French Grammar

Word order

Interrogative sentence

The most convenient way to ask a question is to use the phrase "est-ce que" :

Est-ce qu'elle parle ? Is she speaking?

Inversion is also used. The pronominal subject then comes after the verb, connected to it by a dash. If the 3rd person singular does not end with -t, a connecting -t- in the 3rd person singular is added before pronouns il, elle, on. It concerns two tenses : présent and future simple, also compound tenses with avoir:

Parles-tu? / Est-ce que tu parles ?

Parle-t-elle? / Est-ce qu'elle parle?

A-t-il vu cette voiture ? / Est-ce qu'il a vu cette voiture ?

This -t- is called euphonic. In reality, it's a remnant of a Latin verb ending -t which disappeared, but which still reappears in this form.

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