Week 02 - DELF

Published 09-Sep-2020 By Liz Updated 18-Sep-2020

Today (Wed 9th Sep) was our second DELF course lesson. Last time we explored interviews. This week was a continuation of that theme where we looked at questions and the various ways to ask them in French.

It's important that we recognise the typical ways questions are asked because questions will feature heavily in any DELF interview-based listening and comprehension tests.

Language Resources

Apps And Websites

Céline mentioned again this week how important it is to make sure we're using our phones to help us with French. There are loads of mobile apps that we can find on Apple Store (if you have an iPhone) or on Google App Store (if you have an Android phone). Just type "France" or "French" into the search and scores of French Apps will be listed.

Local Newspaper

The local newspaper for our area is called Le Dauphiné. You can buy it at Carrefour or you can read it online here. One advantage of the online version is that it is regularly updated with short articles. This means you can access local area news that is being reported right now.

Online Tools

Use online tools to help find words and phrases, and check understanding. Here is the list of useful resources including Céline's favourite one (which is first on the list).]

  1. WordReference - find out about French vocabulary and how to use it in example sentences
  2. DeepL - translate from one language to another
  3. Linguee - a collection of language usage samples from around the internet
  4. Google Translate - translate from one language to another and/or hear how to say any typed words
  5. Reverso - Conjugate French verbs into any tense

Last Week's Homework

This was to write a paragraph about a passion. Everyone handed in their paragraphs to Céline.

Lesson Topic - Questions

Three Ways To Ask A Question In French

In general, there are three ways to ask a question in French. Take a look at the example question, do you like chocolate?

1 - Intonation

Generally this is only used when actually speaking or when reporting speech. It requires the voice to go up at the end to make the question obvious. Tu aimes le chocolat?

2 - Est-Ce Que

The usual way of asking a question - it is unambiguous and does not rely on any particular intonation. Est-ce que tu aimes le chocolat?

3 - Inversion

Inverting the verb and the pronoun is seen as slightly more posh French. Il est un peu plus distingué. It is a little more refined to express a question using this method. Aimes-tu le chocolat?

Using Inversions With Group Nouns

When a question is asked using tu il, elle, nous, vous, elles or ils, then we can use inversion in a question directly. For example

  • Il fait souvent le jardinage? (Intonation)
  • Est-ce qu'il fait souvent le jardinage? (Est-ce que)
  • Fait-il souvent le jardinage? (Inversion)

But when group nouns are used, we have to always include the group noun as well as the inversion. For example :

  1. Les enfants aiment le chocolat?
  2. Est ce-que les enfants aiment le chocolat?
  3. Les enfants, aiment-ils le chocolat?

In the inversion above we cannot just say Aiment-ils le chocolat? as it loses the information that we are specifically referring to "the children". Les enfants has to be included so as not to diminish meaning.

More Examples - Using The Present Tense

Note in the present tense, in the case of inversion, the main verb swaps places with the pronoun.

  1. Gigi et moi aimons le chocolat?
  2. Est-ce que Gigi et moi aimons le chocolat?
  3. Gigi et moi, aimons-nous le chocolat?
  1. Paul et Pierre sont dans le jardin?
  2. Est-ce que Paul et Pierre sont dans le jardin?
  3. Paul et Pierre sont-ils dans le jardin?
  1. Elise regarde la télé?
  2. Est-ce que Elise regarde la télé?
  3. Elise regarde-t-elle la télé? (note the extra t added here to prevent two adjacent vowels)
  1. La jeune femme porte une robe bleue?
  2. Est-ce que la jeune femme porte une robe bleue?
  3. La jeune femme, porte-t-elle une robe bleue?

Some Examples Using The Past Tense

Note where the tense uses two verbs in the case of inversion, the auxiliary verb swaps places with the pronoun.

  1. Tu as fini ton repas?
  2. Est-ce que tu as fini ton repas?
  3. As-tu fini ton repas?
  1. Tu vas regarder un film ce soir?
  2. Est-ce que tu vas regarder un film ce soir?
  3. Vas-tu regarder un film ce soir?
  1. Ils ont étudié pour l'examen?
  2. Est-ce qu'ils ont étudié pour l'examen?
  3. Ont-ils étudié pour l'examen?

Types of Question

Closed Questions

These are questions that can be answered with only a yes or a no.

For example, Est-ce qu'il a froid?

can be answered sufficiently with oui or non. But there are other types of question that demand a fuller answer.

Open Questions

These questions require more information than a yes or a no. These questions that ask

  • quand - when
  • - where
  • d'où - from where
  • comment - how
  • à quelle heure - at what time
  • quelle heure - what time
  • combien - how much
  • combien de - how many
  • pourquoi - why
  • quand - with what
  • quoi, qu'est-ce que (object), qu'est-ce qui (subject), que, à quoi, dans quoi, avec quoi, de quoi - what
  • qui - who
  • quel, quels, quelle, quelles, a quels, avec quel, chez quel - which/what
  • quand - which one

These can all be asked in the three ways previously discussed. Here are some examples:

Where

  1. Où tu habites?
  2. Où est-ce que tu habites?
  3. Où habites-tu?
  1. Où elle promène le chien?
  2. Où est-ce qu'elle promène le chien?
  3. Où promène-t-elle le chien?
  1. Où nous achetons des souliers?
  2. Où est-ce que nous achetons des souliers?
  3. Où achetons-nous des souliers?

Which

  1. Quels vins vous préférez?
  2. Quels vins est-ce que vous préférez?
  3. Quels vins préférez-vous ?

When

  1. Quand tu manges à la maison?
  2. Quand est-ce que tu manges à la maison?
  3. Quand manges-tu à la maison?
  1. Quand tu vas faire un gâteau?
  2. Quand est-ce que tu vas faire un gâteau?
  3. Quand vas-tu faire un gâteau?

How

  1. Comment vous voyagez l'été?
  2. Comment est-ce que vous voyagez l'été?
  3. Comment voyagez-vous l'été?
  1. Comment elle va à l'école?
  2. Comment est-ce qu'elle va à l'école?
  3. Comment va-t-elle à l'école?
  1. Comment il écrit?
  2. Comment est-ce qu'il écrit?
  3. Comment écrit-il?

How Much

  1. Combien elle paie ce crayon?
  2. Combien est-ce qu'elle paie ce crayon?
  3. Combien paie-t-elle ce crayon?

With What

  1. Avec quoi elle cuisine?
  2. Avec quoi est-ce qu'elle cuisine?
  3. Avec quoi cuisine-t-elle?

Homework

Céline sent out an email with the lesson and homework document for this week attached. The same document can be downloaded from here.

Using the document, complete the exercise entitled L'interrogation. The exercise has 4 sets of 10 questions. Céline has asked us to do Set 1 and Set 4 for homework. Set 3 was done in the class, but if you were unable to attend this week, you could add Set 3 to your homework.

The clue to which of the why, where, which, what etc. answers is appropriate, is in the question. The homework is to write the question (to which each answer is given) with both the est-ce que and inversion versions.

Vocabulary

Here's a list of the vocabulary we covered during the lesson. If you are on a mobile phone use vertical and horizontal scroll bars to see the full table.

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4 comments on “Week 02 - DELF”

  1. OMG Elizabeth.
    You have done a great job.
    Its really helping me to understand as all Celine's note are in French.
    Thank you so so so much for doing this .
    xxxxx

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