Qu'est-ce que c'est... and Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça/cela ? = What is... / What's that?

There are several ways to ask something to be explained with What is that/this/it? in French.

1.

C'est quoi ?
What is it? / What is that? / What is this?

Qu'est-ce que c'est ?
What's that?  /  What's this?  /  What is it?

Literally "what is it that it is?", it is pronounced [kess kuh say].

Note that est-ce is simply c'est inverted.

You can use C'est quoi [chose] ? or Qu'est-ce que c'est [chose] ?

C'est quoi le Sacré Cœur à Paris ?
What is the Sacré Cœur in Paris?

Qu'est-ce que c'est un stylo ?
What is a pen?

If you want to ask what something is by name, simply add the name of the thing after c'est quoi or qu'est-ce que c'est.
These are not the most elegant questions, but probably the most commonly used.

2.

Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça ?
What is that?  /  What is this?

Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela ?
What is that?  /  What is this?

Literally what is it that it is that that? (quite a mouthful!), this is pronounced simply [kess kuh seksah] and [kess kuh sek sullah].
Note that ça is the shortened form of cela.
Cela 
is quite formal, so you'll hear ça used much more frequently.


You can also use Qu'est-ce que c'est que + [something] :

Note: 'que' appears three times in this construction!

Qu'est-ce que c'est que le Sacré Coeur à Paris ?
What is the Sacré Coeur in Paris?

Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'un stylo ?
What's a 'stylo' - pen?

If you want to ask what something is by name, simply replace ça/cela with the name of the thing.
Remember to contract que into qu' if followed with a vowel or silent h.

3.

Qu'est-ce que cela ?
What is this ?
What is that ?

This shorter form of the question is actually more formal in French, and will therefore require the more elegant cela.
You wouldn't say Qu'est-ce que ça ?.

You can also use Qu'est-ce que + [chose] :

Qu'est-ce que le Sacré Coeur à Paris ?
What is the Sacré Coeur in Paris?

Qu'est-ce qu'un stylo ?
What's a 'stylo' - pen?

 

Once again, if you want to ask what something is by name, simply replace cela with the name of the thing.
Remember to contract que into qu' if followed with a vowel or silent h.

ATTENTION: 
When asking What is this/that? in the context of a choice, as in Which one is that?, you will then use Questions: Quel, quels, quelle, quelles = Which / what ?.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Qu'est-ce que c'est ?
What's that?  /  What's this?  /  What is it?


C'est quoi le Sacré Cœur à Paris ?
What is the Sacré Cœur in Paris?


Qu'est-ce que cela ?
What is this ?
What is that ?



Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça ?
What is that?  /  What is this?


Qu'est-ce que c'est un stylo ?
What is a pen?


Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela ?
What is that?  /  What is this?


C'est quoi ?
What is it? / What is that? / What is this?


more formal


Qu'est-ce que le Sacré Coeur à Paris ?
What is the Sacré Coeur in Paris?


Qu'est-ce qu'un stylo ?
What's a 'stylo' - pen?


Qu'est-ce que c'est que


Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'un stylo ?
What's a 'stylo' - pen?


Qu'est-ce que c'est que le Sacré Coeur à Paris ?
What is the Sacré Coeur in Paris?


Q&A Forum 29 questions, 61 answers

ShonA1Kwiziq community member

C'est quoi vs Qu'est-ce que c'est ?

What is the difference between C'est quoi ? and Qu'est-ce que c'est ? and in what context we use them? Both of them seem same to me in English. 

Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Shon, 

'C'est quoi?' is more informal than 'Qu'est-ce-que c'est?'

Hope this helps!

C'est quoi vs Qu'est-ce que c'est ?

What is the difference between C'est quoi ? and Qu'est-ce que c'est ? and in what context we use them? Both of them seem same to me in English. 

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JackieA2Kwiziq community member

What’s is with an item

I’m still struggling with the issue Adrienne raised. I get the “correct answer” but the Gruff says that it’s the option with only two que can only be used without a specific noun. But the example in the lesson clearly says Qu’est-ce que c’est un stylo is acceptable. I also got marked wrong on the baguette question.

Asked 1 month ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Jackie !

