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Stephen
Meaning of a-t-il? What does a-t-il mean in the following passage please?

Le suspense a-t-il été maîtrisé jusqu'au bout ou s'agit-il réellement de défaillances techniques, that is the question.

This is from an article in Le Figaro about the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby.

May 9, 2019 6:29 AM
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It simply means “has it”. Inversion is often used to form questions, particularly in literary style. The T is said to be there to make it “sound good” by avoiding the hiatus. In reality, the T comes from the Latin 3rd-person singular suffix (cognate with English TH, as in “hath he”). Another way to ask would be “Est-ce que le suspense a été maîtrisé….”. It's also possible to ask the question using only intonation, but that's only possible in the spoken language, and would be informal.

“Il” refers back to “le suspense” — this apparent redundancy is typical of French. I suppose you could call it “topic-comment” structure. 

May 9, 2019
Thank you, Phil. The "t" is what threw me!
May 9, 2019
Stephen
Language Skills
English, French
Learning Language
French