A simple way to understand the six ways in i beg your pardon you have the right to say “what” in French.

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The native “what” is deceptively facility when you interpret it. That looks choose a straightforward one-to-one word translation, yet the reality is that “what” is provided in many expressions the are interpreted using plenty of different words in other languages.

It’s tempting to simply say “what” in French is quoi — and also it is, sometimes — however the reality is you require to know a couple of other expressions in English.

(French speakers have the same trouble coming the other way, by the way. As soon as they want to interpret a word choose “quoi”, unexpectedly they realise there space so countless ways in i beg your pardon it can be used!)

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Que

Using que has a straightforward rule of thumb: usage que at the start of a sentence.

There is just one typical kind of sentence that offers que standalone.

Note that que gets abbreviated v liaison if complied with by a vowel.

See the following instances of when to usage que to say “what” in French.

EnglishFrench
What execute you think (of it)?Qu‘en pensez-vous?
What execute you see?Que voyez-vous?
What execute you desire to eat?Que veux-tu manger?
Examples of “what” in French: Qu’est-ce que and also qu’est-ce qui

Quoi

The indigenous quoi is really useful in French.

Here’s once you use it to say “what”:

Use quoi ~ a preposition, favor à or deUse quoi after ~ a verb or in ~ the end of a sentence (which is much less formal/more colloquial grammar)Use quoi together an exclamation standalone.

See the following examples of when to usage quoi come say “what” in French.

EnglishFrench
What room you thinking about?À quoi pensez-vous?
What’s it about?De quoi s’agit-il?
I wonder what it’s made with.Je me demande avec quoi il est fait.

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What does that mean then?Ça veux dire quoi alors?
He wants… what??Il veut… quoi??
What’s the time? (casual)C’est quoi l’heure?
What’s the thingamajig?C’est quoi ce truc-là?
What???Quoi???
Examples the “what” in French: Qu’est-ce que and qu’est-ce qui

As you deserve to see, quoi is nice useful! yet remember, usage que at the beginning.