How To Ask Questions In French? | A Step By Step Guide (2023)

How To Ask Questions In French? | A Step By Step Guide (1)

Learning how to ask questions in French is essential, whether you want to have a successful conversation or obtain specific information.

In this article, I’ll teach you exactly how you can do that, so you always know:

  • What to say when you want to ask a question.
  • What to expect when you’re the one being asked a question.

Keep reading to find out more!

Before we start, here’s an important thing to know:
Demander is the most common translation of “to ask”.
But demander une question is incorrect.
“To ask a question” is poser une question.

Change your intonation

If you expect a yes or no answer, the simplest way to ask a question is definitely this one.

All you have to do is:

  • Take a declarative sentence, which can be an affirmative or negative one.
  • Change your intonation by raising your pitch at the end of the sentence.

This effectively turns your sentence into a question.

  • Tu aimes le français. (You like French.) => Tu aimes le français ? (Do you like French?)
  • Il ne vient pas. (He’s not coming.) => Il ne vient pas ? (He’s not coming?)

Although this is considered an informal way of asking a question, in practice it’s very different.

Because of the simplicity of this question structure, French people tend to use it in most conversations, whether formally or informally.

It can also be used in informal writing, such as text messages and emails.

In that case, instead of raising your pitch, make sure to add the question mark at the end of the sentence, so the receiver knows it’s a question.

Note: As a typographic rule, you need to put a space before the question mark. But French people tend to disregard this rule when typing in informal contexts.

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Start with Est-ce que

This is another common way to ask a question if you expect a yes or no answer.

Take a declarative sentence and add Est-ce que in front of it.

When there’s a vowel or an “h” after Est-ce que, you must use an elision. For example, Est-ce qu’il(s) … or Est-ce qu’elle(s).

  • Tu aimes le français. (You like French.) => Est-ce que tu aimes le français ? (Do you like French?)
  • Il va bien. (He’s ok.) => Est-ce qu’il va bien ? (Is he ok?)
  • Vous avez vu ce film. (You saw this movie.) => Est-ce que vous avez vu ce film ? (Have you seen this movie?)

Est-ce que insists on the fact that you are asking a question.

Est-ce que has no specific meaning on its own. Instead, it can be translated differently depending on what follows it:

  • Do/Does/Is/Are/Has/Have + pronoun + your declarative sentence + ?

French people use Est-ce que a lot in informal and formal conversations, as well as in informal writing.

Note: Est-ce que only works with an affirmative sentence, not a negative one. For example, you can’t say Est-ce qu’ils ne viennent pas ? (Are they not coming?).

Use a tag question

When you’re sure the answer is going to be Yes, you can add a tag question at the end of your declarative sentence.

N’est-ce pas ? – The formal tag question

Add n’est-ce pas ? at the end of your sentence. This expression takes on the translation of whatever the question is. It can mean “isn’t it, don’t you, doesn’t she” and so on.

  • Tu aimes le français, n’est-ce pas ? (You like French, don’t you?)
  • Vous êtes italienne, n’est-ce pas ? (You’re Italian, aren’t you?)
  • C’est super, n’est-ce pas ? (It’s great, isn’t it?)

While n’est-ce pas ? is correct, it’s a little outdated. You won’t hear it often in modern everyday conversations, unless you really want to emphasize your point.

So I suggest going with the 2nd option.

Non ? – The everyday tag question

Add non ? (no?) at the end of your sentence.

  • Tu aimes le français, non ? (You like French, no?)
  • Vous êtes italienne, non ? (You’re Italian, no?)
  • C’est super, non ? (It’s great, no?)

In everyday conversations, non ? is much more used than n’est-ce pas ?

You might also hear nan ? which is a slang version of no ?

Hein ? – The informal tag question

Add hein ? at the end of your sentence. It’s similar to the English “right?”.

  • Tu viens ce soir, hein? (You’re coming tonight, right?)

This option is only meant for informal conversations.

There are 2 ways to say Yes in French.

1. Reply with Oui to an affirmative question.
Tu viens demain ? (Are you coming tomorrow?)
Oui. (Yes.)

2. Reply with Si if the question or statement contains a negative expression.
Tu ne viens pas demain ? (Aren’t you coming tomorrow?)
Si. (Yes, I am.)

