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Lesson 1: Getting Started

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"Qu'est-ce que c'est?" and "Qui est-ce?"

Qu'est-ce que c'est? C'est le Tour Eiffel à Paris.
The French word 'que' means 'what' in English. Together with the verb form 'est' (is), 'que' becomes "qu'est". Also, you can translate the syllable 'ce' with 'that'. The French use a quite complicated expression to ask the question "What is that?". The French would say: "Qu'est-ce que c'est?", which could be translated literally into English as "What is this, what this is?". Regardless of whether this is a complicated thing to say, you should ask this question whenever you don't know the French meaning of something or you want to ask for a certain thing in French.

Qu'est-ce que c'est?What is that?
Est-ce un ballon?Is this a ball?
, ce n'est pas un ballon. C'est une banane.
No, this is not a ball. This is a banana.

On the other hand, if you want to ask for a certain person, use the expression: "Qui est-ce?" (Who is this?). You can answer this question with "C'est ..." (This is ...).

Qui est-ce?Who is that?
C'est Pierre.This is Pierre.

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pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12        vocabularies       Exercises [A] [B] [C] [D]

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