French Question Words

French Question WordsOn another page we learned about the French question words qui (who) and que (what) and how they can be used with various forms of est-ce que and inversion. Here’s the list of additional French question words.

FRENCHENGLISH
combien?how much? how many?
comment?how?
depuis combien de temps?how long? for how long?
depuis quand? how long? since when?
lequel? laquelle? lesquel(le)s?which one(s)?
où?Where?
d'où?From where?
pourquoi?why?
quand?when?
quel, quelle, quels, quelles?which + NOUN?

These question words can be used to gather information as opposed to yes-no questions.

combien?

  • Combien est-ce que ça coute? How much does that cost?
  • Combien coûte le fromage? How much does the cheese cost?
  • C’est combien? How much is it?

comment?

  • Comment est-ce que tu écris ton prénom? How do you write your name?
  • Comment chantes-tu cette chanson? How do you sing this song?
  • Comment vas-tu? How are you?
  • Comment allez-vous? How are you?
  • Comment? What?

depuis combien de temps?

  • Depuis combien de temps est-ce que tu habites en France? How long have you lived in France?
  • Depuis combien de temps habites-tu au Texas? How long have you been living in Texas?

depuis quand?

  • Depuis quand est-ce que tu habites sur l’île? How long have you lived on the island?
  • Depuis quand étudies-tu le français? How long have you been studying French?

lequel, laquelle, lesquel(le)s

  • Lequel des deux pantelons est-ce que tu préfères? Which one of the pairs of pants do you prefer?
  • Laquelle des deux voitures aimes-tu? Which one of the cars do you like?

où?

  • est-ce que tu travailles? Where do you work?
  • habitez-vous? Where do you live?
  • sont les toilettes? Where is the bathroom?

D’où?

  • D’où est-ce que tu viens? Where are you from?
  • D’où venez-vous? Where are you from?

pourquoi?

  • Pourquoi est-ce que tu joues du violin? Why do you play the violin?
  • Pourquoi aimes-tu faire du ski? Why do you like to ski?
  • Pourquoi est-ce que tu gaspilles tant de temps sur ce site? Why are you wasting so much time on this website?

quand?

  • Quand est-ce que je vais reussir dans la vie? When will I succeed in life?
  • Quand arrivez-vous dans les montagnes? When are you arriving in the mountains?

quel + noun?

  • Quel livre est-ce que tu lis? Which book are you reading?
  • Quelle voiture choisis-tu? Which are are you choosing?

In formal language when there’s a noun followed by the inversion the following structure is used.

  • Quand Marc arrive-t-il en France? When is Marc arriving in France?
  • les gens habitent-ils? Where to the people live?
  • Pourquoi le bâtiemnt est-il construit en bois? Why is the built withof wood?
  • Pourquoi l’accent québecois est-il si difficle? Why is the French-Canadian accent so hard?
  • Pourquoi les magasins sont-ils encore fermés? Why are the stores still closed.

Practice Exercises

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