Interrogative Adjectives & Pronouns

Interrogative Adjectives & Pronouns

Interrogative Adjectives

Just like all French adjectives quel (which, what), has to agree in number and gender with the noun it modifies.


Quel train? – Which train? (masculine)

Quelle classe? – Which class? (feminine)


Quels trains? – Which trains? (masculine)

Quelles classes? – Which classes? (feminine)

Quel(s)/Quelle(s) may also be preceded by a preposition:

  • De quel livre est-ce que vous parlez? – What book are you talking about?
  • Pour quelle compagnie travaille-t-il? – What company does he work for

Quel(s)/Quelle(s) is used before forms of être in sentences where English uses what:

  • Quelle est la différence? – What is the difference?
  • Quelles sont vos idées? – What are your ideas?

Quel(s)/Quelle(s) may also be used in exclamations, and the implication may be either positive or negative:

  • Quels restaurants! – What restaurants!
  • Quelle catastrophe! – What a catastrophe!


Interrogative Pronouns

French interrogative pronouns agree in gender and number with the noun they refer to.


Lequel – which (one) (masculine)

Laquelle – which (one) (feminine)


Lesquels – which (ones) (masculine)

Lesquelles – which (ones) (feminine)

  • Un de mes enfants est tombé malade. – One of my kids got sick.
  • Lequel? – Which one?
  • Mon frère travaille dans une banque. – My brother works in a bank.
  • Dans laquelle? – Which one?
  • Il y a deux robes qui sont pour toi. – There are two dresses which are for you.
  • Lesquelles? – Which ones?

The prepositions à and de contract with the interrogative pronoun:

  • Nous allons à un pays étranger. – We are going to a foreign country.
  • Auquel? – To which one?
  • J’ai besoin de ces journaux. – I need those newspapers.
  • Desquels? Il y en a tant. – Which ones? There are so many.

The following pronouns are used for whowhom in questions:

qui or qui est-ce qui – who (subject)

qui – whom (**object of verb, requires inversion of subject of the verb**)

  • Qui sort? – Who‘s going out?
  • Qui cherchez-vous? – Whom are you looking for?

Qui as object may be replaced by qui est-ce que without inversion:

  • Qui est-ce que vous cherchez? – Whom are you looking for?

The interrogative pronoun what as object of the verb rendered que (with inversion), or qu’est-ce que (without inversion):

  • Que voulez-vous? – What do you want?
  • Qu’est-ce que vous voulez? – What do you want?

What as subject of the sentence is rendered qu’est-ce qui (without inversion):

  • Qu’est-ce qui te fait mal? – What is hurting you?

Both qui and qui est-ce que can be used after prepositions. Que becomes quoi after prepositions, and qu’est-ce que becomes quoi est-ce que:

  • À qui pensez-vous? – About whom are you thinking?
  • À qui est-ce que vous pensez? – About whom are you thinking?
  • De quoi avez vous besoin? – What do you need?
  • De quoi est-ce que vous avez besoin? – What do you need?


As always, please feel free to leave questions or comments, as well as any requests you may have. I will be happy to accommodate!

Merci à vous !



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