Est ce que questions worksheet

Est ce que questions worksheet DEFAULT

Essential French Expression

Meaning(turns a statement into a question)
Literallyis it that
Pronunciation [ehs keu]
IPA  [ɛs kə]

Usage notes:Est-ce que is unique among French expressions in that it doesn’t actually mean anything – it’s just a way of turning a statement into a question, kind of like the word "do" in English. The difference is that the word order changes when asking a question with "do," whereas in French, it stays exactly the same, with est-ce que placed directly in front of the statement.

Est-ce que is the inversion of c’est que, literally, “it is that.” Hence the hyphen between est and ce: c’est = ce + est is inverted to est-ce.

Though est-ce que is widespread in spoken French, it’s much less common in writing because it’s slightly informal. Remember that if you’re in a formal situation, you should avoid it in favor of inversion.

Par exemple…

Tu es prêt.
   > Est-ce que tu es prêt ?
You are ready
   > Are you ready?
Michel l’a fait.
   > Est-ce que Michel l’a fait ?
Michel did it.
   > Did Michel do it?
Vous voulez danser.
   > Est-ce que vous voulez danser ?
You want to dance.
   > Do you want to dance?
  As always, quecontractsto qu’when it precedes a word that begins with a vowel.

Par exemple…

Elle est sympa.
   > Est-ce qu’elle est sympa ?
She’s nice.
   > Is she nice?
Il y a du pain.
   > Est-ce qu’il y a du pain ?
There’s bread.
   > Is there any bread?
Arnaud va nous accompagner.
   > Est-ce qu’Arnaud va nous accompagner ?
Arnaud is going to accompany us.
   > Is Arnaud going to accompany us?

So far, these have all been yes/no questions. WH questions (which ask for information like “who” and “how”) are a bit different: they need an interrogatory pronoun, adverb, or adjective before est-ce que:

Par exemple…

Qui est-ce que nous allons inviter ?   Whom are we going to invite?
Pourquoi est-ce que tu es parti ? Why did you leave?
Quelle voiture est-ce qu’elle préfère ? Which car does she prefer?

 Related lessons


questions with intonation
One of the easiest ways to ask a question that may be answered by yes/no is to raise the pitch of your voice at the end of a statement. In a declarative statement, the pitch normally falls. Listen to the following dialogue and pay close attention to the intonation.

Tex: Trey, tu aimes la philosophie? Tex: Trey, do you like philosophy?
Trey: Non. Je n'aime pas la philosophie. Trey: No. I do not like philosophy.
Tex: Tu connais Sartre? Tex: Do you know Sartre?
Trey: Non. Qui est-ce? Trey: No. Who is that?
Tex: Gloups! C'est l'auteur du chef d'oeuvre existentialiste, La Nausée. Tex: Gulp! He's the author of the existentialist masterpiece, Nausea.

questions using 'est-ce que ... ?'
Another way to ask a yes/no question is to place est-ce que before a statement. Note that que becomes qu' before a vowel.
aimes les films

Trey: Et toi, Tex, est-ce que tu aimes les films? Trey: And you, Tex, do you like films?
Tex: Bien sûr, j'adore les films. Tex: Of course, I adore films.
Trey: Est-ce que tu connais Yoda? Trey: Do you know Yoda?
Tex: Non. Qui est-ce? Tex: No. Who is that?
Trey: Duh ... Trey: Duh ...

questions using 'n'est-ce pas ?'
N'est-ce pas? is added to the end of a yes/no question when the speaker expects an affirmative response.

Trey: Tu connais 'La guerre des étoiles,' n'est-ce pas? Yoda, c'est le petit sage. Trey: You know 'Star Wars,' don't you? Yoda is the little wise man.

Listen to the end of the dialogue:

Trey: Yoda est mon héros. Tu ne connais pas Yoda? Trey: Yoda is my hero. You don't know Yoda?
Tex: Ah, si, si, si*, je connais le petit philosophe. Est-ce que tu es fou? Yoda n'est pas Sartre. Tex: Ah, yes, yes, yes, I do know the little philosopher. Are you crazy? Yoda is not Sartre.
Trey: Oh, mais la philosophie de Yoda est plus intéressante que la philosophie existentialiste de La Nausée! Tu es d'accord, n'est-ce pas? Trey: Oh, but Yoda's philosophy is more interesting than the existentialist philosophy of La Nausée! You agree, don't you?
Tex: Quel crétin! Retourne à tes jeux électroniques! Tex: What an idiot! Go back to your video games!

*Si is used to answer 'yes' to a negative question.


