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Lesson Transcript

Salut, je m'appelle Ingrid. Hi everybody! I’m Ingrid.
Welcome to FrenchPod101.com’s “Le français en 3 minutes”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn French.
In the last lesson, we learned how to ask "What" questions in French.
This time, we are going to ask questions using the interrogative word "Where?"
Imagine you want to ask where your friend is now. You will ask him Où es-tu? This is the exact translation of "Where are you?"
[slowly] Où es-tu?
So let’s break down this answer:
First we had:
Où, which is the basic translation of "Where" in French.
Es, which is "are", the 2nd person form of the verb être which we have already studied.
Finally Tu, which is the informal for "you"
So, altogether it is Où es-tu?, "Where are you?"
So in French, "Where" is mainly translated as Où
So for example, if you want to ask "Where do you live?" You will say Où habites-tu?
As in English, the interrogative word is here placed in the 1st position, then the verb, and then the subject.
But be careful, because several variations of Où are possible in French. For example, if you want to ask "Where do you come from?" you will use D’où instead of just où
So that question in French is D’où viens-tu?
The word Où also changes if you are asking about the destination. If you say, for example, Jusqu’où vas-tu?
This literally means "Where are you going to?" This question formula Jusqu’où is often used when asking about your final destination, for example, a train station or highway exit.
When you want to ask about a route, you can also say Par où which literally means "by where."
For example, you can often hear Par où passes-tu pour aller à Paris? This means "By where are you going to Paris?" or “Which route are you taking to Paris?”
The grammatical rule for Où, D’où or Par où remains the same: they all have to be followed by a verb.
Où es-tu? - here the verb is etre
D’où viens tu? here the verb is "to come"
Par où passes-tu? Here the verb is passer
Now it’s time for Ingrid’s tips.
If you ask about a stranger’s country of origin, the exact translation of "Where do you come from", D’où venez-vous?, can sound a bit too direct in French. You could sound rude or even racist.
So my advice would be asking D’où êtes-vous originaire? That can be translated as "From where are you native?"
Before ending this lesson, let’s look back at all the ways to translate "Where" in French:
- Où is the basic "Where" as in "Where do you live?" Où habites-tu?
- D’où is insisting on the origin or the starting point, as in "Where do you come from?" D’où êtes-vous originaire?
- Jusqu’où is insisting on the destination or arrival point, as in "Where are you going to?"
Jusqu’où vas-tu?
- Par où is focusing on the itinerary, on the desired route, as in Par où voulez-vous passer?
In this lesson, we learned how to correctly use the French word for "Where", Où, and also its different variations.
Now you can avoid getting lost!
In the next lesson we’ll learn more about asking questions, this time using "When" in French.
I’ll be waiting for you in the next Le français en 3 minutes.
À bientôt!