Indeed, your answer in the "baguette" question was correct as well, and this marking issue has now been fixed thanks to your feedback :)

Merci et bonne journée !

What’s is with an item

I’m still struggling with the issue Adrienne raised. I get the “correct answer” but the Gruff says that it’s the option with only two que can only be used without a specific noun. But the example in the lesson clearly says Qu’est-ce que c’est un stylo is acceptable. I also got marked wrong on the baguette question.

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JoanneB2Kwiziq community member

Qu'est-ce que

I still don't understand whey, "Qu'est-ce que le fois gras," Is not an acceptable way of saying "What is?" QUE (what) est-ce (is it) le fois gras.

Why is it any less acceptable than "Qu'est-ce que c'est que" The explanations just don't make sense to me. Could you clarify?

Asked 2 months ago
AaronC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Joanne, apart from the fact that it's "le foie gras", not "le fois gras", your sentence is a correct option.

AnnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I believe they are both correct

Qu'est-ce que

I still don't understand whey, "Qu'est-ce que le fois gras," Is not an acceptable way of saying "What is?" QUE (what) est-ce (is it) le fois gras.

Why is it any less acceptable than "Qu'est-ce que c'est que" The explanations just don't make sense to me. Could you clarify?

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AdrienneC1Kwiziq community member

The same problem, I think, as with La Sorbonne issue below

Why is "Qu'est-ce que c'est une baguette" marked as being wrong for "What is a baguette?" when the notes say that "Qu'est-ce que c'est un stylo" is correct for "What is a pen?"
Asked 4 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Adrienne,

You can express 'what is something? in four different ways -

Qu'est-ce que la Sorbonne? 

Qu'est-ce que c'est la Sorbonne ?

Qu'est-ce que c'est que la Sorbonne?

C'est quoi la Sorbonne? 

The last two would be used in every day speech. 

If your correct answer wasn't accepted it is probably a problem in the specific quiz, will let Aurélie know...

 

CarrieC1Kwiziq community member

I’m wondering that also, Adrienne. Surely that is also correct? That is what is stated in the lesson. I would normally add the “que”, but I’m not sure it’s absolutely necessary

AdrienneC1Kwiziq community member

Thanks Carrie and Cecile.  There is clearly a small glitch in the quiz program.  Adrienne

AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Adrienne !

Indeed, there was a few correct answers that hadn't been marked properly, but thanks to you, it's now been fixed :)
Merci et bonne journée !

The same problem, I think, as with La Sorbonne issue below

Why is "Qu'est-ce que c'est une baguette" marked as being wrong for "What is a baguette?" when the notes say that "Qu'est-ce que c'est un stylo" is correct for "What is a pen?"

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WhiteA2Kwiziq community member

Are there 4 ways to ask To ask what something is by name?

I had to organize as follows to make it easier to understand.  Please confirm.  Thx.

Qu'est-ce que c'est que + article + chose  

Qu'est-ce que c'est article + chose  

Qu'est-ce que + article + chose  

C'est quoi + article + chose  

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi White,

Perfect !  The last one is more used in spoken French ....

Are there 4 ways to ask To ask what something is by name?

I had to organize as follows to make it easier to understand.  Please confirm.  Thx.

Qu'est-ce que c'est que + article + chose  

Qu'est-ce que c'est article + chose  

Qu'est-ce que + article + chose  

C'est quoi + article + chose  

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AnnA1Kwiziq community member

Qu'est -ce -que c’est que la voiture?

Qu’est-ce-que c’est que la  voiture dans la rue?

Asked 7 months ago
MichelleC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

What exactly is your question?

Qu'est -ce -que c’est que la voiture?

Qu’est-ce-que c’est que la  voiture dans la rue?

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BillC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

La Sorbonne

Bonjour,

Can someone please explain why the following is marked incorrect?  I'm having the same issue that Michael appeared to have in December but it's still outstanding for me.

"Qu'est-ce que c'est La Sorbonne" is scored incorrect, and  the accepted answer is:

"Qu'est-ce que La Sorbonne", but according to the lesson:

If you want to ask what something is by name, simply add the name of the thing after c'est quoi or qu'est-ce que c'est. These are not the most elegant questions, but probably the most commonly used.