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Est-ce que

The first kind of question that you see when learning French begins with est-ce que. But, it's what comes after that determines the question. At a shop you may hear, Est-ce que je pourrais vous aider? ('May I help you?') This would literally translate to 'Is it that I could help you?' But, you don't need to try and literally translate this phrase. Just think of it here as 'May I help you?'


Est-ce que can also be thought of as a yes/no question or as the English verb 'do.' Est-ce que vous savez où est la bibliotheque? ('Do you know where the library is?') Here are some examples of questions you might see. Notice that you can use many different verbs to ask questions and both tu (you) and vous (formal you) can be used.

  • Est-ce que vous preferez du café ou du thé? ('Do you prefer coffee or tea?')
  • Est-ce que tu as une voiture? ('Do you have a car?')
  • Est-ce que vous parlez l'anglais? ('Do you speak English?')

You can use the question words before est-ce que to ask more detailed information questions. For example, Qu'est-ce que c'est? ('What is it?') is a straightforward and simple question that requests more information. With a question word before est-ce que, it's much easier because you can think of the phrase as one unit asking the main question. At a restaurant, you may hear the server say, Qu'est-ce que vous voulez? They are asking, 'What would you like?'

  • Qu'est-ce que tu veux? ('What do you want?')
  • Quand est-ce que vous venez? ('When are you coming?')

Now that we've seen questions using est-ce que, you may be thinking, 'Wow, that seems like a mouthful!' Luckily, there are many ways to form interrogative sentences.


An easy, and possibly more formal, way to ask a question in French is through inverting the subject and the verb. We saw in the previous section that we can use est-ce que to ask a 'do' question like Est-ce que vous avez une voiture? That same question can be asked in a more casual style by saying, Avez-vous une voiture? ('Do you have a car?')

Look at the examples to see how simple and short inversion questions can be! Note that you can use the inversion question with either the formal/plural vous or the informal/singular tu.

  • Préférez-vous le café ou le thé? ('Do you prefer coffee or tea?')
  • Parlez-vous l'anglais? ('Do you speak English?')
  • Aimes-tu la musique? ('Do you like music?')
  • Es-tu célibataire? ('Are you single?')

It's important to remember that, when you're writing an inversion question, you put a hyphen between the inverted verb and subject!


You can also use the question words from the beginning of the lesson with this structure:

  • Qui êtes-vous? ('Who are you?')
  • Que penses-tu? ('What do you think?')
  • Où est-il? ('Where is he?')
  • Comment allez-vous? ('How are you?')


With intonation questions, you use the voice to indicate that you're asking a question; therefore, you do not need to invert the subject and the verb. Intonation can typically be a less formal way of asking questions.

For example, Vous parlez l'anglais? ('Do you speak English?') Your voice should rise a little when pronouncing the word anglais. This lets the listener know that you are asking a question and not making a statement. Here you can also use a question word at the of the phrase. Il est où? (Where is he?)


It's easy to differentiate between a question and a statement in writing because of the question mark, but in speaking, you must change your intonation if you're using this form.

Lesson Summary

You have several choices when using interrogative sentences, and many questions can be structured in more than one way. Remember there are certain vocabulary words you can use when asking questions. When using inversion in writing, always put a hyphen between the verb and subject. If you choose intonation, always raise the tone of your voice at the end of the sentence.

Question Type of questions Translation
qui êtes-vous? inversion Who are you?
qu'est-ce que tu penses? est-ce que What do you think?
il est où? intonation Where is he?
quand est-ce que nous allons? est-ce que When are we going?
combien ça coute? intonation how much does that cost?
QU EST CE QUE C EST-Audio questions and answers

Questions with qui, que, quoi, quand, où, comment, pourquoi, combien

Commentvas-tu ?How are you?

Qu'est-ce qu'elle veut faire?What does she want to do?

Quandest-ce que vous quittez Chicago?When do you leave Chicago?

Quand partent-ils?When are they leaving?

Pourquoi ont-ils des rayures ?Why have they got stripes?

Tu vas comment ?How are you?

Comment tu vas ?How are you?

Qu'écoutes-tu à la radio ?What do you listen to on the radio?

Que veut-il ?What does he want?

est-ce que tu vas ?Where are you going?

Combienest-ce que ça coûte?How much does it cost?


C'est quoi ?What is it?

Tu fais ça comment ?How are you doing that?

C'est qui ?Who is it?

C'est combien ?How much is that?

C'est où ?Where is it?

C'est quand ?When is it?

Pourquoi tu rigoles?Why are you laughing?


