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Kwiziq community member
9 June 2018
Comment se sont passées tes vacances ?
Why not ( comment tes vacances se passent-elles? ) ?
This question relates to:French lesson "Passer, se passer, se passer de (different meanings of 'passer')"
Kwiziq language super star
11 June 2018
The difference between the two sentences is a question of tense.
In the lesson it is "How did your holidays go?" in the past .
Your suggestion is "How is your holiday going?" which is the present tense.
Hope this helps!
but why isn't it "comment tes vacances se sont-elles passées"?
Don't you have to use a pronoun in the inversion, as described here:
Forming inverted questions with nouns in Le Passé Composé (conversational past)
I think I found the answer to my question. There is simple inversion ("Comment se sont passées tes vacances?") and complex inversion ("Comment tes vacances se sont-elles passées?").
Comment (and combien and quand) can be used with either form. Où always takes the simple form, and pourquoi always takes the complex.
12 June 2018
Hmm it seems it is more complicated still. The behaviour with Où also depends on the tense of the verb and the complexity of the sentence:
Où est Monsieur le Ministre?
Où M. Le Ministre a-t-il éte reçu?
Où M. Le Ministre est-il en ce moment?
My grammar book is not very clear on whether this also applies to comment etc.
18 June 2018
If I have understood correctly, you are querying the additional pronoun used in some the more complex questions .
I believe it only happens with the inversion regardless of the tense.
In your last example, you could also say -
Où M. le Ministre est-il? but it does sound rather pompous...
Some other examples would be :
Madame, va-t-elle prendre quelque chose avec son café?
Pourquoi Juliette va-t-elle seule au cinéma?
Où les enfants sont-ils allés?
and in the original example - Comment tes vacances se sont-elles passées?
My point was that according to the lesson below (and other similar lessons), the form with an additional pronoun is always required, but it seems that actually in simple cases it is not required. (And sometimes probably should not be used, because it would sound pompous.) What defines "simple" seems to include tense.
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