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"What is this thing?"

Translation:Quelle est cette chose ?

December 29, 2012

47 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pilou69

Hey, I am a French native. In that case, we would moslty use "Quelle" instead of "Quoi".

Quelle est cette chose ? instead of Qu'est cette chose ? ==> never used, almost wrong gramatically, because we would use "Qu'est ce que cette chose", but it is a little heavy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ambipath

Quelle est cette chose sounds much better, thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LorneColt

Thanks, very helpful!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GabeDC

Hi, i just had to say that I love your user icon. Being from Texas originally, I always liked that show. Seeing anything from it here reminds me of "SeƱora PEGGY HILL!" :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GabeDC

Thanks for explaining those. The answer suggested to me was "Qu'est cette chose ?", which looks so strange to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"Qu'est cette chose ?" is very formal and you have a number of other ways to ask the same question:

Formal:

  • Quelle est cette chose ?
  • Qu'est-ce que cette chose ?

Standard:

  • Qu'est-ce que c'est que cette chose ?
  • Qu'est-ce que c'est, cette chose ? (emphasis by extraction)
  • Cette chose, qu'est-ce que c'est ? (emphasis by extraction)

Informal:

  • C'est quoi, cette chose ? (emphasis by extraction)
  • Cette chose, c'est quoi ? (emphasis by extraction)

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GabeDC

Wonderfully useful. Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dovecoteben

Qu'est-ce que c'est? What is it that it is? Kind of the same, or am I wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matthieumarron

That would be too general. This question refers specifically to "this thing," or "this object." "What is this?" could mean any number of things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nickmarcelli

But what about "Qu'est-ce que c'est, cette chose?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

It is definitely not the same register of speech as "what is this thing?". It is emphatic spoken French, something you should not use in writing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ntenne

Why isnt "c'est quoi ce truc" accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Too colloquial... and there is a choice among other registers. Please read above.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/crseaquist

Or maybe "Qu'est ce que ce bidule ?" Is it too heavy or too colloquial or just plain wrong? Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VioletteNoire

Joining the question... I wrote "Qu'est-ce que ce truc."...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/crseaquist

I would bet that my French mother-in-law would have also used truc. Thanks for the response.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThildeStine

Je ne comprend pas pourquoi on ne peut dire : que ce que c'est cette chose :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

You can say:

"quelle est cette chose ?"

"qu'est-ce que c'est QUE cette chose ?"

"qu'est-ce que cette chose ?"

And more familiar : "qu'est-ce que c'est que ce truc ?" or "c'est quoi ce truc ?" Synonyms of "truc" : machin (masc), bidule (masc)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ashlynshaw

Sitesurf, could you explain the use of "QUE" here? Kinda confused about the structure. Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"Qu'est-ce que" is an interrogative locution (= lit: what is it that) used in French to form standard questions inquiring about information.

Ex: what is this? = qu'est-ce que c'est ? (formal = qu'est-ce ? - relaxed = c'est quoi ?)

If you are surprised, exasperated, irritated, or joking, you can form a question with more words : "qu'est-ce que c'est que cette chose ?" = (roughly) what it it that this thing is? (I think English speakers would rather say: "what the hell is that?" in comparable situations).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ugioboss

I don't understand why there is a third QUE in "Qu'est-ce que c'est QUE cette chose?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

In idiomatic expressions, you don't really know why such a combination of words was made in the first place.

I assume that the sound of it was funny with a 3rd "que", because there is no grammatical justification to it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ashlynshaw

"qu'est-ce que c'est que cette chose ?" = what is (it that it is, ) this thing? Ah, I think I got it. Thank you very much.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zeitverschwender

"Cette chose c'est quoi" wasn't accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sherm456

How about "Cette chose c'est quoi"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Ugly French, but unfortunately some say it that way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fsufezzik

"Quelle est cette chose" was not accepted, and I'm baffled.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

It's a shame! Hope you reported it...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gabybosetti

Cette chose est quoi? Is not accepted. Why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

This is not proper French, only in speech (and ugly).


[deactivated user]

    How was I supposed to know chose is feminine when it doesn't actually hint to it?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryLouise872063

    In this case, (I read or heard from somewhere, I can't remember which) if you have no indication whether it's masculine or feminine and the french word ends with "e" treat it as feminine. That tip rarely lets me down. By the way "cette" indicates that "chose" is feminine.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nauajos

    Qu'est-ce que cette chose? - "qu'est-ce que" meaning "what", we have as a result "What this thing?"

    It doesn't make sense to me grammatically. Or is it an idiom and I just have to live with it?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

    It is an idiom, a bit shorter than the proper "qu'est-ce qu'est cette chose ?"

    Yet it is really better to use "quelle est cette chose ?".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wanda655505

    Thank you Sitesurf so much for saying that all these ques do not necessarily mean anything. I thought I was misunderstanding in a serious way why they were put there. I felt that I was the only one who didn't know. Now I understand it is because they are there just because. Thanks again


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ged743481

    Why not " qu' est -ce c'est"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

    "Qu'est-ce que c'est ?" = What is it/this/that?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ged743481

    Of course. Ta Sitesurf


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryLouise872063

    'Cette chose est quoi?' Why is it wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

    It is quite awkward. There are several other ways of asking that question in French. Please scroll up and you'll see them listed.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elusis

    Why not "quelle est ce chose"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

    "Une chose" --- cette chose.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elusis

    Definitely - but how am I to know it's "une chose"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

    You need to learn every noun with its own gender, like this:

    • thing = [une chose]
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