Mange-t-il le gâteau?

Le gâteau has to be replaced using a direct complement pronoun (le) but where do I place it? The rule says behind the verb but here it can't be done.

  • 1
    "the rule says behind the verb" What rule? – Teleporting Goat Mar 2 '18 at 15:04
  • On mange du gâteau ; remplace avec le partitif ou le sandwich ? Sinon, "En mange-t-il ?" – livresque Aug 2 '19 at 10:48

There are various alternatives:

  1. Est-ce qu'il le mange ? (both formal and informal)
  2. Il le mange ? (with rising intonation; rather informal)
  3. Le mange-t-il ? (the most formal version)

In case of the passé composé (perfect in English), the respective phrases are as follow:

  1. Est-ce qu'il l'a mangé ? (both formal and informal)
  2. Il l'a mangé ? (that is, with rising intonation; rather informal)
  3. L'a-t-il mangé ? (the most formal version)

Note that gateau is masculine. In the case of a feminine noun like la confiture we would write (phonetically there is no difference), respectively:

  1. Est-ce qu'il l'a mangée ? (both formal and informal)
  2. Il l'a mangée ? (with rising intonation; rather informal)
  3. L'a-t-il mangée ? (the most formal version)

This is due to a phenomenon called "accord du participe passé".

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« Le mange-t-il » I think but not a sentence I would say IRL. (French native here)

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  • Umm thanks. I thought the same too, but it seemed weird. – Rayyan Asif Khan Mar 1 '18 at 19:35
  • 1
    @RayyanAsifKhan It's because "Mange-t-il le gâteau ?" is weird to begin with (subject inversion is very uncommon in spoken language). – Teleporting Goat Mar 2 '18 at 14:58

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