Inversion – inversion


Let's Define It!

What's the *inversion*?

The inversion occurs when the syntactic order of an affirmative sentence is inverted to form an interrogative sentence.

For example, this sentence:

  • "Tu reviens de l'école" (You are coming back from school)

is affirmative and is structured like this: subject + verb + remaining of sentence.

When using the inversion method, the sentence order is inverted and the new structure is then verb + subject + remaining of sentence:

  • "Reviens-tu de l'école? (Are you coming back from school?)


  • In simple terms, an aspect indicates whether an action is completed, in progress (continuous) or non-completed.
  • An aspect does NOT relate to the moment the speaker enunciates his/her sentence - (The verb tense is used for that purpose.)
  • In other words, an aspect gives information about the evolution and progression of the verb itself.

Check this out:

Quand Marie arrivera à la maison, le film sera déjà terminé. / By the time Mary arrives home, the movie will be already finished. 

While the tense of the sentence is future (arrivera) and future anterior (sera terminé), the aspect of these verbs is respectively inaccompli (imperfective) and accompli (perfective).

The aspect of "arrivera" is imperfect because Marie is perceived here as arriving home, that is, walking and opening the door of the house and stepping into it, while the aspect of "sera terminé" is seen as perfective because the movie will be over, done, finished by the time she arrives.


Let's Pronounce It!

What does it sound like in French?


Let's Have an Example or Two!

Can a little reinforcement do the trick?

Let's look at some interrogative sentences using the inversion:

Aimez-vous la danse? /  Do you like dancing?

Peuvent-elles venir avec nous? Can they come with us?

Vous doit-on de l'argent? / Do we owe you some money?

Que prendrez-vous/ What will you have?




Let's Take a Quiz!

What did you learn?