Hi April and Karen,
As Chris has already said, both structures mean the same , What's this?, What's that?
Maybe the problem is that the French use 'est-ce-que' an awful lot when asking questions. In spoken French this is the one you will hear most often as the inversion often sounds stilted and you need to recognise it at least.
If you find it difficult to use, you may consider the third way of asking questions which is the statement with the voice rising at the end :
C'est quoi ça? C'est quoi ce livre? (What's that? , What's this book?)
which means the same as,
Quest-ce -que c'est que ça? Qu'est-ce-que c'est que ce livre ?
but is somewhat less elegant but fine in conversation.
Hope this helps!
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