Interrogative pronouns, adjectives and adverbs – Exercises with solutions

interrogative-pronouns

Asking questions is not that easy. You need to practice with different methods.

You should do this often. There is also a difference between formal and informal questions.

The formal ones are very present in the classrooms. For instance:

  • Voulez-vous un café?: Do you want a coffee?

It’s also common to hear the pronoun vous in the cafés and restaurants in Paris.

However, if you are at a friend’s house or someone you know, it’s much more likely that you’ll hear:

  • Tu veux un café?: Do you want a coffee?

What’s the difference?

The big difference is that we use tu instead of vous. Tu is the informal way of adressing someone.

Another difference is the inversion.

We have changed the word order: Voulez-vous (vous voulez) to tu veux. By doing this, it becomes less obvious that we are asking a question.

The trick is to change the intonation of your voice. You should pronounce the last word with emphasis.

It’s easier to follow this method as we don’t have to change anything gramatically, just change the intonation of your voice.

Qu’est-ce que

You can use the same method with Qu’est-ce que.

That is, you don’t have to change the order of the phrase when using Qu’est-ce que. In this case, it’s not as important to change the intonation of your voice. It’s already quite obvious that you are posing a question.

However, you need to be careful with the order of the phrase. For instance:

  • Qu’est-ce que tu (subject pronoun) veux (verb) manger?: What do you want to eat?

So, what do I mean by not having to change the order of the words?

It’s:

  • Tu veux manger?

Not the inversion technique:

  • Veux-tu manger?

Let’s look at another example:

  • Qu’est-ce tu sais de ma vie: What do you know about my life?

Same thing with this example. We are not using the inversion technique.

Asking questions with est-ce que

You can add est-ce que to many of the examples in the image.

Let’s look at a couple of examples with quand:

  • Quand est-ce que tu reviens?: When are you coming back?
  • Quand est-ce que vous revenez bosser?: When are you coming back to work?
  • Quand est-ce que la crémaillère commence?: When does the housewarming party start?

Do we really need est-ce que to ask these questions? Not really. We could for instance say:

  • Tu reviens quand?: When are you coming back?

However, est-ce que is useful in certain situations and for beginners. It becomes more obvious that you are asking a question.

In addition, we can use est-ce que with other examples from the image. For instance:

  • Comment est-ce que tu gères tout ça?: How do you handle all this?

It’s the same word order when we change quand to comment. That is, we are not using the inversion technique.

I should also mention that you don’t need to add a subject pronoun after est-ce que. You could for instance say:

  • Pourquoi est-ce que cette une source de gêne?: Why is this a source of annoyance?

Practice, practice and practice

I have already written that it’s a good idea to practice different ways of posing questions. I want to mention this again. Why?

Because it’s easy to get the impression that you only have to follow basic rules in order to ask a question properly. However, you need to find YOUR way of asking questions. That is, in a way that works well for you.

Sure, you have time to reflect when you write a message in French. However, this is not the case when you talk to someone in French.

Let’s continue by looking at more examples:

  • Quand est-ce que tu vas nous montrer le devis?: When are you going to show us the quote?
  • Combien est-ce que tout ça vous a coûté?: How much did all this cost you?

Conclusion

Do you have a questions regarding the content in this article? You are more than welcome to leave a comment in the comment section.

You are also more than welcome to suggest additional topics to write about. I like to focus on exercises, and my goal is to cover every area of the French language.

It’s not something that will be done in a week or 2, but it will happen :-).

 

 

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