Qu'est-ce?What is it?

Quiest-ce ?Who is it?


Ce que worksheet est questions

Asking French Questions: The Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide

Imagine the scenario: You’re in French class. And you need help.

What do you do?

You ask a question, of course!

But wait—learning French should be immersive. In other words, it should be done in French. So what do you do?!

Well, naturally, you’ll want to ask a question in French!

In order to pipe up in class (and in other immersive French atmospheres), you’ll need to learn how to ask some basic French questions.

Luckily, asking questions in French is easy to master. When you really break it down, French questions follow certain basic “formulas.” If you can hack those formulas, you’ll be able to ask French questions with the mastery and enthusiasm of a little kid who just learned how to say “Pourquoi?” (“Why?”)

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

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Asking Yes-or-no Questions

It would be easy to just teach you how to ask the most essential “survival” questions. But why merely give you a fish when I could instead teach you how to fish?

In other words, it’s much more helpful to learn why questions are structured the way they are.

The simplest questions are those that need a “yes” or “no” answer. To ask questions like these, we can choose from a few alternatives.

Asking yes-or-no questions using est-ce que

The most formal way to ask a question is to take a declaratory sentence and add est-ce que which in English would be something like “is it that.” Let’s take a look at the sentence:

Vous êtes australien. (You are Australian.)

This is a statement that we can turn into a question as follows:

Est-ce que vous êtes australien? (Are you Australian?)

Asking yes-or-no questions by changing your tone

Especially in informal situations, with “yes” and “no” questions you can just keep the same word order of the statement and raise the tone on the last word of the question. In this case we have:

Vous êtes australien. (You are Australian.)

Vous êtes australien? (Are you Australian?)

Here is a helpful YouTube video to help you get the hang of asking questions by changing your tone.

Asking yes-or-no questions by changing word order

I find est-ce que incredibly simple to use, but you can also just invert the subject and verb of your sentence. Check out the following statement:

Vous allez au parc. (You go to the park.)

If we wanted to make this a question we could just say:

Allez-vous au parc? (Do you go to the park?)

This is an equally valid way to ask questions, and you might find it easier than using est-ce que. Note the hyphen between the verb and subject.

To get a hang of inversion questions—especially those pesky hyphens—the best method is lots of practice. Luckily there are lots of great resources for this online, such as this quiz or this fill-in-the-blank worksheet.

Asking Questions with French Question Words

Many questions cannot be answered by a simple “yes” or “no.” This means you’ll have to practice your French question words: French equivalents of who, what, when, where, why, how and how many. However, as you’ll see, they also can be hacked with simple formulas based on what we’ve already seen.

Asking “who” questions

The French word for “who” is qui. Let’s start with a simple question:

Qui est-il? (Who is he?)

The simplest way to ask this question is to put qui at the beginning of the sentence and then invert the subject and verb with a hyphen as we did above. Inverting the subject and verb is the most common way to ask questions involving qui, but let’s look at a more complicated example.

We could also use qui to form a question using your old friend, est-ce que:

Qui est-ce qui lit? (Who is reading?)

This is a great moment to explain that est-ce que is only used when what follows it could be a complete sentence(subject + verb + object). That’s why a question like Qui est-il? doesn’t include est-ce que.

But in the question qui est-ce qui lit? we have a subject and verb that could be a complete sentence, so we add the est-ce que, but of course since the answer to this question is a person and the subject of the sentence, we say est-ce qui.

In the case where the answer to the question is both a person and direct object, we say qui est-ce que, for example:

Qui est-ce que tu connais ici? (Who do you know here?)

Asking “what” and “which” questions

In French, “what” can be translated as que or quoi, and “which” can be translated in several ways depending on the number and gender of the subject it modifies: quel, quels, quelle, quelles. Let’s look at an example involving que. Usually que uses est-ce que as follows:

Qu’est-ce que c’est? (What is it/this?)

This extremely common question breaks down as follows: que + est-ce que + subject + verb

We’ll put est-ce que right after the question word in the majority of questions in French.

In addition to que, we also have the option of using the less formal alternativequoi. For example:

C’est quoi ça? (What is it/this?)

Asking “when” questions

The French word for “when” is quand, and as you can expect, we can make questions using our hack.

Quand est-ce que tu veux aller au cinéma? (When do you want to go to the movies?)

Note how we put est-ce que after the question word here, since what comes afterward could be a stand-alone sentence.

We could also just change the order of the words and use raised intonation:

Vous arrivez quand? (When will you arrive?)

