Use of French

IsabelB1Kwiziq community member

Use of French

I thought that using 'quoi' was impolite, verging on downright rude.  Is this no longer, or never was, the case?

Asked 3 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Isabel,

I think you are referring to the question -

Quoi? = What?

or 

Hein? = What?

wich is used to mean you don't understand something, for instance.

I was always corrected as a child, to say

 'comment?' Pardon?

 instead.

The following snippet is from a 'bonnes manières' guide but I wouldn't go as far as using the last suggestion! :

Quand vous avez mal entendu, ne dîtes pas " QUOI ? ", ou " HEIN ? ", mais " COMMENT ? " ou " PARDON ? ", ou mieux encore " JE VOUS DEMANDE PARDON ? ".

Bonne Continuation!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

If you want someone to repeat what he said, it is kind of curt and impolite in a professional and more formal setting. But as a pronoun it is, of course used in every register of the language.

LynneA0Kwiziq community member

I thought I should pronounce the T as in c’est un.....

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Lynne, 

Without context I can't answer you precisely but normally it is optional.

Use of French

I thought that using 'quoi' was impolite, verging on downright rude.  Is this no longer, or never was, the case?

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