Ask questions, learn French grammar, and impress your French native friends!

How long can a conversation last without a question? Not very long, right? When learning French, asking questions is a fundamental skill. French question words need to be added to your vocabulary so that you can build questions and speak with French natives in the most natural way. 

In this blog post I put together all French question words and example questions to show you how to use them. 

Get ready to embark on an enlightening journey that will transform your understanding of the French language!

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Rules about French question words

  1. They don’t always go in front 

Unlike English, French question structure allows you to place the question word at the end rather than at the beginning. However, when this happens, you might have to change the question word. 

Que/qu’est-ce que becomes quoi

  1. There is no auxiliary in French questions

Should, Will, Do, Are, Did, … although all of these auxiliary verbs are necessary to build a question in English, they do not exist in French. Instead, French questions follows the simple structure:

Question word + subject + verb (+ complement?) 

That’s all! Super easy, right?

    1. Just change your tone.

To ask closed questions in French, you just have to change your tone at the end of an affirmative sentence. Although there are different ways to form questions, that is the easiest one, especially if you are just beginning your language learning journey and don’t feel comfortable enough to play with word order and French sentence structure. 

This means you can say: 

Ta maison est proche. 
Your house is nearby.

And change the tone to turn the question into a question:

Ta maison est proche?
Is your house nearby?

Not sure you will remember? I got you! Here’s a freebie on me. Download a free french question words poster and stick it on your wall to always remember how to make the best questions! 

Free French Question Words Poster

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    Quoi/Qu’est-ce que – What

    Que/qu’est-ce que is probably the trickiest question word in French due to its changing form.  In French, “qu’est-ce que” is a phrase that is commonly used to introduce a direct question or to ask “what.” It is a combination of the words “que” (what) and “est-ce que” (literally meaning “is it that”).

    Qu'est-ce que vous aimez faire?
    What do you like to do?

    Tu veux manger quoi?
    What do you want to eat?

    Quel / Lequel – Which

    Teacher tip: keep in mind quel/lequel accord in gender and number, which means they have feminine and plural forms. 

    Masculine singular Masculine plural Feminine Singular Feminine plural
    quel quels quelle quelles
    lequel lesquels laquelle lesquelles

    Quel livre me recommandes-tu?
    Which book do you recommend?

    Quelle est ta ville préférée?
    What is your favourite city?

    Ah bon? Lequel?
    Oh really? Which one?

    Pourquoi  – Why

    Pourquoi êtes-vous en retard?
    Why are you late?

    Pourquoi a-t-elle déménagé?
    Why did she move?

    Où – Where

    Tu habites où?
    Where do you live?

    Elle est où Marie?
    Where is Marie?

    Comment – How

    Comment vont-ils?
    How are they?

    Comment est ce livre?
    How is this book?

    Quand – When

    Quand comment le film?
    When does the movie start?

    Tu arrives quand?
    When are you getting here?

    Qui – Who

    Qui êtes-vous?
    Who are you?

    Qui vient à la fête?
    Who is coming to the party?

    Combien – How

    Combien ça coûte?
    How much does it cost?

    Elle fait du sport combien de fois par semaine?
    How many times a week does she do sports?

    Mastering French question words opens up a world of possibilities in your language journey. By understanding how to use and apply all question words in French, you gain the ability to engage in meaningful conversations, seek information, and express your curiosity in the French language. And don’t forget to get yourself that free french question words poster to remember this vocabulary forever.

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