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Combien d'enfants entre 2-6 ans qui y participeraient as-tu ?

It seemed to me a little weird. It is not better like this:

Tu as combien d'enfants entre 2-6 ans qui y participeraient ?

I wanted to take your opinion! Thanks in advance!

  • 2
    Both are correct, even if the first one is hard to understand at first sight. You may have to look to this answer for the difference. – Random Sep 14 '16 at 12:44
  • Your use of “tu” probably means it’s not the case, but if this was for a sign-up sheet for an activity I’d present it as 2 questions to avoid having to use "combien" in such a long question: (1) “Est-ce que vous avez (or Avez-vous) des enfants entre 2 et 6 ans qui y participeraient (or perhaps qui voudraient y participer)? _______(oui ou non)” …. followed by a simple (2) “Combien? _____”. Maybe this could also work in a conversation where someone with such children would hopefully answer “Oui, on en a X” but if they did just say “Oui” you’d need to follow-up with a quick “Alors combien?" – Papa Poule Sep 14 '16 at 14:35
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You have exactly four options for placing the "as-tu":

Combien [1] d'enfants [2] entre 2-6 ans [3] qui y participeraient [4]?

I would rank them, from most to least natural: 1, (2, 3), 4! Option 1 is by far the most natural:

Combien as-tu d'enfants entre 2-6 ans qui y participeraient ?

Additional notes after your edit:

  • Using "tu as" instead of "as-tu" is simply more informal. Which one to use would depend on the context. In a text to a friend, I would use "tu as". In a mailing list to lots of people, I would use "as-tu" or "avez-vous".

  • "Combien tu as de..." and "Tu as combien de..." are roughly equivalent, with the latter being more informal.

  • To elaborate a little on why I think option 1 is natural, I guess "enfants [2] entre 2-6 ans [3] qui y participeraient" is a semantic block that would feel weird to cut. You could technically cut it at [2] or [3] but the meaning becomes much harder because bits relating to "enfants" are all over the place!

  • While position [4] would not be a problem in a sentence like "Combien d'argent as-tu ?", here the meaning is much harder to understand with "as-tu" in the end, because the middle of the sentence is so long, so the "as-tu" ends up too far from the "combien" for the sentence to feel natural.

  • Why is [4] worst than [2] or [3]? My guess is that putting the relative subproposition (introduced by "qui") at the end really eases the comprehension, because the sentence does not jump back to the main proposition afterwards, so that the processing of the sentence by the listener is linear. That's my best shot at explaining what is really a gut feeling. See also the point just above.

4

The first one, is correct, because in a french question, you have to invert the subject and the verb, but indeed as Random said, it's hard to understand immediately.

The second one is not perfectly correct because it starts with "Tu as ... ?" which is not a correct question form.

antoine-sac's answer is the right one I think.

But you could split it if you'd like :

Combien d'enfants as-tu ayant entre 2 et 6 ans et qui y participeraient ?

NB: Please don't use « 2-6 ans », but « 2 et 6 ans ».

  • Why are you saying "Tu as ... ?" is not a corect question form ? It is not recommended on writting, but for oral, it's ok (same as "Tu habites en Belgique ?" in the link I gave) – Random Sep 14 '16 at 13:23
  • 1
    @Random yes you are right. As antoine-sac said, it's more informal, but is correct since it's used for oral all the time. – Thibault Sep 14 '16 at 14:05

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