Why do we say "Qu'est-ce que tu en penses ?

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Paola

Kwiziq community member

11 December 2018

8 replies

Why do we say "Qu'est-ce que tu en penses ?

Qu'est-ce que tu en penses ? 

This question relates to:
French lesson "C'est vs il/elle est: Saying it is"

Paola

Kwiziq community member

11 December 2018

11/12/18

instead of "Qu'est-ce que tu penses ?" 

Chris

Kwiziq community member

12 December 2018

12/12/18

Qu'est-ce que tu en penses? -- What do you think of it?

What do you mean by "why do we say this"?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

12 December 2018

12/12/18

Qu'est-ce que tu en penses? -- What do you think of it?
Qu'est-ce que tu penses? -- What do you think?

It depends on what you want to say.

Alan

Kwiziq community member

13 December 2018

13/12/18

I am surprised at this. As a native English speaker I would say that "What do you think?" means the same as "What to you think of/about it?" You can drop the "of/about it" when the context is obvious. I'm obviously not a native French speaker, but I would have thought you can't do the same thing in French, so "Qu'est-ce que tu penses?" is either wrong, or implies a direct object, so it would have to mean something like "What are you planning?".

Chris

Kwiziq community member

13 December 2018

13/12/18

Maybe "What are you thinking." is the better translation, in the sense of "a penny for your thoughts" :)

Alan

Kwiziq community member

13 December 2018

13/12/18

But is that how you would say it in French? Wouldn't it be "À quoi tu penses?"

Chris

Kwiziq community member

13 December 2018

13/12/18

According to a French native speaker, both is possible:

Qu'est-ce que tu pense. -- What are you thinking about?
À quoi tu penses. -- What are you thinking about?

According to her, they are both possible and mean exactly the same thing: asking someone what he is thinking, without reference to anything mentioned earlier.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

13 December 2018

13/12/18

Qu'est-ce que tu penses, of course, I forgot the "s". Wish there was some way to edit one's typos...

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