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I'm reading "Assimil New French with Ease", and in lesson 90 it goes:

Quand le Tour de France a-t-il été créé?

Combien y avait-il d'étapes à l'origine?

Combien y en a-t-il aujourd'hui?

Dans quels pays les coureurs se rendent-ils ?

Now I don't understand, why we need an "ils" in the last line? The question means

To (in) which countries do the racers go?

To which countries is the Dans quels pays, why there is still an ils at the end of the line?

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When you ask a question, you need to inverse the subject ("ils") and the verb ("rendent").

In this sentence, the verb is "rendre":

Dans quels pays les coureurs se rendent-ils ?

Another example:

Je vais à Paris. (I'm going to Paris)

Vais-je à Paris ? (Am I going to Paris ?)

Another tip: In some cases, you will have to add a "t" between the subject and the verb, except if your verb already finish by a "t", or a "d":

aime-t-il ?

parle-t-elle ?

Sait-il ?

Prend-on ?

More info: https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/euphonic-inversion/

  • but... isn't les coureurs the subject already? – athos Jun 17 '18 at 12:46
  • Yes, indeed: "Les coureurs" is the subject, but it is also a noun: You need to add after the verb the pronoun, which is here "ils", only if it is a noun – toshiro92 Jun 17 '18 at 13:33
  • Cette réponse est au mieux incomplète et sans ce commentaire ne répond pas à la question qui porte sur le "ils". J’aimerais voir un contre-exemple où le sujet n’est pas un nom dans lequel on ne fait donc pas cet ajout de pronom. J’avoue avoir du mal à en trouver... – Laurent S. Jun 17 '18 at 19:55
  • @LaurentS. : francais.lingolia.com/fr/grammaire/la-phrase/… – toshiro92 Jun 18 '18 at 20:34
  • @athos: There is also a topic which could also be related to your question: french.stackexchange.com/questions/993/… – toshiro92 Jun 18 '18 at 20:34

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