With Si, you’re essentially turning the negative proposition (I’m not coming tomorrow) into a positive one (I am coming tomorrow).

If you were to answer Oui, that would mean you’re saying “Yes, I’m not coming”.

While it’s a little less common, you can also use tag questions with negative sentences.

  • Vous n’êtes pas à la maison, n’est-ce pas ? (You’re not at home, aren’t you?)
  • Il n’est pas arrivé, non ? (He hasn’t arrived, no?)
  • Tu n’as pas fait tes devoirs, hein ? (You didn’t do your homework, right?)

As we’ve just seen, if you want to say Yes, make sure to answer this kind of negative question with Si and not Oui.

Use an inversion

This is the most formal way of asking a question in French. It works whether you expect a Yes/No or a detailed answer.

But what exactly is an inversion?

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In a normal sentence, you put the verb after the subject.

  • Vous aimez le français. (You like French.)

But when you ask a question using an inversion, you put the verb before the subject.

  • Aimez-vous le français ? (Do you like French?)

Here are a few rules to follow when using inversions.

RULE 1When you’re writing the question, add a hyphen between the verb and the subject.

Just look at the previous example: Aimez-vous le français ?

RULE 2When your question contains the pronouns il (he) or elle (she) and the verb ends with a vowel, insert a “-t-” between the verb and the pronoun.

  • Incorrect: Aime-il le tennis ?
  • Correct: Aime-t-il le tennis ? (Does he like tennis?)

This rule is important for written and spoken French. When you’re saying the question, you have to make the liaison and pronounce the -t-.

RULE 3 When you use a compound tense, don’t invert the whole verb! Just invert the avoir or être part of the verb by putting it at the beginning before the subject.

Declarative sentenceCorrect inversionIncorrect inversion
Tu es allé à Paris.
(You went to Paris.)
Es-tu allé à Paris ?
(Did you go to Paris?)
Es allé-tu à Paris ?
Vous avez vu ce film.
(You saw this movie.)
Avez-vous vu ce film ?
(Have you seen this movie?)
Avez vu-vous ce film ?
Vous aviez mangé ici.
(You had eaten here.)
Aviez-vous mangé ici ?
(Had you eaten here?)
Aviez mangé-vous ici ?

RULE 4When you use a noun or a name as the subject, add a pronoun after the verb and link them with a hyphen (Rules 2 and 3 also apply when necessary).

Let’s take a normal sentence:

  • Joanna est française. (Joanna is French).

How would you turn this into a question using the inversion technique?

In this sentence, Joanna is the subject.

For the pronoun, you need to use the third person singular, in the form elle because Joanna is a girl.

Add this pronoun after the verb est and link the two with a hyphen.

The answer is:

  • Joanna est-elle française ? (Is Joanna French?)

Tip: Since you’re using a noun or name as the subject, the pronoun will always be il, ils, elle or elles. To choose the correct one, you just need to know if the subject is:

  1. Masculine or feminine
  2. Singular or plural

Here are some additional examples.

  • Le restaurant est-il situé à Paris ? (Is the restaurant located in Paris?)
  • Ta maison est-elle grande ? (Is your house big?)
  • Paul a-t-il retrouvé son chien ? (Did Paul find his dog?)
  • Victoria est-elle partie ? (Is Victoria gone?)

RULE 5If you want to specify your query and ask an open-ended question, add a question word (more on this in the next section) before the inverted part.

  • Pourquoi aimez-vous le français ? (Why do you like French?)
  • À quelle heure arriverez-vous ? (What time will you arrive?)
  • Comment as-tu choisi son cadeau ? (How did you choose his/her gift?)
Inverted questions are very formal.

While it’s possible to use tu with an inversion (as you’ve seen in several examples above), it’s quite rare that you’ll hear it in an actual conversation.

That’s because, by definition, you use tu with people you know well and are close with, so asking a question in such a formal way would be quite awkward.

Avoid using an inversion with negative questions. While grammatically correct, they don’t sound natural at all.

See for yourself.

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  • Le restaurant n’est-il pas situé à Paris ? (Isn’t the restaurant located in Paris?)
  • Victoria n’est-elle pas partie ? (Isn’t Victoria gone?)

You’ll almost never hear a French native use an inverted negative question.

Use question words

Up until now, we mostly talked about how to ask a closed question.

