Est ce que ... ?

While many of us are familiar with the Who, What, Where, When, and Why questions of the English language, the French language has a unique phrase whose sole purpose is to transform a declarative sentence into a question with a yes or no answer.

Est-ce que has no English translation. This phrase allows any French speaker to easily change a declarative sentence into a question simply by placing est-ce que at the beginning of a sentence, without changing the word order. (Que becomes qu' when followed by a vowel.)

Est-ce que Examples

Declarative Sentence: Tu chantes avec ton père.
Question:Est-ce que tu chantes avec ton père?
English Translation:You sing with your father?

Declarative Sentence: Il lit un livre d'histoire.
Question: Est-ce qu'il lit un livre d'histoire?
English Translation: He reads a history book?

This technique could be used if you were trying to clarify whether a given situation was in fact true.