Le gîte

How to ask questions

Il coûte combien ?
Il y a une supérette près d'ici ?
Est-ce que le gîte est disponible ?

The simplest way to ask questions in French is to make your voice rise at the end of the sentence; the word order is the same as in a statement.

Vous partez en vacances ?
Are you going on holiday?
Vous acceptez les chèques ?
Do you accept cheques?

Very commonly though, French people start a question with est-ce que...? Est-ce que has no real meaning when on its own. Its function is to turn a statement into a question.

Est-ce qu'on peut réserver par téléphone ?
Can we book by phone?
Est-ce qu'il y a des choses à faire ?
Are there things to do?

Question words like où ? quand ? and combien ? can begin a question, as in English.

Où est-il ?
Where is he ?
Combien coûte un aller-retour ?
How much is a return ticket ?

In spoken French, though, they often come at the end of a question.

Ça coûte combien ?
How much does it cost?
Vos amis arrivent quand ?
When are your friends arriving?
Vous prenez des arrhes ?
Do you take a deposit?
Est-ce qu'il est disponible pour le week-end du onze ?
Is it available the weekend of the 11th?
On peut y aller à pied ?
Can we walk there?

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