Question Words in French

Much like English, French often makes it clear that a question is being asked by beginning the sentences with a "question word" like Que ("what"), or by using a word order that is not standard for direct statements.

These are the question words, or interrogatives:

Qui? = Who?
Que?/Quoi? = What?
Quand? = When?
Où? = Where?
Pourquoi? = Why?
Comment? = How?
Combien? = How many?/ How much?
Quel/ Quelle/ Quels/ Quelles? = Which?

These words are so important to memorize!! You really can't have a conversation without them, can you?

Notice that Quel/ Quelle/ Quels/ Quelles (Which) agree in gender and number with the noun(s) they are asking about.


Quelle fleur tu veux? (Which flower do you want?)
Quel chien tu préfères? (Which dog do you prefer?)

French does not use any auxiliary verb (such as "do") to form questions - the exact same word forms are used in sentences, just the word order is different when forming a question.

In French, it is possible to make a question without using a question word:
*As in English, by raising your tone at the end, without changing the words in anyway.
Il est professeur? (He's a teacher?)
*Using "est-ce que..."
Est-ce qu'il est professeur? (He's a teacher?)
*Using the subject-verb inversion.
Est-il professeur? (Is he a teacher?)
With the question words, there are three manners to make a question depending on the register you want to use:

Related Links:
Saying the date in French
Showing possession with de in French

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