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A: Top 25 French Questions You Need to Know - Lesson 22: What's this in French? In each lesson of this 25 part series, you'll master a common question for French learners, and then learn how to answer it like a native. You'll learn how these key phrases work by breaking them down into each component. Then through repetition and new vocabulary, you'll expand your understanding of the question, its answers, and any variations. You'll also improve pronunciation and fluency by repeating the words and phrases out loud after hearing them.
In this lesson, you'll learn how to respond to the common question "What's this?" In French this is
B: Qu'est-ce que c'est?
The first word in the question โ€œWhat's this?โ€ is
B: Qu'
A: "which is the contracted version of the word for What" in English. Listen to it syllable by syllable.
B: (Slow, by syllable) Qu'
A: Listen again at natural speed. Please repeat.
B: Qu'
{Pause}
A: This pattern of first introducing a word at natural speed, providing the English translation, breaking it down by syllable, and then giving it once more at natural speed will be repeated throughout the series. Try to speak aloud as often as possible. The next word in the question, What's this? is
B: est
A: meaning is in English. Listen to it syllable by syllable.
B: (Slow, by syllable) est
A: Listen again at natural native speed, and repeat.
B: est
{Pause}
Listen to the the first 2 words of the question and repeat.
B: Qu' est
{pause}
And after that
B: que
A: meaning something like that in English. Listen to it syllable by syllable.
B: (Slow, by syllable) que
A: Listen again at natural native speed, and repeat.
B: que
{Pause}
Listen to the the first 3 words of the question and repeat.
B: Qu' est que
{pause}
And after that
B: c'
A: which is the contracted version of the word for it in English. Listen to it syllable by syllable.
B: (Slow, by syllable) c'
A: Listen again at natural native speed, and repeat.
B: c'
{Pause}
Listen to the the first 4 words of the question and repeat.
B: Qu' est que c'
{pause}
And next
B: est
A: meaning is in English. Listen to it syllable by syllable.
B: (Slow, by syllable) est
A: Listen again at natural native speed, and repeat.
B: est
{Pause}
Listen to the entire question and repeat.
B: Qu' est que c' est
{pause}
A: You will hear this common question again and again throughout your studies. Master the following pattern and responses to the question What's this??
B: C'est un appareil photo.
A: "It's a camera.. Again, slowly. Repeat the phrase.
B: (Slow) C'est un appareil photo.
{pause}
A: But let's break it down from the beginning. The first word:
B: C'
A: which is the contracted version of the word for it. Listen to it syllable by syllable.
B: (Slow, by syllable) C'
A: Again at natural speed. Repeat.
B: C'
{Pause}
A: And next
B: est
meaning is. Listen to it syllable by syllable.
B: (Slow, by syllable) est
A: Again at natural speed. Repeat.
B: est
{Pause}
A: Next is
B: un
meaning a. Listen to it syllable by syllable.
B: (Slow, by syllable) un
A: Again at natural speed. Repeat.
B: un
{Pause}
A: And next
B: appareil
meaning something like machine. Listen to it syllable by syllable.
B: (Slow, by syllable) appareil
A: Again at natural speed. Repeat.
B: appareil
{Pause}
A: And next
B: photo
meaning something like photography. Listen to it syllable by syllable.
B: (Slow, by syllable) photo
A: Again at natural speed. Repeat.
B: photo
{Pause}
A: Listen to the speaker say, It's a camera., and then repeat.
B: C'est un appareil photo.
{pause}
A: To expand on the pattern, replace camera with computer.
B: ordinateur
A: computer
B: (slow) ordinateur (regular) ordinateur
A: Listen to the phrase again, this time with computer
B: C'est un ordinateur.
A: It mostly stays the same. Simply replace camera. Say It's a computer.
{pause}
B: C'est un ordinateur.
A: To expand on the pattern, replace computer with mousse.
B: souris
A: mousse
B: (slow) souris (regular) souris
A: Listen to the phrase again, this time with mousse
B: C'est un souris.
A: It mostly stays the same. Simply replace the word for computer. Say It's a mousse.
{pause}
B: C'est un souris.
A: To expand on the pattern, replace mousse with keyboard.
B: clavier
A: keyboard
B: (slow) clavier (regular) clavier
A: Listen to the phrase again, this time with keyboard
B: C'est un clavier.
A: It mostly stays the same. Simply replace the word for mousse. Say It's a keyboard.
{pause}
B: C'est un clavier.
Now it's time for a quiz. Imagine you are visiting France and a stranger asks you what something is. It is (a) camera. Respond to the question.
B: Qu'est-ce que c'est? (five seconds) C'est un appareil photo.
A: Now imagine that it's (a) computer Respond to the question.
B: Qu'est-ce que c'est? (five seconds) C'est un ordinateur.
A: Imagine that it's (a) mousse. . Answer the speaker's question.
B: Qu'est-ce que c'est? (five seconds) C'est un souris.
A: Imagine that it's keyboard. Respond to the question.
B: Qu'est-ce que c'est? (five seconds) C'est un clavier.
A: You want to learn ask the stranger what something is. Ask the question
(5 seconds)
B: Qu'est-ce que c'est?
{pause}
A: The stranger is impressed by your French skills. Answer her question with information about yourself:
B: Qu'est-ce que c'est?
{pause}
A: This is the end of Lesson 22

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FrenchPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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FrenchPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:47 PM
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Bonjour Joe et Ferial,

French people often tend to leave the dash out in Qu'est-ce que c'est when writing, as it is quicker that way, not to mention the fact that many don't even know the correct spelling of this expression. However please note that the correct spelling of Qu'est-ce que c'est does need a dash, though putting it in or not doesn't change the meaning of the expression.


Joe, to answer your question, all of the sentences you wrote are correct, though you should say "une Cadillac", as Cadillac refers to cars, and "voiture" is feminine in French. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Hope this helps! ๐Ÿ˜„


Bonne journรฉe,

Marion

Team FrenchPod101

Ferial
Saturday at 08:51 AM
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Please can you tell me what is the difference between 'qu'est que c'est?' and 'qu'est-ce que c'est?'

Htet Htet
Friday at 01:46 PM
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โค๏ธ๏ธโค๏ธ๏ธโค๏ธ๏ธ

Joe Cipriano
Thursday at 02:38 AM
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What is the difference between the following 3 sentences. Are they all correct variations?


Qu'est-ce que c'est un Cadillac ?


Qu'est-ce qu'un Cadillac ?


Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'un Cadillac ?