Difference between qui est-ce qui, qui est-ce que, qu'est-ce qui, and qu'est-ce que?
The explanation in the notes doesn't make any sense to me. Could someone help me?
Qui est-ce qui? means "Who?", when the answer that you expect is the subject. For example "Qui est-ce qui parle?" (or "Qui parle?")= who speaks? The answer that you expect is "Le professeur parle" (=The teacher speaks). Here the answer that you expect is "le professeur", which is the subject of the sentence, so you have to use qui est-ce qui or qui.
Qui est-ce que? means also "Who?", when the answer that you expect is the object. For example "Qui est-ce que tu invites?" = Who do you invite? The answer that you expect is "J'invite mon cousin" (= I invite my cousin). Here the answer that you expect is "mon cousin", which is the object of the sentence, so you have to use qui est-ce que. (if the next word starts with a vowel "que" becomes "qu' ", but this DOES NOT happen to "qui", which remains "qui")
Qu'est-ce qui? and Que'est-ce que? are the same (the first one is for the subject and the second one is for the object), but you have to use them when you are talking about things, not people!
I hope that this helps. :)
QUI can be
- an interrogative pronoun representing a human being, as subject or object of an interrogative clause.
- a relative pronoun representing any object or person, and subject of the relative clause
- interrogative or relative, QUI never elides.
QUE can be
- an interrogative pronoun representing a thing, as subject or object of an interrogative clause
- a relative pronoun representing any object or person, and object of the relative clause
- a conjunction, to introduce a subordinate clause : je veux QUE tu partes
- QUE always elides in front of a vowel sound.
Strictly speaking, with proper grammar:
Qui est-ce QUI ? = [who is it that + Verb] - who does the job? - QUI is SUBJECT of the relative clause: qui est-ce qui fait le travail ?
Qui est-ce QUE ? = [whom is it that + Subject + Verb] - whom do you invite? - QUE is OBJECT of the relative clause: qui est-ce que tu invites?
Qu'est-ce QUI ? = [what is it that + Verb] - what is wrong? - QUI is SUBJECT of the relative clause: qu'est-ce qui est faux ?
Qu'est-ce QUE ? = [what is it that Subject Verb]- what are you doing? - QUE is OBJECT of the relative clause: qu'est-ce que tu fais ?
This helps me understand "whom" in the English language better. (Darn you ACT test, making me memorize this concept.)
Who vs Whom is really a Subject vs Object question. You use "who" when you are talking about the subject, and you use "whom" when you are talking about the object. A good rule of thumb is if you can replace "who/whom" with "he", then it's the subject, and if you can replace it with "him" then it's the object. Subjects and Objects (a quick refresher) When you say "He threw the ball to her", "he" is the subject--the one doing the action--, while "her" is the object: the one receiving the action. So then you could ask: "He threw the ball to whom?" or "Whom did he throw the ball to?" or, conversely: "Who threw the ball to her?" It turns out that "Whom did she invite?" is correct because it can be rephrased like this: "She invited whom?" The rephrasing should make it more clear how the "whom" in question is the object receiving the action. In this new phrasing you could even use your me/I rule. Side Note: This rule is difficult for most Americans to remember and so they often "play it safe" and just use "who" everywhere.
Very good explanation, but I believe you have a typo : didn't you mean "QUI is OBJECT" in the second line (the one about Qui est-ce QUE)?
In the above examples, I give the function of the relative pronoun in capital letters.
So "qui est-ce QUE tu invites ?" has QUE object of "invites" (subject = tu).
In all sentences, the first interrogative pronoun (qui or qu') are always subject of "est".
Shouldn't the illustration for the item "Qu'est-ce QUI ?" read “QUI is SUBJECT of the relative clause: qu'est-ce qui est faux ?”?
You basically use qu'est-ce qui when "what" is the subject of the question e.g What's happening here? is Qu'est-ce qui est arrivé ici? whereas Qu'est ce que is used when What isn't the subject(which is most of the time) e.g What are you doing? is Qu'est-ce que tu fais?