A simple method to know the six methods in which you can say “what” in French.

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The native “what” is deceptively complex when you analyze it. It looks choose a straightforward one-to-one native translation, yet the truth is that “what” is supplied in plenty of expressions the are analyzed using countless different words in other languages.

It’s tempting to just say “what” in French is quoi — and also it is, sometimes — yet the fact is you need to understand a few other expressions in English.

(French speakers have the same trouble coming the other way, by the way. Once they want to translate a word favor “quoi”, suddenly they realise there room so numerous ways in which it have the right to be used!)

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Que

Using que has a an easy rule the thumb: use que at the beginning of a sentence.

There is simply one usual kind the sentence that supplies que standalone.

Note that que gets abbreviated v liaison if adhered to by a vowel.

See the following instances of when to usage que come say “what” in French.

EnglishFrench
What execute you think (of it)?Qu‘en pensez-vous?
What do you see?Que voyez-vous?
What execute you desire to eat?Que veux-tu manger?
Examples of “what” in French: Qu’est-ce que and qu’est-ce qui

Quoi

The word quoi is an extremely useful in French.

Here’s as soon as you usage it come say “what”:

Use quoi after a preposition, favor à or deUse quoi ~ a verb or in ~ the finish of a sentence (which is much less formal/more colloquial grammar)Use quoi together an exclamation standalone.

See the following examples of when to usage quoi to say “what” in French.

EnglishFrench
What are you thinking about?À quoi pensez-vous?
What’s that about?De quoi s’agit-il?
I wonder what it’s make with.Je me demande avec quoi il est fait.

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What go that median then?Ça veux dire quoi alors?
He wants… what??Il veut… quoi??
What’s the time? (casual)C’est quoi l’heure?
What’s that thingamajig?C’est quoi ce truc-là?
What???Quoi???
Examples of “what” in French: Qu’est-ce que and qu’est-ce qui

As you have the right to see, quoi is nice useful! yet remember, usage que at the beginning.