Merci

Asked 8 months ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Bill !

I really thought I captured all possible correct answers, but obviously some of them had passed me by.

It's now been fixed, thanks to you and Steven's feedbacks :)

Merci et bonne journée !

La Sorbonne

Bonjour,

Can someone please explain why the following is marked incorrect?  I'm having the same issue that Michael appeared to have in December but it's still outstanding for me.

"Qu'est-ce que c'est La Sorbonne" is scored incorrect, and  the accepted answer is:

"Qu'est-ce que La Sorbonne", but according to the lesson:

If you want to ask what something is by name, simply add the name of the thing after c'est quoi or qu'est-ce que c'est. These are not the most elegant questions, but probably the most commonly used.

Merci

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MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Can someone please explain why the following structure is marked incorrect when testing...Qu'est-ce que c'est la Sorbonne ?....Thank you.

Asked 10 months ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Michael !

I've looked into it, and the reason you were marked down is that you repeated words from the question. I've now fixed it and it's marked correct :)

Bonne Année !

MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Merci Aurélie !

Bonne Année !

Can someone please explain why the following structure is marked incorrect when testing...Qu'est-ce que c'est la Sorbonne ?....Thank you.

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SameerA0Kwiziq community member

do you refer to animals as who or what? In English we refer to animals as it how do you do it in french

Asked 10 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Quite often there are different nouns for male and female animals. For instance:

un chat - une chatte
un chien - une chienne
un oiseau - une oiselle
un cheval - une jument
un taureau - une vache
un coq - une poule
un merle - une merlette
un lapin - une lapine

If you're unsure of the gender you use the male version, normally.

Some animal names only come in a male of female version, for example: la souris. Here the grammatical gender wins:

J'ai une souris blanche, elle s'appelle Auguste, c'est un mâle.
J'ai un hamster noir, il s'appelle Louise, c'est une femelle.

CarrieC1Kwiziq community member

I would say “qui “ (who) for animals: e.g. J’aI un chat qui s’appelle Herbie

do you refer to animals as who or what? In English we refer to animals as it how do you do it in french

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KC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi, I’m having difficulty with this.

The lesson said that a correction had been made to allow both « qu’est-ce que c’est le Sacré Cœur (le Quai d’Orsay) and qu’est-ce que c’est que le Sacré Cœur (le Quai d’Orsay) to be considered correct. However, today my answer with « qu’est-ce que » was marked wrong
Asked 11 months ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour à tous !

The question "What is the Quai d'Orsay?" has now been (finally) fixed to include "Qu'est-ce que c'est le Quai d'Orsay ?" as a correct answer.

Sorry for the delay and thank you for your feedback !

Bonne journée à tous !

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi K,

Can you use the  'Report it' button in your correction board, as it will link directly to the quiz you are referring to and make it easier to answer you.

KC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi,

I did that first and was redirected here. But, I will try it again

KC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Plus, I said the lesson but I ment the discussion. This topic was already being discussed. 

Hi, I’m having difficulty with this.

The lesson said that a correction had been made to allow both « qu’est-ce que c’est le Sacré Cœur (le Quai d’Orsay) and qu’est-ce que c’est que le Sacré Cœur (le Quai d’Orsay) to be considered correct. However, today my answer with « qu’est-ce que » was marked wrong

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PhillipC1Kwiziq community member

Qu'est-ce que c'est le Quai d'Orsay marked incorrect in quiz.

"If I understand the lessons correctly, there is no difference between Qu'est-ce que c'est que [chose] and Qu'est-ce que c'est [chose]. For this question Qu'est-ce que c'est le Quai d'Orsay is marked incorrect, and the correct answer is given as Qu'est-ce que c'est que le Quai d'Orsay. Is there a difference in this case ? Thanks"
Asked 11 months ago
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Phillip,

If you use the 'Report It' button in your Correction Board it will link directly to the specific quiz you're referring to and will make it easier for us to answer you.

AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour à tous !

The question "What is the Quai d'Orsay?" has now been (finally) fixed to include "Qu'est-ce que c'est le Quai d'Orsay ?" as a correct answer.