But how to ask an open-ended question in French? That’s the kind where you expect a detailed answer.

In Rule 5 of the inversion section, I introduced question words. It’s time to look more into it.

A question word is a word like who, what, when, etc. It’s used to ask for a specific piece of information.

As a general rule of thumb, question words are placed at the beginning of the sentence. But in some instances, you can also find them in the middle or at the end of a sentence.

Here’s a list of the most common question words in French. To ask even more complex questions, you can also combine some of them with prepositions.

I suggest you learn them by heart, so you can use them with ease when the time comes.

Comment (how)

  • Comment allez-vous ? (How are you?)
  • Comment as-tu fait cette recette ? (How did you do this recipe?)
  • Comment c’est possible ? (How is it possible?)

Où (where)

  • Où est ton chien ? (Where is your dog?)
  • Où es-tu allé hier soir ? (Where did you go last night?)

Note: Don’t confuse (where) with ou (or). One has an accent, the other doesn’t.

Common prepositions with :

Jusqu’où (how far)
*It’s the contraction of jusque + où
Jusqu’où dois-je marcher ?
(How far do I need to walk?)
D’où (from where)
*It’s the contraction of de + où
D’où venez-vous ?
(Where are you from?)

Quand (when)

  • Quand reviens-tu ? (When are you coming back?)

Common prepositions with quand:

Jusqu’à quand
(until when)
Jusqu’à quand tu restes en France ?
(Until when do you stay in France?)
Depuis quand
(since when)
Depuis quand es-tu ici ?
(Since when are you here?)
Pour quand
(for when)
Pour quand en avez-vous besoin ?
(For when do you need it?)

Pourquoi (why)

  • Pourquoi il a fait ça ? (Why did he do this?)
  • Pourquoi l’eau est bleue ? (Why is the water blue?)
  • Pourquoi partez-vous ? (Why are you leaving?)

Combien (how much, how many)

  • Combien coûte ce téléphone ? (How much is this phone?)
  • Combien de frères avez-vous ? (How many brothers do you have?)
  • Tu en veux combien ? (How many do you want?)

Common prepositions with combien:

Avec combien de
(with how much/many)
Avec combien de personnes pars-tu ?
(With how many people are you leaving?)
Combien de temps
(how long)
Combien de temps dure le film ?
(How long does the movie last?)
Pendant combien de temps
(for how long)
Tu seras en vacances pendant
combien de temps ?
(For how long will you be on vacation?)
Depuis combien de temps
(since how long)
Depuis combien de temps
apprends-tu le français ?
(Since how long ago have you
been learning French?)

Qui (who, whom)

  • Qui vient avec nous ? (Who’s coming with us?)

Qui is used to refer to a person or people.

Common prepositions with qui:

Avec qui
(which whom)
Tu y vas avec qui ?
(With whom are you going there?)
De qui
(of/from/about whom)
De qui parlez-vous ?
(Of whom are you talking about?)
À qui
(to whom)
À qui as-tu donné ce cadeau ?
(To whom did you give this gift?)
Pour qui
(for whom)
C’est pour qui tout ça ?
(For whom is this all for?)
Chez qui
(at whose place)
Tu dors chez qui ?
(At whose place are you sleeping?)

Que / quoi (what)

  • Que veux-tu ? (What do you want?)
  • Ça veut dire quoi ? (What does it mean?)

Que / quoi is used when talking about things or ideas.

Que as a question word can only be placed at the beginning of a sentence.

Quoi goes in the middle or at the end of a sentence. You can’t put it at the beginning, unless your sentence is just one word Quoi ? (What?).

Common prepositions with quoi:

À quoi
(for what)
À quoi ça sert ?
(What is it for?)
De quoi
(of what, about what)
Tu parles de quoi ?
(What are you talking about?)
Avec quoi
(with what)
Tu vas faire ça avec quoi ?
(What are you going to do that with?)

Quel, quels, quelle, quelles

The adjective quel agrees in gender and number, meaning it will be spelled differently depending on the noun it refers to. It can be translated by who, which or what.

Quel is masculine singular.

  • Quel est ton film préféré ? (What’s your favorite movie?)
  • Quel est ton acteur préféré ? (Who’s your favorite actor?)

Quels is masculine plural.

