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Inversions

LESSON FOCUS

LEVEL: A2

Objectifs de la leçon

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

    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?

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