"Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça ?"

Translation:What is that?

December 24, 2012

72 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/charnz

Normally to ask 'What is it?' it would be 'Qu'est-ce que c'est ?' or informally 'C'est quoi ?' however this variation here adds emphasis by the use of 'ça' - this is to emphasize the shock or confusion 'Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça ?! ' ~ 'What on earth is THIS?'

January 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/lepaslandas

I see why it confuses a lot of people.

April 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Zebila

I gave up and typed in "What is this" and when it said correct I just stared at the screen without blinking for awhile.

February 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/lpacker

MDR

June 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Genrui

ha ha hah ha ........................

March 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AJ9

This is awesome :D

April 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/KriEri
  • 1465

The same happened to me. :)

May 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/korenhe

me too

June 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AdrianObel

That is exactly what I did!

June 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/israellai

too bad it told me to dictate instead

June 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/bcarande

dafuq?

January 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ozel

what an inefficient language.. SCNR ;)

January 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

That is probably why French has been the international diplomatic language for centuries...

By the way, what do you mean by SCNR?

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ozel

Sorry Could Not Resist. internet slang excuse for being off topic

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/MartBro

Ive literally never seen SCNR before :/

January 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

You taught me something very useful, thanks!

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/bardia

Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça qui est la, la-bas, tra-la-la?

March 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/GypsyDavey

If you say this enough times it becomes quite natural and even fun to say. After all it's only "Kesker say kesar".

January 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/trudy88

Doesn't it mean "what is it that it is?" That seems like a long winded way of saying What is it. Wouldn't it just be 'Qu'est-ce que c'est?"

December 24, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/Barsenal

I found a good answer on the web: "Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça = qu'est-ce que c'est, but with a hint of reproof / shock / amazement: What on Earth is that?" hope it helps

December 24, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/drockalgzemoser

This whole text is pretty hilarious. I was translating word for word at first because I had no idea what else to do, and I got this: What is it that it is what that?

December 27, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/Sahar.

ME TOO!

January 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/professorleah

thank you!!

March 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/alinarosemary

I CANNOT wrap my head around this sentence omg.

March 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

There is a worse one: "c'est quoi?" short but extremely inelegant.

December 24, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/DuFarge

If one translates this literally, word for word...it seems almost slang for the American slang of 'what is that when it's at home'.

February 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sjrct

I think that idiom is from British English, not American English.

February 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pjbf1979

Agreed. That or it's regional American, and I'm not in that region...

April 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/frenchbreadrules

I started typing 'what is that, what is is , what's that' and I stopped and was like, "What the heck!"

March 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Actually "what the heck?" would be an excellent translation for "qu'est-ce que c'est que ça ?"

March 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/frenchbreadrules

Thank you! I think I'll use that!

March 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/DuFarge

Are you kidding?

March 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son

Or better yet "WHAT THE HELL!?" Mind Blown

June 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/The_D

I started typing "What is, is what... is what is..." I stopped typing and thought: "Either this is the deepest philosophical question ever or it's a French deception!!"

April 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/korenhe

LOL

June 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Duckies5

Literal translation: what is that is what that?

April 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jtp8r

The only reason this doesn't completely baffle me is because of the Talking Heads song "Psycho Killer." Qu'est-ce que c'est ... fa fa fa FA fa fa fa fa FA fa...

April 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/johncopter

couldn't you also say "qu'est-ce que ça?" to mean "what is that?" easier and sounds better. And also doesn't "qu'est-ce que ce?" mean "what is this?". "qu'est-ce que c'est?" doesn't make sense to me (what is this is?) but maybe it's just a french thing

December 26, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"qu'est-ce que ça" is simply not used.

"qu'est-ce que ce" is not correct, for "ce" is not an adjective, so it needs a noun afterwards, like "qu'est-ce que ce bruit"

"qu'est-ce que c'est" is the way the French ask the question what is this/that/it - so, yes, that's a French thing.

December 26, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/dempey

The two options which you suggested are incorrect because after "qu'est-ce que" there must be a verb. For example: "qu'est-ce que tu manges?"

January 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Levee44

I just got over "Qu'est-ce que c'est", which makes sense after all, because it means "What is it that it is", it's only its spelling that is crazy, but THIS...OMG. What is it that it is what that?

The funniest thing is that "Qu'est-ce?" is incorrect even though "Pourquoi est-ce" is correct :D

March 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/gloscherrybomb

I am not surprised this has 46 comments. I had it right because I knew about this before hand, but it is crazy you can repeat the same question 3 times within a single sentence to mean only one question!

March 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pjbf1979

I knew the second I saw this there was going to be lengthy discussion. I've completed intermediate French at uni, and never encountered this phrase. Could've used it a few times!

April 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/coffeemomcrafts

I can not believe I got that one correct. I about fell off my chair and my 11 year old child said "all that means "what is that?"

May 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/nanaliece

quite funny!

May 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sarah87

I find this quite confusing. In school we learned it "qu'est que c'est?"

December 29, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/Barsenal

As i said earlier "I found a good answer on the web: "Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça = qu'est-ce que c'est, but with a hint of reproof / shock / amazement: What on Earth is that?" hope it helps"

December 29, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/dempey

qu'est-ce que c'est is the correct form. what you wrote is incorrect i am afraid.

January 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sarah87

I'm not very good at this.

January 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/GypsyDavey

Don't despair - it's just the difference between saying "What is it?" (Q'est-ce que c'est?" - as you learned it) and "What's that?!" (Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça?)

January 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/dergachev

This is a hard sentence!

January 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sahar.

I've heard the sentence before ( quite alot at school, xP), but here, it sounds weird....

January 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sahar.

I've heard the sentence before ( quite alot at school, xP), but here, it sounds weird....

January 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/TinyWinged

french looks horrifying o.o

January 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sweet9J

Longest question ever.

February 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/dessiner

what is it that that is that?

February 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Genrui

i am thinking how long can i remember this long sentence just mean "what is that"

March 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/knuppel

You gotta be kidding me. (I'm surprised I got this one right)

March 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/edporto

is "que ça" necessary?

April 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

What you should to is reading the whole thread about that idiom.

April 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/atey8kez

This has been very informative. I love learning these expressions and their meanings.

April 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/martinvol

unbelievable!

May 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/umolso37

There has got to be a better way to say "What is that?"?

May 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pjbf1979

If you have not read the discussion, you should. The question above is not merely, "What is that?"

That would be "qu'est-ce que c'est?" or "c'est quoi?".

The above is an exclamation, more like, 'What the heck?!' the addition of 'que ca' adds an emphasis that "qu'est-ce que c'est?' lacks.

May 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/youngkacha

Duolingo's Translation says: What is that?

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pjbf1979

Yes, but it's an exclamation rather than simply asking what something is. Have you READ the discussion?!

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/JSmolders

Its emphatic: "What is it that this is that there!!!"

June 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/tgreen24

What is this madness?

June 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/JH12345

This is one of those phrases that doesn't have a direct translation and the "correct answer" shouldn't try to pretend that it does. Square peg, round hole.

June 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/youngkacha

It's gotten to the point where I'm no longer learning nor am I enjoying learning french on duolingo....trollingo

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pjbf1979

Why do you say troll?

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Heaned

WHAT?

June 30, 2013
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