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1. what QU- word

(a) (as complement of verb in direct question) que (with inversion: slightly frm), qu'est-ce que, quoi (Infml: with normal word order); ~ are you doing? qu'est-ce que tu fais?, que fais-tu? (slightly frm), tu fais quoi là? (Infml); ~ did he say? qu'est-ce qu'il a dit?; (Infml) so ~ did he say, then? il a dit quoi, alors?; ~ on earth...?, ~ the heck...? (Infml), ~ the hell...? (more Infml) que diable...?; ~ on earth are you doing? que diable fais-tu?
(b) (as subject of verb in direct question) qu'est-ce qui, c'est quoi qui (Infml); ~ is worrying you? qu'est-ce qui t'inquiète?, c'est quoi qui t'inquiète? (Infml); (slightly Infml) ~'s come over you?, ~'s got into you? qu'est-ce qui te prend?
(c) (in indirect question: subject of verb in embedded clause) ce qui; (complement of verb in embedded clause) ce que; (complement of embedded infinitive) que; I don't know ~ he saw je ne sais pas ce qu'il a vu; I don't know ~ is worrying him je ne sais pas ce qui l'inquiète; I don't know ~ to do je ne sais pas que faire
(d) (complement of preposition) quoi; I don't know ~ he's talking about je ne sais pas de quoi il parle; ~ is he talking about? de quoi parle-t-il? (slightly frm), de quoi est-ce qu'il parle?, il parle de quoi? (Infml); (Infml) ~ are you on about? de quoi tu causes? (very Infml)

2. what Exclamation

(to express surprise, ask speaker to repeat) quoi?

Except where otherwise stated, all dictionary content compiled by Neil Coffey and copyright © Javamex UK 2012. All rights reserved.