Sorry for the delay and thank you for your feedback !

Bonne journée à tous !

Qu'est-ce que c'est le Quai d'Orsay marked incorrect in quiz.

"If I understand the lessons correctly, there is no difference between Qu'est-ce que c'est que [chose] and Qu'est-ce que c'est [chose]. For this question Qu'est-ce que c'est le Quai d'Orsay is marked incorrect, and the correct answer is given as Qu'est-ce que c'est que le Quai d'Orsay. Is there a difference in this case ? Thanks"

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Sherin A1Kwiziq community member

i'm having difficulty with this topic plz help moi

Asked 11 months ago
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Sherin, 

What is your specific problem?

i'm having difficulty with this topic plz help moi

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LyndaA2Kwiziq community member

I am having difficulty in knowing which question is ‘the one’ in the quiz- keep getting it wrong!e’

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Without a specific example I can't help you. 
LyndaA2Kwiziq community member

The educational session appears to have multiple ways of asking ‘what’s this/that’. When I complete the quiz I am not sure why one answer would be correct in any question.

i randomly ( to me) get the answers tight or wrong. 

What are the rules?

thank you, Lynda

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Can you post a sentence you got wrong?

-- Chris. 

Lynda asked:View original

I am having difficulty in knowing which question is ‘the one’ in the quiz- keep getting it wrong!e’

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ClaudiaA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

What is the difference between Qu'est-ce que La Sorborne and Qu'est-ce que c'est La Sorborne? Why is the second incorrect?

Asked 1 year ago
ClaudiaA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Sorry. Tired and took a while to see straight. My mistake. I know both are correct. On the test I mistakenly took the wrong bait.

What is the difference between Qu'est-ce que La Sorborne and Qu'est-ce que c'est La Sorborne? Why is the second incorrect?

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SundasA1Kwiziq community member

Qu’est ce que c’est que/Qu’est ce que c’est

My aim is to speak French fleuntly

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
What's your question?
Sundas asked:View original

Qu’est ce que c’est que/Qu’est ce que c’est

My aim is to speak French fleuntly

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PaulC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'un stylo vs Qu'est-ce que c'est un stylo

The examples give both the options for un stylo but the Kwiz I just did only accepts Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'un gendarme, and Qu'est-ce que c'est un gendarme is marked wrong. Is there something different between un gendarme and un stylo that mandates using Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'?
Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Paul !

It was indeed an omission on our part :)

Thanks to you, it's now been fixed!

Merci et à bientôt !

NabeelC1Kwiziq community member
Same for me, hope you get a reply soon
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Nabeel !

As mentioned above, it was a mistake on our part, which has now been fixed :)

Which case are you referring to ?

À bientôt !

SpencerA1Kwiziq community member
I don't think its fixed...
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Spencer !

Can you let me know which specific question you're referring to please?

ZachA2Kwiziq community member

I'm still having this same issue with that question

Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'un stylo vs Qu'est-ce que c'est un stylo

The examples give both the options for un stylo but the Kwiz I just did only accepts Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'un gendarme, and Qu'est-ce que c'est un gendarme is marked wrong. Is there something different between un gendarme and un stylo that mandates using Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'?

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StewartC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Qu'est-ce que c'est un stylo ?

Two of the questions in this lesson are as follows: - Qu'est-ce que c'est un stylo ? Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'un stylo ? Could you please explain why the 2nd question has 'qu' inserted before 'un stylo'.
Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
Bonjour Stewart !

These are simply two ways to ask questions in French.
The second is actually more elegant and is explained as such:
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que/qu' + [thing]?"

I can't really justify the structure, all I can say is that it's literally very convoluted to an English ear : "What is it that it's that [a thing]?"

I hope that helps :)
Bonne journée !
StewartC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thank you Aurélie, your answer is fine.

Qu'est-ce que c'est un stylo ?

Two of the questions in this lesson are as follows: - Qu'est-ce que c'est un stylo ? Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'un stylo ? Could you please explain why the 2nd question has 'qu' inserted before 'un stylo'.

