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Also confused about inversion being more formal. I learned that Qu'est-ce que vous aimez? is more formal than Qu'aimez vous?. Did I learn it wrong?

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Rebecca

Kwiziq community member

11 June 2018

3 replies

Also confused about inversion being more formal. I learned that Qu'est-ce que vous aimez? is more formal than Qu'aimez vous?. Did I learn it wrong?

This relates to:
Questions: Que ... = What ... ? -

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

12 June 2018

12/06/18

Hi Rebecca,


It is the other way round.


I know that is is tempting for an English student to want to prefer the inversion as it is used in English. However in French out of the three ways of forming questions, it will be the  least favoured particularly in simple questions as it sounds not only formal but pompous.


But we have to teach it...


Hope this helps!


 

Rebecca

Kwiziq community member

12 June 2018

12/06/18

Gotcha. So to clarify:


Qu'est-ce que vous aimez? - formal, but overly so and thus not preferred - maybe antiquated?


Qu'aimez vous? - appropriately formal, sounds current and natural


and of course the 'tu' forms are just informal.


Have I got that right?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

13 June 2018

13/06/18

Hi Rebecca,


'Quest-ce-que vous aimez?' is more informal and colloquial than the inversion of the subject and verb in 'Qu'aimez-vous?'.


In spoken French you will hear an awful lot of 'est-ce-que' for asking questions so you have to be able to recognise it and preferably use when appropriate.


In written French , the inversion will be preferred as more formal. It is not antiquated just more formal.


Hope this helps!


 

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