Inversion with n'est-ce pas

GabrielC1Kwiziq community member

Inversion with n'est-ce pas

Bonjour, j'ai répondu à une question où je devais transformer l'affirmation suivante "Marie vient demain" en une question en utilisant ''n'est-ce pas ?". Ma réponse "Marie vient-elle demain, n'est-ce pas ?" a été jugée fausse, mais je n'ai pas compris pourquoi je ne peux pas utiliser l'inversion dans ce cas.  Je vous remercie d'avance!

Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Gabriel,

When you use n'est-ce pas,  there is never an inversion -

Vous parlez espagnol, n'est-ce pas ? You speak Spanish, don't you ?

Elle ne parle pas allemand, n'est-ce pas ? = She doesn't speak German, does she?

Ces gens étaient norvégiens, n'est-ce pas ? = These people were Norwegian, weren't they? 

Nous allons recevoir une réponse n'est-ce pas ? = We are going to receive an answer, won't we ?

Ce serait bien, n'est-ce pas ? It would be great, wouldn't it?

This is a rare case when French is easier than English as 'n'est-ce pas' can be a whole host of possibilities like isn't she, don't you, won't we etc.

Hope this helps!

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

You asked an inverted question "Marie vient-elle demain, n'est-ce pas ?" - Effectively "Is Mary coming tomorrow, is it not ?" 

"n'est-ce pas ?" can only be added to a statement to convert it to a question - "Mary vient demain, n'est-ce pas ?"   - "Mary is coming tomorrow, is it not ?"

MarkC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Sorry Maarten but not quite getting your logic.. Think I  would be very happy with "Mary's coming tomorrow, isn't she" either as a question or affirmation.. Which is what Gabriel is asking?

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

“Marie vient-elle demain ?”  is already/always  a question. You can’t add “n’est-ce pas” as well, to make it a question. “Marie vient demain” without modification, is a statement. Adding “n’est-ce pas” makes it a question. “ Marie vient demain” can also be a question but only with appropriate intonation.

GabrielC1Kwiziq community member

J'ai compris! Merci.

MarkC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Think I am getting this... as usual it is the English that is the problem with the redundant  "isn't she"

cheers

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

It's actually the same in English: you can't add "isn'tshe" to a question: Is Marie coming tomorrow, isn't she? -- That simply doesn't work in either English or French. In English you need a statement so that you can append "isn't she" to it, same as in French: Marie is coming tomorrow, isn't she?

English and French are even in sync when it comes to a statement being also a question: "Marie is coming tomorrow" this  can be a statement or a question in English, depending on intonation. And if you want to use "isn't she", it is intonated as a statement. Same as in French.

MarkC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Agreed.. that was what I was thinking and good to see it clarified 

Inversion with n'est-ce pas

Bonjour, j'ai répondu à une question où je devais transformer l'affirmation suivante "Marie vient demain" en une question en utilisant ''n'est-ce pas ?". Ma réponse "Marie vient-elle demain, n'est-ce pas ?" a été jugée fausse, mais je n'ai pas compris pourquoi je ne peux pas utiliser l'inversion dans ce cas.  Je vous remercie d'avance!

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