Here’s a great question from Robert, a Chinese-speaking listener of French Your Way Podcast about “sentences like ” I don’t know what he will say to me” or ” He didn’t tell me when he would arrive.” While I know that in French we use “ce que” for the “what clauses”, I am not sure if there are other words for “how”, “when”, etc. Do we simply use “comment”,” quand” ? Also, for us, as Chinese speakers, this sentence structure would be the hardest to learn in English, since we can’t just put the clause in the order of question, for example, “I don’t know how is he”. I want to know how this kind of sentence works in French, because every time when I say sentences involving the use of this grammar, I feel so frustrated and unconfident.” Let’s see together how to confidently make sentences in the indirect speech in French!
Vocabulary and Spelling of the French Words mentioned in this episode
Je ne sais pas ce qu’il va me dire / ce qu’il me dira = I don’t know what he will say to me
Il ne m’a pas dit quand il arriverait = He didn’t tell me when he would arrive
Where do you live ? = tu habites où?
Can you tell me where you live ? = Peux-tu me dire où tu habites?
Tu vas bien? = Are you ok/fine?
Can you tell me if you’re ok/fine ? = Peux-tu me dire si tu vas bien?
Vous habitez toujours en France? = Do you still live in France ?
I wonder if/whether you still live in France = Je me demande si vous habitez toujours en France
LINKS and RESOURCES
- Episode 111: Questions in French (Part 1): the 3 ways to ask a question
- Episode 115: Questions in French (Part 2): The different translations of “what…?”
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