Asking Questions in French – Part 1

3 ways to ask Questions in French.

We are going to see how to ask questions in French from a statement, there are three ways, two correct for writing and the last one in a conversation.

Have a look at the video: here:

For example:
Tu regardes la télé (you are watching tv or you watch tv):

Est-ce que tu regardes la télé ?
Regardes-tu la télé ?
Tu regardes la télé ?

As you can see, there is usually a space between your sentence and ?

1- Est-ce que:

Just add before your statement “est-ce que”!
Moreover “est-ce que” is invariable: no plural, no past, always est-ce que.

Est-ce que nous sortons ce soir (plural)
Est-ce que tu as regardé la télé (past)
Est-ce que tu regarderas la télé (future)

2 – Inversion:

You put the pronoun subject after the verb, and that’s it!

Tu regardes la télé becomes Regardes-tu la télé ?
Tu regarderas la télé  Regarderas-tu la télé ?

3 – Conversation:

When we speak, we usually up the pitch of our voice to get a question from any statement (listen to the video)

Tu regardes la télé ?
Tu regarderas la télé ?

4 – We have some subtleties:

Je regarde becomes regardé-je? with an “é” for verbs which infinitive ends in “er”,
but to tell the truth we do not use a lot the inversion for these questions, we prefer: est-ce que je regarde ?

Another thing is for he or she questions, we add a “t” to better the pronunciation:
Regarde-t-il? or Regarde-t-elle?
Va-t-il?
A-t-il?

There is no inversion with nouns, only with pronouns: Pierre regarde la télé becomes: Pierre, regarde-t-il la télé?
Regarde Pierre la télé ? is not French.
But you can say: Est-ce que Pierre regarde la télé ?

5- Questions with tenses:

Futur:

Will he come?
Est-ce qu’il viendra?
Viendra-t-il?
Il viendra?

Past Tense:

Did he come? (Past Participle with to be)
Est-ce qu’il est venu?
Est-il venu?
Il est venu?

Did she eat the cake? (Past Participle with to have)
Est-ce qu’elle a mangé le gâteau?
A-t-elle mangé le gâteau?
Elle a mangé le gâteau?

6- Asking for things:

French people often use a negative question to ask for things.

Ne veux-tu pas me donner l’eau ?: Don’t you want to give me the water?
Tu n’as pas un crayon ? Don’t you have a pen?
Tu n’as pas vu mes lunettes ? Haven’t you seen my glasses?

Exercise, Choose the correct answer:

Enjoy!

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