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Inversions

LESSON FOCUS

Objectifs de la leçon

1. to learn how to ask questions using the inversion method

Niveau

A2 - niveau usuel (elementary)

    Utilisation de l'inversion pour poser une question

    The inversion method consists of placing the verb before the subject.

    A hyphen is required between the verb and the subject pronoun.

    Do/did do not exist in French. You simply place the verb at the beginning of the sentence.

    The letter t is required in front of elle(s), il(s) or on when the verb ends with a vowel. This is to avoid a break, making the sentence sound better.

    PRÉSENT

    Parlez-vous français ? OR Parles-tu français ?
    ▹ Do you speak French?

    Parlent-ils français ?*
    ▹ Do they speak French?

    *In this example, you need to make the liaison between the verb and the subject pronoun.
    So you need to pronounce the t.

    A-t-elle un chien ?**
    ▹ Does she have a dog

    **Notice the t between the verb a and the subject pronoun elle. This is to make the sentence sound better.

    Vas-tu au théâtre ce soir ? OR Allez-vous au théâtre ce soir ?***
    ▹ Are you going to the theatre tonight?

    ***To translate the -ing form, we simply use the present tense.

    EXERCICE

    Convert the following sentences into questions using the inversion method:

    1. Elles vont à la bibliothèque aujourd'hui.

    2. Nous allons chez Alice.

      RÉPONSES

      1. Vont-elles à la bibliothèque aujourd'hui ?

      2. Allons-nous chez Alice ?

        NOTES

        It is possible to use this method for the first person singular je and the auxiliaries être and avoir:

        Ai-je deux chats ?
        Do I have two cats?

        Suis-je fort ?
        ▹ Am I strong?

        However, the inversion method cannot be used with je and other verbs. In this case, you need to use: est-ce que:

        ▸ Est-ce que je mange ?
        ▹ Do I eat?