Open-ended questions

Open-ended questions

Learning Objectives 

  • Asking questions with question words
  • Expressing cause with “parce que” 
  • Expressing purpose with “pour”
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Key Words & Phrases

  • Quand
  • Qui
  • Comment 
  • Combien 
  • Combien (de) 
  • Où 
  • Pourquoi
  • Quel/quels/quelle/quels
  • Pourquoi vas-tu à Bordeaux ?
    • Je vais à Bordeaux parce que c’est une belle ville.
    • Je vais à Bordeaux pour aider mon frère à déménager.
    • Je vais à Bordeaux pour le beau temps.


Interrogative adverbs

Asking questions

“why” questions

“pourquoi” and “parce que”

two ways of saying “because”

Dummies: How to ask for specific information with French question words

Grammar Collins Dictionary: Question words

Kwiziq: “pour” + infinitive

French Spanish Online: “Parce que”


My French Story: How to ask questions (start at 02.40)

Celine’s Easy French: Asking questions (from 03.43)

Lingoni French: Interrogative pronouns

Learn French with Alexa: “where” questions

Learn French with Alexa: “who” questions

Learn French with Alexa: “when” questions


The French Experiment: pronunciation of French question words

French Today: French question words

Lawless French: “pour”

French Language Blog: “parce que”

Practice practice “pourquoi”, “parce que” and “pour”

To Learn French: practice question words

Français Lingolia: practice open and closed questions

Using one of the recommended resources to get writing feedback, respond to the prompt below. 

  • Your pen pal, Antoine, has sent you a message full of questions – try to answer them as best as you can, and then, write at least five questions with various question words, to send back to Antoine.

Salut !

Comment ça va ? Moi, ça va. Je déménage à Montpellier le mois prochain ! Je suis très content ! Et toi, tu habites où ? Quelle est ta ville préférée ?

Je commence à apprendre l’espagnol pour pouvoir aller en Espagne.

Est-ce que tu étudies d’autres langues ? Pourquoi étudies-tu le français ? 

A bientôt !


Using one of the platforms for finding a tutor or language exchange partner, practice the speaking activities below. 

Partner Speaking Exercise:

  • Ask your partner about their favorite shops, when they usually visit these shops, why they go there, what they buy, etc. 
  • Now, ask your partner questions about traveling: if they like traveling, their favorite country or city, when they usually go traveling, where they stay, what they eat, etc.

Remember: we have only learned the present tense so far, so keep to using the present tense in your questions!

Independent Speaking Exercise:

Imagine you are writing to someone you admire, or a long-lost friend. Write down 5 to 10 questions you would ask them – try to use as many question words as you can.

You can find instructions and a download link in our flashcards module

Lesson Content
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