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TerryB1Kwiziq community member

When using « Qu’est-ce que c’est » is it appropriate to follow this statement with article?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
See my reply to your previous answer. -- Chris.
Terry asked:View original

When using « Qu’est-ce que c’est » is it appropriate to follow this statement with article?

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TerryB1Kwiziq community member

When using « Qu’est-ce qu » is it always followed by an article?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Terry,

Qu'est-ce que is more formal than Qu'est-ce que c'est que

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
In asking "What is ...." kind of questions I can't think of an example where you wouldn't need either a definite or indefinite article in French. -- Chris (not a native speaker).
TerryB1Kwiziq community member
Thanks. I think what I’m actually confused about but didn’t state it well, is when to use ...que c’est? And when to use only ...que? I.e. the difference between Qu’est-ce que...(le stylo)? and Qu’est-ce que c’est (le stylo)? I keep getting them incorrect and i find the explanation in the ‘explain this’ section to not be very clear/helpful.
Terry asked:View original

When using « Qu’est-ce qu » is it always followed by an article?

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StuartB1Kwiziq community member

Longer ways of saying things are less formal

Than shorter ways of saying things? Is that right? Qu’est ce que is more formal than qu’est-ce que c’est que?
Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Stuart ! In that case, it is indeed the case :) I cannot think of any other example that contradicts that statement. Bonne journée !
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Well, I'll give it a try! Anne est malade? (Less formal) Anne est-elle malade? (More formal) -- Chris.
AurélieKwiziq team member
Yes, that works too :)

Longer ways of saying things are less formal

Than shorter ways of saying things? Is that right? Qu’est ce que is more formal than qu’est-ce que c’est que?

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StuartB1Kwiziq community member

The difference between the second two variants ...

Is the difference that, in number 1 ‘Qu’est-ce que c’est’ I would just point, whereas the ‘que’ is added if I refer to the object by name?
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
No, you can use either to point to a thing or to name one.

Qu'est-ce que c'est ça? -- Qu'est-ce que c'est cette boîte?
Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça? -- Q'est-ce que c'est que cette boîte?


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

The difference between the second two variants ...

Is the difference that, in number 1 ‘Qu’est-ce que c’est’ I would just point, whereas the ‘que’ is added if I refer to the object by name?

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AprilB1Kwiziq community member

I do not understand the difference between qu"est -ce que c'est and qu'est- ce que c'est que. Help

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

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!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
They are synonyms. There is no difference in meaning. "Qu'est-ce que ce que ça" is, however, a bit less formal. Didn't you find the explanation given in the lesson helpful? I thought it addressed this issue rather well. -- Chris (not a native speaker).
KarenA2Kwiziq community member
I don't understand either.

I do not understand the difference between qu"est -ce que c'est and qu'est- ce que c'est que. Help

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AnishA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Is it more appropriate to say use Qu'est-ce que c'est que in spoken form?

...and Qu'est-ce que c'est is appropriate written form. What did we mean by more formal?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
Bonjour Anish (and Max) !

Max, I find it weird that you heard "Qu'est-ce" on its own, as it's very old-fashioned and antiquated...

The nuance is between "Qu'est-ce que + thing" vs "Qu'est-ce que c'est que + thing" to express "What is + thing":
"Qu'est-ce que la Tour Eiffel ?"
vs
"Qu'est-ce que *c'est que* la Tour Eiffel ?"

The first one is more formal as it's simply the inverted form (always considered more elegant), whereas the second one is more colloquial, and will be more used in everyday speech.
I would actually add that the most common way to ask this in colloquial speech would be a third option:
"C'est quoi, la Tour Eiffel ?"

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Mary !

In the first case, you're asking confirmation that it is indeed the Eiffel Tower:

C'est bien la Tour Eiffel ?
or
C'est ça la Tour Eiffel ? (a bit more disdainful)

The second case is actually asking what the Eiffel Tower is:

Qu'est-ce que c'est, la Tour Eiffel ?
C'est quoi, la Tour Eiffel ?

...

Bonne journée !

