Is this sentence supposed to be a rhetorical question through and through, emphasising the uselessness of using the correct grammar?

= "What difference does it make whether you learn the grammar or not?" {ironically}

On the other hand, if you are really interested to find out about the difference/benefits it makes by learning the grammar, how would you rephrase the sentence? Is it possible to start the sentence with « Quelle différence ... », or would you rather say something like:

Que gagne-t-on à apprendre la grammaire ?

I suppose that it is easy for English speakers to fall into the trap of using the sentence in the title, with a non-sarcastic real question in mind.

  • 1
    Quels sont les avantages d’apprendre la grammaire ?
    – Stéphane
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 18:23
  • Ou encore : Quels avantages retire-t-on de l’apprentissage de la grammaire ?
    – Stéphane
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 18:24
  • @Stéphane Peut-on s'en tenir au mot « différence » pour exprimer cette idée ? Merci. Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 18:49
  • Oui. « Quelle différence cela fait-il d’apprendre la grammaire ? » mais cela me semble moins naturel.
    – Stéphane
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 9:48

1 Answer 1


Indeed this is good example of a rhetorical question.

It's possible to ask the same question on an (almost) neutral stance as follows:

Quelle différence y a-t-il à apprendre la grammaire ?

“Ça fait une différence” (“It makes a difference”) is more often than not an undersatement of “it changes everything”. It conotes relevance. “Il y a une différence” is meant as a purely analytic statement.

  • Hi. Does the title sentence always come across as a sarcastic rhetorical question? Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 21:32
  • @LUNA: Like in English, it depends on the context. For example, if it were in a guide or a FAQ the question could be genuine, otherwise it's almost certainly rhetorical. Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 21:39

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