Skip to Content

Est-ce que meaning: Is, are, do, does in French

Est-ce que meaning: Is, are, do, does in French

In today’s lesson we’ll look at one of the single most important words in the entire French langauge: est-ce que. Translations include “is”, “are”, “do” and “does” in the context of asking yes-no questions. Est-ce que vous êtes prêts ? (Are you ready?) – keep reading!

est-ce que


Est-ce que in French


According to, est-ce que is the inverstion if c’est que, which translates to “it’s that”. Hence, est-ce que translates literally to “is it that?”.


Est-ce que in French is pronounced “ehs-kuh” or [ɛs-kə].

Example sentences

This is a standard yes-no question using est-ce que. The grammatical stucture is: est-ce que + subject + verb + object.

Est-ce que vous parlez français ?

Do you speak French?

When using the pronouns il (he) and elle (she), the -e on que is removed. Hence, qu’il sounds like [keel] and qu’elle sounds like [kell].

Est-ce qu’il comprend ? Est-ce qu’elle comprend?

Does he understand? Does she understand?

This same rule applies to ils and elles (they). Hence, qu’ils and qu’elles. This example sentence uses the word français, which means “French” in French.

Est-ce qu’ils apprennent le français ou l’allemand ?

Are they learning French or German?

Est-ce que can also be followed by c’est ot mean “is it…?”. This example sentence uses aujourd’hui, which means “today”.

Est-ce que c’est une bonne idée d’y aller aujourd’hui ?

Is it a good idea to go today?


Et voilà ! Est-ce que vous avez compris la leçon? Did you understand the lesson? There are many other ways of asking questions in French, which we cover in depth in this lesson.

Est-ce que vous voyez la vallée ? Do you see the valley?
Est-ce que vous voyez la vallée ? Do you see the valley?

Sharing is caring!

Affiliate disclosure: Below you will find affiliate links. If you purchase something after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission. To learn more please visit our full disclosure page. Merci!

Sign up to download your free trial of À Moi Paris a French course which I recommend to my personal students to help with pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. After that, upgrade for access to 77 hours of audio lessons.

Read our full review of À Moi Paris and find out why we love it so much!

Are you struggling with French verb conjugations? Then we highly recommend French Today's French Verb Drills course. Get over 28 hours of audio exercises to build reflexes and dramatically improve your French level and confidence.

Read our full review of French Verb Drills and find out why we recommend this course!

David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

See all posts by