  • Quels sont tes films préférés ? (What are your favorite movies?)
  • Quels sont tes acteurs préférés ? (Who are your favorite actors?)

Quelle is feminine singular.

  • Quelle ville préfères-tu ? (What’s your favorite city?)
  • Quelle maison veux-tu ? (Which house do you want?)

Quelles is feminine plural.

  • Quelles villes préfères-tu ? (What are your favorite cities?)
  • Quelles maisons veux-tu ? (Which houses do you want?)

Common prepositions with quel:

Jusqu’à quelle heure
(until what time)
Jusqu’à quelle heure restes-tu ?
(Until what time are you staying?)
Depuis quelle heure
(since what time)
Depuis quelle heure es-tu ici ?
(Since what time have you been here?)
Pour quelle heure
(for what time)
Tu y seras pour quelle heure ?
(For what time will you be there?)
Avec quel
(with which)
Tu pars avec quels amis ?
(With which friends are you going?)
Pour quel
(for which)
Pour quelle équipe es-tu ?
(Which team are you for?)
De quel
(of which / about which)
De quel pays venez-vous ?
(Of which country do you come from?)
À quel
(at which / in which)
À quel âge as-tu commencé la danse ?
(At which age have you began dancing?)
Dans quel
(in which / inside which)
Dans quelle maison vis-tu ?
(In which house do you live?)

Lequel, laquelle, lesquels, lesquelles

The pronoun lequel agrees in gender and number. It translates as “which one(s)”.

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Lequel is masculine singular.

  • Lequel veux-tu lire ? (Which one do you want to read?)

In this example, lequel refers to a book, which is un livre in French.

Lesquels is masculine plural.

  • Lesquels veux-tu lire ? (Which ones do you want to read?)

In this example, lesquels refer to books, which is des livres in French.

Laquelle is feminine singular.

  • Laquelle préfères-tu ? (Which one do you prefer?)

In this example, laquelle refers to a car, which is une voiture in French.

Lesquelles is feminine plural.

  • Lesquelles préfères-tu ? (Which ones do you prefer?)

In this example, lesquelles refer to cars, which is des voitures in French.

Duquel, desquels, de laquelle, desquelles

The pronoun duquel is the contraction of the preposition de + lequel.

It agrees in gender and number and can be translated by “of which/whom, from which/whom, about which/whom” depending on how you use it.

DuquelMasculine singularTu parles d’un livre ?
(You’re talking about a book?)

Duquel parles-tu ?
(Which one are you talking about?)

DesquelsMasculine pluralTu parles de films ?
(You’re talking about movies?)Desquels parles-tu ?
(Which ones are you talking about?)
De laquelleFeminine singularTu viens d’une ville ?
(You’re from a city?)

De laquelle viens-tu ?
(Which one do you come from?)

DesquellesFeminine pluralVous parlez de vos sœurs ?
(You’re talking about your sisters?)

Desquelles parlez-vous ?
(Which ones are you talking about?)

Auquel, auxquels, à laquelle, auxquelles

The pronoun auquel is the contraction of the preposition à + lequel.

It agrees in gender and number. The most common translation is “which one”.

AuquelMasculine singularVous allez à un restaurant ?
(You’re going to a restaurant?)

Auquel allez-vous ?
(Which one are you going to?)

AuxquelsMasculine pluralTu penses à tes frères ?
(You’re thinking about your brothers?)Auxquels penses-tu ?
(Which ones are you thinking about?)
À laquelleFeminine singularTu parles à une amie ?
(You’re talking to a friend?)

À laquelle parles-tu ?
(Which one are you talking to?)

AuxquellesFeminine pluralVous pensez à vos filles ?
(You’re thinking about your daughters?)

Auxquelles pensez-vous ?
(Which ones are you thinking about?)

Three ways to ask the very same question in French

In French, you can ask the same question differently by putting the question word:

  1. At the end of the sentence (Exception: que and quel can’t be put at the end!)
  2. Before est-ce que
  3. Before an inversion

Here are a few examples.

1. Tu viens quand ?
2. Quand est-ce que tu viens ?
3. Quand viens-tu ?
When are you coming?
1. Tu as vu qui ?
2. Qui est-ce que tu as vu ?
3. Qui as-tu vu ?
Who did you see?
1. Vous allez où ?
2. Où est-ce que vous allez ?
3. Où allez-vous ?
Where are you going?

