1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. When asking a Question


When asking a Question

When asking a question in French, does it matter whether the subject pronoun goes before or after the conjugated verb?

Vous mangez OR
Mangez vous

Vous parlez OR
Parlez vous

I notice that DL accepts both ways. Is one way more stressed/given more emphasis than the other?

July 21, 2020



When you switch the order of the pronoun and the verb, add a hyphen. Not entirely sure of the difference though..


'Mangez vous' and 'Parlez vous' are more formal.


Thank you for your responses :)


When speaking formally, switching the subject and the verb is prefered. When you don't switch them, it's still correct, but informal. I suppose it's standard.


  • Formal: Comment allez-vous? (How are you?)

  • Informal: Tu vas bien? (You all right?)

Notice the usage of "tu" in the informal version, and the usage of "vous" in the formal version.


If you don't want to switch the subject and the verb, use "est-ce que" to start off the question. It's not formal, nor informal.

  • Standard: Est-ce que vous allez bien? (Are you doing well?)

This article may peek your interest: https://www.bonjourdefrance.com/exercices/contenu/18/grammaire/512.html#:~:text=La%20marque%20de%20la%20question,la%20forme%20la%20plus%20utilis%C3%A9e.&text=Ex%3A%20Parlez%2Dvous%20fran%C3%A7ais%3F

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.