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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 "Where" questions in French.
This time, we are going to ask questions with the interrogative word "When?"
Let’s go! C’est parti!
Imagine you want to ask when your roommate is coming back home. You will ask him Quand rentres-tu à la maison?
[slowly] Quand rentres-tu à la maison?
So let’s break down this answer:
First we had:
Quand, which is the basic translation of "When" in French.
Rentres is the verb "to come back", rentrer in the 2nd person present indicative form.
Then Tu, which is the informal for "you".
And finally à la maison which is "home."
So, all together it is Quand rentres-tu?
"When will you come back home?"
So in French, "When" is generally translated as the word Quand. For example, if you want to ask "When were you born?" Quand es-tu né?
As in English, the interrogative word is placed in the 1st position, then the verb, and then the subject.
So let’s have a look at another example:
How can you say "When did you arrive?"
It is really simple since it is exactly the same pattern: Quand es-tu arrivé?
First we have Quand, which is "When"
The second word is es which is the verb être in 2nd person present indicative tense.
Tu is "you" in informal form
And finally arrivé which is the past participle of the verb arriver, "to arrive."
Have you noticed a difference between the sentences Quand rentres-tu à la maison? and Quand es-tu arrivé?
The first one is talking about a future action – "When are you coming back home?" Whereas the 2nd one is referring to the past "When did you arrive?"
The conclusion is that you can use the interrogative word Quand to talk about any moment, whether past or present.
If you want to ask a question about duration as in "Since when have you been teacher?" Then you will have to say Depuis quand es-tu professeur?
Here too, it’s exactly the same as in English, because "since" is Depuis. So Depuis quand means "Since when?"
Let’s see how to ask "Until when?" in French. It is very easy as you can translate it directly. It becomes: Jusqu’à quand?
So for example, if you want to ask a friend "Until when are you going to stay here?" It will be Jusqu’à quand vas-tu rester ici?
But of course there are other ways to ask about time. You can even be more specific by asking about the year, the date or the hour.
For example, you can ask:
- "Which year did you start working?" will be
En quelle année as-tu commencé à travailler?
- "Which day is better for you?" will be Quel
jour t’arrange le plus?
- "What hour can we meet?" A quelle heure pouvons-nous nous retrouver?
Now it’s time for Ingrid’s Insights.
To ask how long an action has been taking place in French, we could say Depuis quand, but there is another very simple way to do it!
You just have to use the pattern Ça fait combien de temps que? As in Ça fait combien de temps que tu attends? That is "How long have you been waiting?"
Ok, so in this lesson, we learned how to correctly use the interrogative French word for "When", Quand, but also its different variations.
Next lesson we’ll learn more about asking questions with "Who" in French.
I’ll be waiting for you in the next Le français en 3 minutes.
À bientôt!