French Parts of Speech
How to Ask for Specific Information with French Question Words
How to Use French Direct Object Pronouns

How to Form a Question in French Using Est-Ce Que

In French, you can ask a question in a couple of different ways. In English, when you ask a yes/no question in present tense, you typically begin with Do you, and the verb follows. (For example, Do you have a cat?) French has two primary ways of asking the same question:

  • Add est-ce que at the beginning of a sentence.

  • Use inversion, but it’s a bit more complex and usually reserved for written style/expression.

You can form a question by starting the sentence with the tag est-ce que and ending it with a question mark. Est-ce que doesn’t translate in English, but it’s the equivalent of Do you or Are you. Here are some examples:

Statement: Mes amis vont au cinéma. (My friends go to the movies.)
Question: Est-ce que mes amis vont au cinéma? (Are my friends going to the movies?)
Statement: Je peux sortir. (I can go out.)
Question: Est-ce que je peux sortir? (Can I go out?)
Statement: C’est facile (It’s easy.)
Question: Est-ce que c’est facile? (Is it easy?)

If est-ce que precedes a subject that begins with a vowel, it changes to est-ce qu’ as illustrated in the following example:

Est-ce qu’il pleut? (Is it raining?)
blog comments powered by Disqus
French Adverbs of Time, Place, and Quantity
The Basics of Comparing Two Elements in French
How to Create and Use Gerunds in French
French Expressions of Quantity with Numbers or de
French Accents and the Cedilla
Advertisement

Inside Dummies.com