Comment faire une question en francais?


Here is the week-end homework for French 121:

1. For the 9:30 class  complete the worksheet given in class.  You will need to do additional research and studying to understand the idioms with avoir in order to complete the worksheet; you may study here:  

Be sure to scroll down to do the practice quiz as well for extra credit (print out and turn in along with)!

2. For the 10:30 class (we are now one day ahead so the homework is different for you) complete the worksheet on questions (see below for an explanation on the differing methods). You will need to use the ‘est-ce que’ method and the inversion method. We will correct this on Tuesday, so if you have questions (on how to form questions!) note them down and you will be able to ask them when we review together.

3. Final note: Expect the chpt 3 test on  Wednesday or Thursday of next week! After that we have a film coming up! I will be asking you all to vote on one of three choices next week….

Forming Questions in French 

1. Est-ce que
Est-ce que, literally « is it that, » can be placed at the beginning of any affirmative sentence to turn it into a question:

Est-ce que vous dansez ?
Do you dance?

Est-ce que tu veux voir un film ?
Do you want to see a movie?

Est-ce qu’il est arrivé ?
Has he arrived?

Place any question words* in front of est-ce que:

Quand est-ce que tu veux partir ?
When do you want to leave?

Pourquoi est-ce qu’il a menti ?
Why did he lie?

Quel livre est-ce que vous cherchez ?
Which book are you looking for?

2. Inversion
A more formal way to ask questions is with inversion: invert the conjugated verb and subject pronoun and join them with a hyphen:

Dansez-vous ?
Do you dance?

Veux-tu voir un film ?
Do you want to see a movie?

Est-il arrivé ?
Has he arrived?

Again, place any interrogative words at the beginning of the question:

Quand veux-tu partir ?
When do you want to leave?

Pourquoi a-t-il menti ?**
Why did he lie?

Quel livre cherchez-vous ?
Which book are you looking for?

You can use inversion to ask negative questions***

Ne dansez-vous pas ?
Don’t you dance?

N’est-il pas encore arrivé ?
Hasn’t he arrived yet?

3. Statement as question
A very simple but informal way to ask yes/no questions is to raise the pitch of your voice while pronouncing any sentence:

Vous dansez ?
You dance?

Tu veux voir un film ?
You want to see a movie?

Il est arrivé ?
He arrived?

You can also use this structure to ask negative questions:

Tu ne danses pas ?
You don’t dance?

Il n’est pas encore arrivé ?
He hasn’t arrived yet?

4. N’est-ce pas ?
If you’re pretty sure the answer to your question is yes, you can just make an affirmative statement and then add the tag n’est-ce pas ? to the end. This is also informal:

Tu danses, n’est-ce pas ?
You dance, right?

Tu veux voir un film, n’est-ce pas ?
You want to see a movie, right?

Il est arrivé, n’est-ce pas ?
He arrived, right?

*There are two main types of questions:

  1. Yes/no questions, also known as polar questions or closed questions (questions fermées), ask for a simple yes or no answer.
  2. Information questions, also known as WH questions, constituent questions, or open questions (questions ouvertes), ask for information with question words, like who, what, when, where, why, which, how, how much/many. See links below for lessons on French question words.

**When using inversion with the third person singular (ilelle, or on) and a verb that ends in a vowel, you must add t- between the verb and subject pronoun (why?):

Aime-t-il les films ? – Does he like movies?
Écoute-t-elle la radio ? – Does she listen to the radio?
A-t-on décidé ? – Have we decided?

***There is a special French word, si, that is used only when responding in the affirmative to a negative question. (I wish English had a word like this!)

Affirmative questions Negative questions
– Vas-tu au ciné ? – Oui !
– Are you going to the movies? – Yes!
– Ne vas-tu pas au ciné ? – Si !
– Aren’t you going to the movies? – Yes (I am)!
– Est-ce que tu veux venir ? – Oui !
– Do you want to come? – Yes!
– Tu ne veux pas venir ? – Si !
– You don’t want to come? – Yes (I do)!