English: Why is the reservation canceled?


Elle est annulée, Il est annulé, elles sont annulées, ils sont annulés

[deactivated user]

    Minor typo - Elle est annulée


    ooops yeah, I know. I just accidentally mixed some spanish in there without noticing it xD


    The difference between a past participle and an adjective can be hard to get.

    Look at this example:

    • Demain, quand tu rentreras, la maison sera rangée (= Tomorrow, when you return, the house will be tidied up)

    => It's an adjective, because it's the state of the house at a precise moment (tomorrow, when you return).

    • Demain, la maison sera rangée par la femme de ménage (= Tomorrow the house will be tidied up by the cleaning lady)

    => It's the passive form of "the cleaning lady will tidy up the house", so it's the past participle of "ranger".

    In my opinion, in your example, it's the state of your reservation, it has been canceled, so it's an adjective. Understanding it as the passive form of the verb "annuler" would mean "Why is someone cancelling the reservation as we speak?".

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