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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.
2 In the last lesson, we learned how to ask "Who" questions in French.
This time, we are going to ask questions with the interrogative word "Why?"
Imagine your boss is giving you a call because you are not at work today... He will certainly ask you Pourquoi n'êtes-vous pas au bureau aujourd'hui?
[slowly] Pourquoi n'êtes-vous pas au bureau aujourd'hui?
So let’s break down this question:
First we had:
Pourquoi, which is the basic translation of "Why" in French.
N'êtes vous pas is the 2nd person plural of the verb être in the negative form
Au bureau which is "at the office"
And finally aujourd'hui which is "today"
All together it is Pourquoi n'êtes-vous pas au bureau aujourd'hui?
So in French, Pourquoi is the exact translation of "Why", used to ask the reason for something.
So for example, if your boss is asking you "Why are you late today?" he will say Pourquoi êtes-vous en retard aujourd'hui?
Here, he uses "Why" in order to get explanations and reasons.
Note that here, the form is formal as we used the 2nd person plural pronoun Vous, which is the polite form for "you".
Another common usage of Pour quoi is to ask the objective of something. But in this case, it is split into 2 words, so Pour and quoi.
So, in this case, Pour quoi? is closer to the meaning of "What for?" In French we often say Pour quoi faire? which literally means "What is it made for?"
Now it’s time for Ingrid’s Insights.
A famous expression in France is Pourquoi pas? which means, as in English, "Why not?"
You can use it to accept a proposition if you agree but that you are not really keen to do it. Or, if it was not planned in advance.
For example if a friend asks you suddenly "And what about going to the cinema tonight?"
You can answer Pourquoi pas? "Why not?"
Before ending this lesson, Let’s review all the ways to translate "Why" in French:
- Pourquoi is the basic translation of "Why," as in Pourquoi êtes-vous en retard? "Why are you late?"
- Pour quoi faire? which is "What for?"
Finally, Pourquoi pas? is "Why not?"
This lesson is the last lesson of this Absolute Beginner’s video series.
But it’s hopefully not the last you learn about the French language! To take your language ability to the next level, check out FrenchPod101.com, the fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn French.
À bientôt!!


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Friday at 6:30 pm
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Hi listeners! Can you tell us in French why are you learning French?


Friday at 1:45 am
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Bonjour Tito

No idea why my WIFI is so slow

It took me half an hour to watch this 3 mins video:sob::sob:

Saturday at 7:59 pm
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Bonjour Hunnynet !

Merci pour tous vos commentaires ! Vous êtes enthousiaste c'est très bien :thumbsup:

J'espère que les leçons vous plaisent !

A bientôt et bonne journée !

Marie Alice

Team FrenchPod101.com

Monday at 7:26 pm
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J'apprends à parler français quand je viens en France en Août

I am learning French to speak when I come to France in August

Wednesday at 11:28 am
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Hi Tito,

Thank you for posting!

We are glad to hear that you are enjoying our video lessons :smile:

On the other hand, we don't have a series about the possible/common answers to the questions form with the basic interrogative words: what, where, when, who, and why.

If you want to learn the basics, we recommend you to try this series: https://www.frenchpod101.com/index.php?cat=20

Let us know if you have questions.

Kind regards,


Team FrenchPod101.com

Wednesday at 12:56 am
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Videos #21-25 are great with regards to learning interrogatives however, where can we learn some generic responses to many of these questions? I realize not every question can be easily answered until sufficient language skills have been developed but perhaps there are some common responses for some of the questions for each of these particular interrogative-video lessons?