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UNE QUESTION, MES AMIS !

Before you can pass the bridge to the 'Holy Grail', you must answer these questions 3!

Yes
, we are looking at questions. In French there are many ways to ask questions. We are going to look at 3 different ways in this lesson. To demonstrate these 3 different ways we are going to use some different phrases. Let's start from the beginning. Imagine somebody asking you if you want a pet, a monkey, for instance.

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NO. THANK YOU!
Do you want a monkey?Tu veux un singe? (informal)
Do you want a monkey?Vous voulez un singe? (formal)
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NO “DO” WORD IN FRENCH…

Observe that in French, we don't use the words “Do, Don't, did”, etc. If you translate literally the sentence above, it's going to be: “you want a monkey?” (The “do” is missing). So, this is it, the first way of asking something in French is using the verb without “DO”. EASY! Simply raise your voice pitch at the end of the sentence so that it sounds like a question. It doesn't get much simpler than this!

INTONATION…
Vous voulez un alligator
vous voulez un alligator?
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SECOND WAY = THE INVERSION

The second way is EASY-ISH! Here you simply reverse the verb (vouloir) and the pronoun (vous) in the first part of the sentence (and include a hyphen in-between). In French this a common way to ask questions formally

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SEE SOME EXAMPLES…
Vous voulez un singeVoulez-vous un singe?
Tu veux un alligatorVeux-tu un alligator?
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THIRD WAY = “EST-CE QUE”

STILL PRETTY SIMPLE!

This
time, you prefix the original phrase with “Est-ce que” which directly translated means “IS-IT-THAT...”

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WHO WROTE THESE SENTENCES?
Est-ce que tu veux un boa?
Est-ce que vous voulez un boa?
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RAISE YOUR VOICE!

We now have another simple phrase that we are going to convert into a question using the 3 methods described above. This phrase is: “il aime les gorilles”. Again without the question mark it is a simply a statement about his fondness for monkeys (well apes actually). YOU KNOW THIS NOW! No catches here, again simply raise your voice pitch at the end of the sentence so that it sounds like a question

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LISTEN AND REPEAT!
Il aime les gorilles
Il aime les gorilles?
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MORE OF THE SAME…

Now, lets see a second form. The one with “EST-CE QUE”. STILL SIMPLE! This time you still prefix the original phrase with “Est-ce-que” which you remembered means “IS-IT-THAT...” (Or "here comes a question"!) BUT, because the pronoun starts with a vowel, “-que” becomes “-qu'”

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YOU MEAN…?
Il aime les gorilles
Est-ce qu'il aime les gorilles?
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THE FORMAL ONE ACTUALLY…

The last one is more difficult. It's the inversion one. The difficulty is related to the vowels. Reverse the verb (aimer) and the pronoun “IL”, (as before) in the first part of the sentence (remembering the hyphen).

IMPORTANT: REPEAT AND REPEAT…
Il aime les gorilles
Aime-t-il les gorilles?
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FRENCH EXERCISES - LESSON 4
MORE..
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...Get a good dictionary and learn how to use it! Try not to think too literally and don't just accept the first translation you see. Just as in English, most words can mean more than one thing. Do not neglect picture dictionaries for children or monolingual dictionaries....

SURELY SOME MISTAKE!

HOWEVER: If the pronoun is “IL”, “ELLE” or “ON” (i.e. starts with a vowel) and the verb ends in a vowel you must add a 'T'. This is done so that you can hear the difference between the two words, if it wasn't there, you would not be able to understand that it was two separate words. Otherwise, French people could not even communicate. They would have to use English!

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YOU ASK TOO MANY QUESTIONS…

Now we have another phrase that we are going to look at converting into a question using the 3 methods described above, this time the phrase is negative. This phrase is: “Elle n'aime pas le lion”. Once again without the question mark it is a simple phrase about what she isn't liking. In this case, big cats. REALLY SIMPLE! Still no catches here, raise your voice pitch at the end of the sentence.

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...You are now able to ask questions with a negative....

IS THIS A JOKE?
Elle n'aime pas le lion
Elle n'aime pas le lion?
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RANDOM ANIMALS!
caterpillar
une chenille
FOCUS ON YOUR FRENCH VERBS!
SIMPLE?

Second type of question. STILL SIMPLE!

As
before, prefix the original phrase with « Est-ce-que ». Remembering that the pronoun “ELLE” starts with a vowel, “QUE” becomes QU'

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SURELY SOME MISTAKE!

This time you reverse the verb (aimer) and the pronoun “elle”, as before in the first part of the sentence (Remembering the hyphen). AGAIN with the T! Because the pronoun is “elle” and the verb ends in a vowel you must add the “T”. The fact this phrase is negative doesn't affect anything else.

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SILLINESS
My lion likes books
Mon lion aime les livres
WHO WOULD ASK SOMETHING LIKE THAT?
Elle n'aime pas le lion
Est-ce qu'elle n'aime pas le lion?
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LISTEN AND REPEAT!
Elle n'aime pas le lion
N'aime-t-elle pas le lion?
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MY ACHIEVEMENTS
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...You are able to have the right intonation asking questions. Good pronunciation!...

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FRENCH EXERCISES - LESSON 4
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