Who and What?
Asking questions in French
There are three interrogative pronouns in French and today we shall discuss two: Qui and Que
This is used to ask “who” or “whom” questions. It is used when you are asking about people
- Qui est-ce? — Who is it?
- Qui chante? — Who is singing?
You can use qui or qui est-ce qui to ask the questions as the subject:
- Qui est-ce qui chante? — Who is singing? (response: Anna. Qui thus refers to Anna, the subject of the sentence)
- Qui est-ce qui mange dans le salon? — Who is eating in the sitting room? (response: Jack. Qui thus refers to Jack, the subject of the sentence)
You can use qui as the object of your question (whom) when it is followed by est-ce que or inversion.
- Qui est-ce que tu aimes? (Whom do you love? response: Tamil. Qui refers to Tamil the object of the sentence)
- Qui aimes-tu? (Whom do you love?)
You can use que as the subject of the question by using qu’est-ce followed by qui and a verb in the third person singular.
- Qu’est-ce qui se passe? (What is happening?)
- Qu’est-ce qui ferme la porte? (What is closing the door?)
You can use que as the object by using que itself, using qu’est-ce que or inversion
- Que voulez-vous? (What do you want?)
- Qu’est-ce que tu achètes (What are you buying?)
- Qu’est-ce que c’est? (What is that?)
Try this out. Ask these questions in French in the comments:
- Who is that?
- What are you doing?
- Whom does he irritate?
- What is happening?
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