1. georgiaissocoollike Member

    I was wondering how to use inversion with a proper noun, for example how do I alter the question: "Qu'est-ce que Georgia aime?" to use inversion? I know if I use a pronoun (for example, tu) "Qu'est-ce que tu aimes?" becomes "Qu'aimes tu?"

    Using a proper noun, would this be "Que Georgia aime-elle?"

    Merci beaucoup!
  2. coing Member

    North Carolina
    You're right that you can't invert a proper noun, and your guess is very close. Move the proper noun to the front of the sentence: "Georgia, qu'aime-t-elle?"

    The "t" is added between the verb and the inverted pronoun when the verb ends with a vowel and the pronoun begins with one, creating a cleaner sound.
  3. Donaldos

    Donaldos Senior Member

    French - France
    Qu'aime Georgia ?
  4. Jeanne75 Senior Member

    French - France

    Complementing the previous anwers:

    "Qu'est-ce que tu aimes?" => Qu'est-ce que Georgia aime?

    "Qu'aimes tu?" => Qu'aime Georgia?

  5. CapnPrep Senior Member

    This is implicit in the two previous answers, but just to make it clear:
    This is incorrect. Proper nouns (and ordinary noun phrases) can be inverted in questions, but

    1. not in exactly the same situations as pronominal subjects like tu
    2. The position of the inverted proper noun or noun phrase is not always the same as that of an inverted pronoun.
    To complete the previous answers, all of the following are possible, but not equally common/natural-sounding:
    • [qu'est-ce que + no inversion] Qu'est-ce que Georgia aime ? (normal conversation)
    • [qu'est-ce que + stylistic inversion] Qu'est-ce qu'aime Georgia ? (more formal/less natural than the previous)
    • [simple interrogative que + stylistic inversion] Qu'aime Georgia ? (formal)
    • [simple que + complex inversion] Que Georgia aime-t-elle ? (very formal, unacceptably so for some speakers)
    The dislocated structure suggested by coing (Georgia, qu'aime-t-elle ? or Qu'aime-t-elle, Georgia ?) could be appropriate in some contexts, but it is not a normal translation of "What does Georgia like?"

    See the following threads for similar examples:
    FR: Que ferait Bob ? / Que Bob ferait-il ?

    FR: Qu'Éric a-t-il chanté ?
    Sous quelle chaise le chat dort-il ?

    En quelle année est morte Jeanne d'Arc ? - inversion sujet-verbe
  6. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    All four solutions are indeed correct from a grammatical standpoint. I would however personally use only the first or the fourth. :p The first one is definitely the most common one. The two middle ones—especially the second one—sound awkward and not as natural as the fourth one.

    Anyway, the most common colloquial solution would be yet another phrase: Elle aime quoi, Georgia ?

    In short:

    • Qu'est-ce que Georgia aime ? → normal conversation
    • Qu'est-ce qu'aime Georgia ? → more formal, not natural (to me)
    • Qu'aime Georgia ? → formal, a bit stilted
    • Que Georgia aime-t-elle ? → formal, quite natural (to me)
    • Qu'aime-t-elle, Georgia ? / Georgia, qu'aime-t-elle ? → a little informal
    • Elle aime quoi, Georgia ? / Georgia, elle aime quoi ? → colloquial
  7. coing Member

    North Carolina
    Informative answers, and thanks for the corrections! These posts do a great deal to clarifies differences between what I have always been taught officially and what I have actually read and heard, which is very much in line with the answers above. It's good to know that there *are* in fact multiple correct ways to use inversion. :)
  8. Meg_ New Member

    I have some problem with this question: "what does Alex like?"

    I know that "what does he likes?" would be "qu'est-ce qu'il aime?" but I don't know whether the translation of the first could be "qu'est-ce que aime Alex?" or it has to have the subject first, like "qu'est-ce que Alex aime?" or "quest-ce qu'il aime, Alex?"

    Which one is correct?

    Thanks!! :)

    Ps. I know it's probably a silly question but I'm still improving my french and I'd really appreciate an answer guys!
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  9. Lacuzon

    Lacuzon Senior Member

    French - France
    Bonsoir et bienvenue Meg_,

    The subject comes first because there is only one inversion per question.

    So Qu'est-ce qu'Alex aime ? or Qu'aime Alex ?
  10. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Hello Meg and welcome!

    It is definitely not a silly question. :) There are indeed several ways to say it:

    Qu'est-ce qu'Alex aime ?
    Qu'est-ce qu'aime Alex ?
    Qu'Alex aime-t-il ?
    Qu'aime Alex ?

    More colloquial:

    Qu'est-ce qu'il aime, Alex ?
    Il aime quoi, Alex ?

    I beg to disagree: both word orders are possible.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  11. Meg_ New Member

    Thank you very much!
    I actually didn't expect there were so many ways to say it! :)

Share This Page