Asking “where” questions

“Where” is translated as (note the accent). To ask where something is, you can formulate a question like:

Où est mon chat? (Where is my cat?)

Again, remember that we only use est-ce que when what follows could be a complete sentence (subject + verb + object). That’s why a sentence like Où est mon chat? doesn’t include est-ce que.

Note the difference between the last sentence and this one:

Où est-ce que tu veux aller? (Where do you want to go?)

Here we have a complete sentence (tu veux aller) following est-ce que, whereas in the first sentence, we only had a subject: mon chat.

Finally, we can simplify our question, eliminating the est-ce que and using the hyphen:

Où veux-tu aller? (Where do you want to go?)

Asking “why” questions

Asking “why” is one of the most important things you can ask. The French translation is pourquoi. Let’s look at an example:

Pourquoi est-ce que vous mangez trop? (Why do you eat too much?)

Once again, the same formula used above applies to why questions: you can use inversion and drop the est-ce que to ask the question in a different way.

Pourquoi mangez-vous trop? (Why do you eat too much?)

Asking “how” questions

We’ve covered the principal “who, what, when, where and why” questions, but there are other question words, such as “how,” or comment. Check this out:

Comment est-ce qu’on sort d’ici? (How do we get out of here?)

As always, we can also ask questions by reversing the subject and verb. For example:

Comment parle-t-on là-bas? (How do people speak there?)

Let’s stop for a quick teaching moment. You might be asking, “why is there a t between parle and on? When we ask a question by inverting the verb and the subject, if the last letter of the conjugated verb is a vowel as well as the first letter of the subject, we have to add a t that acts as a sort of pronunciation break.

Asking “how many” questions

In French, we have a word for “how many”: combien. Let’s check out a complete example:

Combien de chats est-ce qu’il y a dans la maison? (How many cats are there in the house?)

This sentence looks complicated, but it isn’t. Let’s break it into pieces:

Combien de + plural noun + est-ce que + il y a + dans la maison?

The est-ce qu’il y a is like saying “are there”. Notice the de after combien. This is always used, whether the subject that follows is countable or uncountable.

We can also replace the est-ce qu’il y a with y a-t-il which also means “are there”:

Combien de chats y a-t-il dans la maison?

Finally, we can start with il y a as follows:

Il y a combien de chats dans la maison?

Asking Essential French “Survival” Questions

Many questions fall neatly into the categories we studied above, and you can learn them over time just by applying some basic formulas.

However, some French questions are so important that they should be learned early on by all French learners, even if that means sitting down with a flashcard deck and memorizing them word-by-word.

Let’s take a look at some of these “survival” questions. You’ll notice that many of them are applications of the “question formulas” we’ve already learned!

How to ask someone’s name

If you want to know someone’s name, and you’re in an informal setting, you say:

Comment t’appelles-tu? (What is your name?)

In a formal setting, you’ll want to change up the verb slightly and ask:

Comment vous appelez-vous? (What is your name?)

Notice how we’re using the “invert subject and verb” method. Here, the key word is comment (how). The French question translates literally into, “How do you call yourself?”

How to ask someone’s age

If you’re asking someone’s age in an informal setting, say:

Quel âge as-tu? (How old are you?)

In a formal setting, ask:

Quel âge avez-vous?

Again, we’re inverting the subject and verb. Notice that in French, we discuss age with avoir (to have) and not être (to be). The question translates to: “What age do you have?”

How to ask for the price of something

If you need to buy something, you can simply ask:

Combien ça coûte? (How much does it/this cost?)

You can also say:

Quel est le prix de …? (What is the price of …?)

For example:

Quel est le prix du billet d’avion? (How much does the plane ticket cost?)

How to ask what time it is

To have someone tell you the time, you usually say:

Quelle heure est-il? (What time is it?)

Or more informally:

Il est quelle heure?

How to ask how to say a French word

This is a very important question that you have to memorize by heart in French. It’s especially important for anyone taking a French class. If you don’t know how to say something, you simply ask:

Comment dit-on … en français? (How do you say … in French?)

Note how we reverse dit and on, thus avoiding est-ce que. Then, to know how to spell the word, you ask:

Comment ça s’écrit? (How is it written?)

How to ask what’s happening

The plight of the foreign language learner is frequently having no idea what’s going on around you.

If you need some clarification, you can say:

Qu’est-ce qui se passe? (What is happening?)

Note that when est-ce que is followed by a verb, it changes to est-ce qui. You can also use the inversion method:

Que se passe-t-il? (What is happening?)

