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Home > French > Speaking and Writing > Asking questions

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Asking questions

Other ways to ask questions

(If you find this section a struggle then don't worry. It is not as essential task and you might be better to spend time on other sections.)

One simple way to ask a question is just to change the way you say a sentence, by making your voice rise at the end, or, when writing, by adding a question mark.

  • Tu aimes ton école?
  • Tu as un animal à la maison?
  • Tu viens en Ecosse en voiture?

This way does not work very well if you have a question word like quand (when), (where), pourquoi (why), qui (who) or que (what).

Another method is inversion. That is, changing the order of the subject and the object: this is more difficult, but there are patterns you can learn to help you.

  • Peux-tu + an infinitive: this means 'can you': so 'Peux-tu venir en Ecosse?'
  • Veux-tu + an infinitive: this means 'do you want to': so 'Veux-tu aller au cinéma?'
  • Y a-t-il + a noun: this means 'is there': so 'Y a-t-il une piscine chez toi?'
  • Comment est + a noun: this means how is/what is...like: so 'Comment est ton école?'

When you use inversion, you must put a hyphen between verb and subject.

NB: neither of these methods of forming questions works very well when you have a question word: if you start off with a word like quand or où, use est-ce que next.

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