In French, there's (almost) no inversion of Je + verb
to ask a question in Le Présent Indicatif
, except for pouvoir
Simple Yes/No Questions
The inverted forms of je peux, je vais, je suis, j'ai are as follow:
Puis-je avoir le pain, s'il vous plaît?May I have the bread, please?
Suis-je à la bonne adresse?Am I at the right address?
Ai-je assez d'argent?Do I have enough money?
Vais-je dans la bonne direction?Am I going the right way?
Note that these forms are rarely used nowadays, as they're considered quite formal and old-fashioned. French people will use est-ce que or "statement order" questions instead.
Case of puis-je
In the case of pouvoir, note that je peux becomes irregular in the inverted form: puis-je, in order to ease pronunciation.
This structure is very formal as we stated before, and is usually used to sound particularly polite or even a bit affected: the nearest English equivalent would be to use May I...?
More Complex Questions
You can also use all of the question words (Comment, Quand,...) at the beginning with puis-je, ai-je and suis-je:
Comment puis-je faire ça?How can I do that?
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