Remember that rogue t that showed up above? Here it is again, separating the vowels at the end of passe and the beginning of il.


Although asking questions in French sounds like a big topic, once you memorize the formulas you can ask questions about more or less anything. Once you can make statements and ask questions, you’re having a conversation. That’s to say: you’re officially speaking French. So ask away!

While we’re at it, I have one more question…


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For example, if you’re working on question words, you might check out French beauty vlogger Eglandine responding to subscriber questions, or listen to the questions that a French exchange student wants to ask her American classmates.

Each video comes equipped with interactive subtitles in both English and French, making this content accessible to learners at any level. You can also read along with full transcripts of each video and check your comprehension with quizzes. Plus, you can build customizable flashcard decks and vocab lists along the way, allowing you to review what you’ve learned.

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If you’re interested in watching fun, relevant videos while practicing French, it’s time to create a FluentU account and try out this one-of-a-kind program!

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Asking Questions in English - Question Structure - Fix Your Grammar Mistakes!

'Est-Ce Que': How to Ask Questions in French

Whether you're working, traveling, learning, or just trying to learn more about someone, questions are an important part of the conversation. There are, essentially, four ways to ask questions in French. Remember that when you ask a question in French, the verb is not demander but poser; the expression is "poser une question." 

There are two main types of questions:

  1. Polar questions or closed questions (questions fermées) that result in a simple yes or no answer.
  2. "WH-" questions (who, what, where, when, and why, along with how many and how much), constituent questions or open questions (questions ouvertes) ask for information with question(interrogative)words. 

Ways to Structure Questions: 

1. 'Est-Ce Que'

Est-ce que means literally "is it that," and can be placed at the beginning of any affirmative sentence to turn it into a question.

  • Est-cequevousdansez? Do you dance?
  • Est-ce que tu veux voir un film? Do you want to see a movie?
  • Est-ce qu'il est arrivé?: Has he arrived?

Place any interrogative word in front of est-ce .que

  • Qu'est-ce que c'est? What is it / that? What's going on?
  • Quand est-ce que tu veux partir? When do you want to leave?
  • Pourquoi est-ce qu'il a menti? Why did he lie?
  • Quel livre est-ce que vous cherchez? Which book are you looking for? 

2. Inversion

Inversion is a more formal way to ask questions. Just invert the conjugated verb and subject pronoun and join them with a hyphen. Again, place any interrogative words at the beginning of the question.

  • Quand veux-tu partir? When do you want to leave?
  • Quel livre cherchez-vous? Which book are you looking for?

Use inversion to ask negative questions.

  • Ne dansez-vous pas? Don't you dance?
  • N'est-il pas encore arrivé? Hasn't he arrived yet?

With the third person singular (ilelle, or on) and a verb that ends in a vowel, add t- between the verb and the subject pronoun for euphony, or a more harmonious sound.

  • Aime-t-il les films ? > Does he like movies?
  • Écoute-t-elle la radio ? > Does she listen to the radio?
  • A-t-on décidé ? > Have we decided?
  • Veux-tu voir un film? Do you want to see a movie?
  • Est-il arrivé? Has he arrived?
  • Pourquoi a-t-il menti? Why did he lie?

3. A Statement as a Question

A very simple but informal way to ask yes/no questions is to raise the pitch of your voice while pronouncing any sentence. This is a popular option of the many informal ways to ask questions in French. 

  • Vous dansez? You dance?
  • Tu veux voir un film? You want to see a movie?
  • Il est arrivé? He arrived?

You can also use this structure to ask negative questions:

  • Tu ne danses pas? You don't dance?
  • Il n'est pas encore arrivé? He hasn't arrived yet?

4. 'N'est-ce pas?'

If you're pretty sure the answer to your question is yes, you can just make an affirmative statement and then add the tag n'est-ce pas ? to the end.

  • Tu danses, n'est-ce pas? You dance, right? 
  • Tu veuxvoir un film, n'est-cepas? You want to see a movie, right? 
  • Il est arrivé, n'est-ce pas?  He arrived, right?

'Si' as a Response

This is a special French word that's used only when responding in the affirmative to a negative question.

Affirmative questionsNegative questions
Vas-tu au ciné ? > Oui
Are you going to the movies? >Yes
Ne vas-tu pas au ciné ? > Si !
Aren't you going to the movies? > Yes (I am)!
Est-ce que tu veux venir ? > Oui
Do you want to come? > Yes
Tu ne veux pas venir ? > Si !
You don't want to come? > Yes (I do)!

Watch Now: "Is There a Dresscode There?" in French


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