How To Use French Interrogative Adjectives & Pronouns

The interrogative adjectives quel, quelle, quels, quelles mean “which?” or “what?”. They must agree in number and gender with the nouns they modify. The French interrogative pronouns lequel, laquelle, lesquels and lesquelles mean “which one?” and “which ones?”. This page will cover both French interrogative adjectives and pronouns in detail.

Guide to French interrogative adjectives and pronouns.
MasculineFeminine
SingularQuel livre?Which book?Quelle table?Which table?
PluralQuels livres?Which books?Quelles tables? Which tables?
French interrogative adjective example

1. How to use the interrogative adjectives quel, quelle, quels, quelles

Quel is often preceded by a preposition.

  • De quel film parles-tu? What movie are you talking about?
  • Pour quelle raison êtes-vous en retard? Why are you late?
  • Avec quelle frequence parlez-vous français? How often do you speak French?
  • De quelle couleur sont tes cheveux? What color is your hair?

Quel can be followed by a noun + est-ce que or a noun then the question asked using the inversion.

  • Quelle langue est-ce que tu étudies? What language are you studying?
  • Quel état aimes-tu le plus? What is your favorite state?
  • Quel film est-ce que tu veux regarder? What movie do you want to watch?
  • Quel roman veux-tu lire? Which book do you want to read?
  • Quelles villes veux-tu visiter? Which cities do you want to visit?

Quel can also precede être (to be)to mean what or “which is?” or “which are?”.

  • Quel est le problème? What’s the problem?
  • Quelles sont tes activités préférées? What are you favorite activities?
  • Quelle est la capitale de la suisse? What’s the capital of Switzerland?
  • Quels sont les pays francophones? What are the French-speaking countries?

Quel is also used in a lot of very common day-to-day questions.

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Quel may also precede a noun in the form of an exclamation.

  • Quelle bonne journée! What a beautiful day!
  • Quelle voiture! What are car!
  • Quelle horreur! How awful!
  • Quelle surprise! What a surprise!
  • Quel abruti! (slang!) What an idiot!
  • Quel dommage! What a shame!
French interrogative pronoun example

2. How to use the interrogative pronouns lequel, laquel, lesquels and lesquelles

The French interrogative pronoun lequel has several uses and means “which one?” or “which ones?”. It must agree in gender and number with the the nous it refers to. There are four forms: lequel, laquel, lesquels and lesquelles.

Lequel can also be used as a relative pronoun meaning that, which or who. For example, “C’est l’homme pour lequel je travail” (He’s the man who I work for).

Chart explaining “lequel”

MasculineFeminine
Singularlequel?which one?laquelle?which one?
Plurallesquels?which ones?lesquelles?which ones

Example sentences using lequel

  • Voici deux options. Laquelle préférez-vous? Here are two options. Which one do you prefer?
  • J’ai deux livres pour vous. Lequel voulez-vous? I have to books for you. Which one do you want?
  • Lequel de ces deux films veux-tu regarder? Which one of these two movies to you want to watch?
  • Laquelle de ces deux voitures est la plus rapide? Which one of these two cars is the fastest?
  • Regardez les deux femmes! Laquelle des deux est la plus belle? Look at the two women. Which one is the most beautiful?
  • Deux maisons sont disponibles? Laquelle des deux voulez-vous? Two houses are available. Which one do you want?

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