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?

RebeccaA2Kwiziq community member

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?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

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!

 

CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

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!

 

RebeccaA2Kwiziq community member

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?

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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