MaxC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
In today's French, I often hear "Qu'est-ce?" - such as on TV5MONDE or podcats. I'm old school and prefer the longer older form. But I am not a native speaker.
AnishA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Dear Aurélie / Max, thank you for the answers. Is it right to use "Qu'est-ce que *c'est que* la Tour Eiffel?" in written form or is it only restricted to colloquial speech. Regards Anish
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Anish ! It's not considered very elegant to use it in wirtten form: we'll prefer the "qu'est-ce que" option :) Bonne journée !
MaryA1Kwiziq community member
What is the difference between saying "Is that the Eiffel Tower" and "What is the Eiffel Tour"?

Is it more appropriate to say use Qu'est-ce que c'est que in spoken form?

...and Qu'est-ce que c'est is appropriate written form. What did we mean by more formal?

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AnishA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

When do we use Cela?

When you say Cela is a formal version, does it mean it is used often in written form?
Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Ce = this/that .. Ce pain =this bread/that bread Ca = that/this ... Veux-tu ça ? = Do you want that ? Ceci/cela = this/that (here, not really defined) Ceci est un chien = "this thing here" is a dog/ "this" is a dog. Cela me va bien = "it" suits me well ("this thing" suits me well) Celui/Celle = this/that one (among others, yes masculine/feminine forms) Voici mes frères, celui qui a un chapeau s'appelle Danny (Here are my brothers, the one with a hat is named Danny) Les plus résistantes sont celles qui ont le plus de volonté (The most resistant are the ones that have most will "among women") "Ca" and "Cela" can be exchanged one for another, used for something undefined, here or there... the english "it" Usually "ce"/"cet" is used with a noun, to precise it (this thing), note that the feminine version might be "cette" "Ceci" is used for something undefined right here, close to the speaker "Celui/celle" for a precision among a group, as to distinguish it. Also, take a look at this: Ce chien-ci --> this dog Ce chien-là --> that dog
AnishA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thank you Ron.

When do we use Cela?

When you say Cela is a formal version, does it mean it is used often in written form?

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DenisA1Kwiziq community member

Why is C'est Quoi correct?

I am getting very confused as to which form of "what" I should be using. Please explain.
Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
1. questions about people: qui, qui est-ce qui, qui est-ce que 2. questions about things: qu'est-ce qui, que, qu'est-ce que, quoi Hope this helps !

Why is C'est Quoi correct?

I am getting very confused as to which form of "what" I should be using. Please explain.

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SukanyaA0Kwiziq community member

Quést-ce que la vie? est vie Quést-ce que Je prends?

I am trying to say what is life? Is life what I think it is? tell me if I got it write
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Sukanya ! Attention, because you're writing "Quést-ce" instead of "Qu'est-ce" : here it is not an accent, but an apostrophe replacing the "e" at the end of "Que" to link with "est". "Qu'est-ce que la vie ? " indeed means "What is life?" "Qu'est-ce que je prends ?" means "What do I take?" I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !
SukanyaA0Kwiziq community member
qu'est-ce que la vie? Est-ce que je pense?
AurélieKwiziq team member
"Est-ce que je pense ?" means "Do I think?" "Qu'est-ce que je pense ?" means "What do I think?"

Quést-ce que la vie? est vie Quést-ce que Je prends?

I am trying to say what is life? Is life what I think it is? tell me if I got it write

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SukanyaA0Kwiziq community member

Quést-ce que tu parle?

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Sukanya ! Actually, to say "What are you talking about?" in French, you need to remember that we use "parler DE [quelque chose]", therefore the question would be: "De quoi est-ce que tu parles ?" However, you can also use the verb "dire" to express "What are you saying?": "Qu'est-ce que tu dis ?" I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

Quést-ce que tu parle?

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AurélieKwiziq team member

W. asked: "Is there a difference between ce and cela (ça)?"

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour W.,

​Regarding the difference between ça and cela, the lesson states that "Ça is the shortened form of celaCela is quite formal, so you'll hear ça used much more frequently."

As for ce, it's also a shortened occurence of cela, but will only be used in front of a verb, neither on its own nor at the end of a sentence:
Ce sera bien (It will be good)

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

W. asked: "Is there a difference between ce and cela (ça)?"

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AdvikaA1Kwiziq community member

C'est une cravate

Ce sont des fleurs
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Très bien !

C'est une cravate

Ce sont des fleurs

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