In most French learning methods, you’ll learn the proper way to ask questions which is through an inversion (#3). However, it’s considered very formal.

In a normal conversation, you’re more likely to hear the question asked in an informal way (#1 and #2).

Don’t dwell on it when it happens though!

The question is still the same, with a slightly different word order than you expected, that’s all!

Grasp the essential meaning and answer however you can.

The goal is to keep the conversation going smoothly, so you can get more practice and build your confidence.

If you didn’t catch the question on your first try, you can always ask the person to repeat themself by saying Pardon ? or Comment ? (Sorry?) in formal situations and Quoi ? in informal situations.

The bottom line

Now you know exactly how to ask questions in French!

You can change your intonation, start your sentence with Est-ce que or use a tag question, an inversion or a question word.

To prepare yourself for real-life conversations, you can also check the most common French questions and learn how to answer them.

FAQs

How do you politely ask a question in French? ›

Asking questions
  1. There are 3 main ways to ask a question in French: • Formal: (question word quand, où, etc) + verb + subject + ? ...
  2. • Neutral: (question word) + est-ce que + subject + verb + ? Est-ce que vous connaissez Victor Hugo ? ...
  3. • More informal: subject + verb (+ question word) + ? Elle travaille chez vous ?

How many ways are there to ask a question in French? ›

There are three main interrogative pronouns in French, and they are qui (who or whom), que (what) and lequel (which one). Qui and que are fairly simple to use. Primarily, qui is used when the answer is going to be a person, and que is used when the answer is going to be an object or idea: Qui es-tu ? (Who are you?)

How do you write a question statement in French? ›

Another simple way to ask a question in French is to add est-ce que in the beginning of a sentence. Est-ce que literally means “is it that” in English, and is inserted before a regular statement to turn it into a question.

How do you start a French conversation? ›

1 – French Conversation Opening Lines

To start a conversation in French, talk about the place, the weather ask why the person is there – if you are at a party, how you know the hosts… then try to merge such a statement with a direct question. C'est joli ici : c'est la première fois que je viens ici, et vous ?

What are 10 examples of interrogative in French? ›

How to form an interrogative sentence in French ?
  • est-ce que ? (did/do ?)
  • qui ? (who ?)
  • pourquoi ? (why ?)
  • quand (when ?)
  • où ? (where ?)
  • comment ? (how ?)
  • quel/quelle ? (Which ?)
  • à qui ? (whom ?)

What's the easiest way to form a question from a sentence in French? ›

One of the most common ways to ask a question in French is to invert the subject and the verb in a sentence. Those questions can usually only be answered with yes or no. Manges-tu une pomme?

What are the two types of asking a question in French? ›

“Qu'est-ce que” and “Est-ce que” are frequently used in French to ask questions.

What are the big 4 verbs in French? ›

Big 4 French verbs
  • etre = to be.
  • avoir = to have.
  • aller = to go.
  • faire = to do.

What is the hardest tense in French? ›

6) Le subjonctif (The Subjunctive Tense)

This is notoriously one of the most difficult tenses for native English-speakers to learn.

How do you write a question statement? ›

If the question begins with a helping verb then the question can be converted into a statement by removing it from the start and placing it in front of the verb: “Has age treated us well?” Becomes: “Age has treated us well.” “Will we meet again?” Becomes: “We will meet again.”

How can I practice French by myself? ›

Get to know French grammar

Study with a French grammar book. Join an online program, either an application or a learning website and make grammar fun. Enlist a tutor for grammar lessons (try to find a native) Watch online grammar videos on useful topics to bring learning to life.

What level is easy French step by step? ›

Easy French Step-by-Step is an independent learner's tour guide into the wild unknown of the French language. The book is designed for beginner-level students and it helps students go from absolute zero into moderate proficiency in sixteen packed chapters.

How do you ask a basic question? ›

100 Getting to Know You Questions
  1. Who is your hero?
  2. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
  3. What is your biggest fear?
  4. What is your favorite family vacation?
  5. What would you change about yourself if you could?
  6. What really makes you angry?
  7. What motivates you to work hard?

How do you start a question? ›

Questions that cannot be answered with "yes" or "no" usually begin with an interrogative adjective, adverb, or pronoun: when, what, where, who, whom, whose, why, which, or how.

