Question words

The most useful question words are:

Qui ?Who?
Que… ?/ Qu'est-ce que… ?What…?
Quand ?When?
Où ?Where?
Pourquoi ?Why?
Comment ?How?
Combien (de)?How much/How many?
À quelle heure ?(At) what time?
Combien de temps ?How long?

Put the question word at the start of the sentence and switch the verb and subject around. For example:

  • Où habites-tu ? – Where do you live?

Or use est-ce que between the question word and the subject.

  • Où est-ce que tu habites ? – Where do you live?

In spoken and informal French, most question words can also go at the end. For example:

  • Tu habites où ? – Where do you live?

When qui (who) is the subject of the question, another pronoun is not needed, and the word order is the same as a statement. For example:

  • Qui a gagné le jeu ? – Who won the game?

Que (what) can also be qu’est-ce que. After que, the verb and subject are switched around, whereas after qu’est-ce que, the verb and subject stay in the same order as a statement. For example:

  • Que vas-tu faire demain ? – What are you going to do tomorrow?
  • Qu’est-ce que tu vas faire demain ? – What are you going to do tomorrow?

Rearrange the parts of these sentences so they make sense.


aller / Où / demain ? / vas-tu

Où vas-tu aller demain ? - Where are you going to go tomorrow?


hier ? / Qu’est-ce / ont fait / qu’ils

Qu’est-ce qu’ils ont fait hier ? - What did they do yesterday?


au restaurant ? / va-t-on / manger / Quand

Quand va-t-on manger au restaurant ? - When are we going to eat at the restaurant?

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