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Lesson 16 - How to form questions interrogatives adverbs

Objectifs de la leçon

Quand allez-vous en France et comment est-ce que vous allez voyager ?

Comment former les questions ?

1. Intonation

*In English you know that you are asking a question because you use do or did, however in French we don’t have either do or did so don’t try to translate literally.
Intonation is mostly used in informal language.

2. Est-ce que… ?

The sentence order does not change so it is quite simple to use.

Est-ce que is very commonly used in French so I do advise you to learn how to use it.
Please be aware that the que becomes qu' when followed by a vowel or an h.

3. Inversion

Invert the verb and subject and put an hyphen between the two.

Adverbes interrogatifs

The position of these adverbs can vary depending on how you ask the question.

Utilisation des adverbes interrogatifs

Quand ?

Où ?

Comment ?

Pourquoi ?

* Please note that when using a passé composé in an inverted question, the order is as follows : auxiliary + sujet + past participle.

Combien ?

*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 and to make the sentence sounds better.

Combien de ?

*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 and to make the sentence sounds better.

Exceptions

Please note that inversion with je is not normally used in French. So the question "mange-je avec toi à midi ?" is not correct. This question needs to be formed with est-ce que: "Est-ce que je mange avec toi à midi ?"

However, avoir (to have), être (to be), devoir (to have to/must) and pouvoir (to be able to/can) are the four verbs which allow for inversion:

*Peux becomes puis when we invert the verb pouvoir.

Pratique

Translate using est-ce que:

  1. Do you have a single room available?
  2. Where is he?
  3. Why are* you (sing.) wearing a pink dress today? (porter - to wear/carry)
  4. How did** they (masc.) go to school yesterday?

*Remember to use a simple present tense when translating the English progressive tense. So you are wearing becomes you wear.

**Remember to use a passé composé.

Answers

  1. Est-ce que vous avez une chambre simple disponible ?
  2. Où est-ce qu’il est ?
  3. Pourquoi est-ce que tu portes une robe rose aujourd’hui ?
  4. Comment est-ce qu’ils sont allés à l’école hier ?

Traduction de la phrase

Quand allez-vous en France et comment est-ce que vous allez voyager ?
When do you go to France and how are you going to travel?

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