What should I ask in 20 questions? ›

  • Have You Ever Dine And Dashed At A Restaurant? ...
  • Would You Rather Have Endless Money Or Endless Love? ...
  • Have You Ever Been In A Car Crash — And It Was Your Fault? ...
  • If You Could Star In A Movie, What Movie Would It Be? ...
  • What Is Your Most Frequently Used Emoji? ...
  • What Was The Last Thing You Stole Or Shoplifted?
17 Oct 2017

What is ca va? ›

Ça va, which is pronounced like “sah vah,” is a common phrase heard in day-to-day French speech. Ça va literally translates to “it goes,” but it is used in a variety of situations. The most common way you'll hear ça va is when it is used to ask someone how they're doing as a shortened version of comment ça va ?

What are 5 ways to say hello French? ›

Informal and Formal French Salutations
  1. Bonjour – Good morning / hello.
  2. Enchanté(e) – Nice to meet you.
  3. Bonsoir – Good evening / hello.
  4. Salut – Hi.
  5. Coucou – Hey.
  6. Ça fait longtemps, dis donc – Long time, no see.
  7. Âllo – Hello.
  8. Ça va? – How are you?
26 May 2021

What are 3 greetings in French? ›

Some of the French greetings below might sound familiar to you, but a lot of them—especially the more informal ones—will probably be new.
...
5 Useful French Greetings to Say Hello
  • Bonjour! – Hello! (Also, Good Morning!) ...
  • Salut! – Hi! ...
  • Coucou! – Hey there! ...
  • Quoi de neuf? – What's up ? ...
  • Allô? – Hello?
12 Apr 2022

What are the 17 verbs in French? ›

allé, arrivé, venu, revenu, entré, rentré, descendu, devenu, sorti, parti, resté, retourné, monté, tombé, né et mort.

What are the 7 tenses in French? ›

French Indicative Verb Tenses
  • Présent (present) ...
  • Imparfait (imperfect) ...
  • Passé simple (simple past) ...
  • Passé composé (past perfect) ...
  • Futur simple (future simple) ...
  • Plus-que-parfait (pluperfect) ...
  • Passé antérieur (past anterior)
  • Futur antérieur (future anterior)
18 Sept 2020

What are the 5 tenses in French? ›

Five past forms, which are imparfait (imperfect), passé composé (compound past), passé simple (simple past), plus-que-parfait (pluperfect) and passé antérieur (anterior past). Two future forms, which are futur (future) and futur antérieur (future anterior).

Does What 3 words work in France? ›

American English: Words with variant spellings in British and American English are avoided, so you won't find “color” or “colour” in an address. French: What3words ignores accents as not everyone types them. This means it can't use words that are only differentiated by accents, such as côte and côté.

How can I learn French sentences fast? ›

10 tips to learn French fast
  1. Watch films. Watching films in French with French subtitles is one of the best ways to learn. ...
  2. Learn with songs. ...
  3. Read. ...
  4. Find a partner. ...
  5. Don't be scared to try and make mistakes. ...
  6. Listen! ...
  7. Practice. ...
  8. Sign up for an intensive course.
12 Aug 2016

How do you ask for something in French? ›

All together, it's Je voudrais ceci, s'il vous plaît. "I would like this, please." Je voudrais ceci, s'il vous plaît. Using Je voudrais to ask for something is rather polite, and it's commonly used in formal situations like restaurants, shops, etc.

How do you use est ce que? ›

The phrase est-ce que is used to ask a question. Word order stays just the same as it would in an ordinary sentence. Est-ce que comes before the subject, and the verb comes after the subject. So to turn the sentence Tu connais Marie (meaning You know Marie) into a question, all you need to do is to add est-ce que.

How do you use Que in French? ›

use que when the word that follows is (or represents) a person or thing/s, such as Cécile, je, tu, il, etc. (as opposed to qui when the word that follows is a verb). In grammar jargon, que is an object pronoun - que replaces the object of the verb.

