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In the book Exercices de grammaire en contexte, niveau intermédiare, there is a question involving two types of interrogatives with comme:

Qu'est-ce que ... comme, quoi comme....

The authors give two examples, under the statement: Demander une précision, as follows:

J'ai une voiture - Tu as quoi comme voiture (familier)

Il cherche un appartement - Qu'est-ce qu'il cherche comme appartement? (courant)

My question is:

1- What does Qu'est-ce que ... comme, quoi comme mean? Does that mean What kind? (as in the example: What type of car do you have? What kind of flat is he looking for?)

2- If they have the same meaning, is quoi comme used in informal way, and qu'est-ce que...comme used in formal way?

I have searched in all my grammar textbook but I haven't found anything that relates to these type of interrogation.

Please help me.

Thanks.

  • 1
    Yes, they both mean kind of or type of or sort of. I have a question: why are you asking questions about French in English, which is not your mother tongue? Won't that be even more confusing?? – Lambie May 23 '17 at 19:50
  • Hi, I'm not English native but French grammar textbook written in English (and of course French) is far more better than the ones that written in my native language. So I have no other choice. – Knumber10 May 24 '17 at 3:28
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You are right, both mean "what kind of" and are interchangeable:

Tu as quoi comme voiture ? (familier)

Qu'est-ce que tu as comme voiture ? (courant)

or

Qu'est-ce qu'il cherche comme appartement ? (courant)

Il cherche quoi comme appartement ? (familier)

The reason why one expression is a bit more formal than the other is not about quoi comme vs qu'est-ce que... comme but about the construction of the sentence. Questions beginning like an affirmation (Tu as...) are less formal than questions beginning with qu'est-ce-que.

Formal: Que recherches-tu comme appartement ?

Less formal: Qu'est-ce que tu (re)cherches comme appartement ?

Informal: Tu (re)cherches quoi comme appartement ?

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    Both are basically interchangeable. Tu cherches quoi comme appartement? means the same thing exactly as: Qu'est-ce que tu cherches comme appartement. More formal overall would also be: Quel genre d'appartement cherchez-vous? – Lambie May 23 '17 at 19:56

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