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Que and inversion with people

JulieB1Kwiziq community member

Que and inversion with people

I am a bit confused about when an extra pronoun comes in to inverted question forms.  I thought that "What does Paul want?" would be "Que Paul veut-il?".  Similarly with "What are the children drawing?", I was expecting "Que les enfants dessinent-ils?

Asked 1 year ago
JessicaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

To clarify terms: "Paul" and "enfants" are nounsPronouns are words like "I, you, they" and "je, tu, ils, elles" that take the place of nouns.

The order you suggest certainly occurs with interrogative adverbs like "pourquoi" and "comment". I think the different order occurs because "que" is an interrogative pronoun.

Adding another pronoun, like "me" would be something like:

Que me veut-il? -> What does he want with me?

The difference between the positioning of the pronoun and noun is clearer if there's verb+verb:

Que veut-il me dire? -> What does he want to tell me

Que veut dire Paul -> What does Paul mean?

Que and inversion with people

I am a bit confused about when an extra pronoun comes in to inverted question forms.  I thought that "What does Paul want?" would be "Que Paul veut-il?".  Similarly with "What are the children drawing?", I was expecting "Que les enfants dessinent-ils?

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