What are the 20 most used verbs in French? ›

Master French conjugation: 20 Most widely used French verbs and their conjugation
  • Être (to be)
  • Avoir (to have)
  • Aller (to go)
  • Parler (to speak/talk)
  • Faire (to do)
  • Prendre (to take)
  • Vouloir (to want)
  • Savoir (to know)
12 Sept 2022

Is suis a verb in French? ›

In il/elle/on est form, the s is not pronounced. In the vous êtes form, the s is pronounced as a or z to link with the vowel ê in êtes.
...
2.4 The Verb Être.
PersonFrenchEnglish
1st personJe suisI am
2nd personTu esYou are
3rd personIl est Elle est On estHe/it is She/it is One/we is

Is Chinese or French harder? ›

We drew parallels between Chinese and German, French, Spanish, Italian and even English and we discovered that not only is the pronunciation of Chinese much simpler than French, but its grammar is also more straightforward and easy to learn than German, Spanish, Italian and English.

Is French easier than English? ›

Is English Harder than French To Learn? French is not as hard to learn as it is considered by most of the people, especially when compared to English. In fact, it is a language that's much easier to achieve fluency in than you'd have ever expected. English is inconsistent when it comes to pronunciation.

Is French easy or tough? ›

According to the FSI, French is one of the easiest languages to learn for a native English speaker. Yet with an average of 30 weeks to achieve proficiency (instead of 24), it's still hard to master the language.

What is Qu est-ce que? ›

Qu'est-ce que is a French way to start a question. Literally, it's built with three French words: Que + est + ce → “What + is + it/that?…” As a French question, it's a longer way to ask: “What… ?” It's correct French, but in real, everyday spoken French, we tend to ask shorter questions.

Do French people say est-ce que? ›

Though est-ce que is widespread in spoken French, it's much less common in writing because it's slightly informal. Remember that if you're in a formal situation, you should avoid it in favor of inversion.

How do you start a conversation in French? ›

1. Basic French conversation: Greetings and first questions
  1. Quoi de neuf ? = What's new? What's up?
  2. Tu fais quoi dans la vie ? = What do you do for a living?
  3. Tu viens d'où ? = Where are you from?
  4. Comment tu t'appelles ? = What's your name?
  5. C'est quoi ton nom ? = What's your name? (informal, everyday spoken French)
22 Jun 2021

What are the 4 French verbs? ›

Big 4 French verbs
  • etre = to be.
  • avoir = to have.
  • aller = to go.
  • faire = to do.

What is ce qui se passe? ›

Qu'est-ce qui se passe ? : What's happening? What's going on?

What is Qu De Gra? ›

1 : a death blow or death shot administered to end the suffering of one mortally wounded. 2 : a decisive finishing blow, act, or event The decision to cut funding is the coup de grâce to the governor's proposal.

What's your name French? ›

If you'd like to say “What is your name?” in French, you generally have two options. To pose the question formally, you'd say “Comment vous-appelez vous? Speaking informally, you can simply ask “Comment t'appelles-tu?”

Do the French say je ne sais pas? ›

In French, the meaning of “Je ne sais pas” (pronounced juh nun say pah) is “I don't know”. Slang variations of “Je ne sais pas” include “Je sais pas”, J'sais pas” and “Chais pas”. This lesson covers several other informal and formal ways of saying I don't know in French.

What do waiters in France say? ›

What the waiter might say…
Installez-vousHave a seat
Je vous écoute.(Go ahead) I'm listening.
Que prenez-vous ?What are you having?
Qu'est-ce que je vous sers ?What can I get you?
Et ensuite de ça ?And after that? What else?
5 more rows

Do French people still say zut? ›

It remains used but in a particular context: either to make fun of someone who uses a language considered too refined, or by contrast, to show how much the situation has made you angry, you will say zut alors! instead of bordel de merde! or other colorful expression.

How can I improve my French conversation? ›

10 Ideas to Improve Your French Speaking Skills
  1. Don't Study French in a stretch. ...
  2. Lock yourself in the room and talk to yourself in French in front of a mirror. ...
  3. Go on to listen to French audio anytime and anywhere. ...
  4. Switch on your TV to watch French game shows. ...
  5. Repeat or revise as much as possible. ...
  6. Read French out loud.
20 Nov 2019

What are the basic French words? ›

Learn Some Common French Words
  • Bonjour = Hello, Good morning.
  • Au revoir = Goodbye.
  • Oui = Yes.
  • Non = No.
  • Merci = Thank you.
  • Merci beaucoup = Thank you very much.
  • Fille = Girl.
  • Garçon = Boy.

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