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The Relative Pronouns

The Relative Pronouns

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Published by IB Screwed

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Published by: IB Screwed on Aug 28, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Relative Pronouns
relative pronoun
is used to introduce a clause that modifies a noun.
Qui acts as a subject pronoun. Its function is similar to ‘which,’ ‘that’ or ‘who’ in English.
Itcan refer to a person or thing. Qui replaces a noun from the main clause that acts as a
of another clause. It is the subject of the verb in the relative clause.
parle japonais est absent 
 The employee
speaks Japanese is absent 
In this instance, “qui” refers to the employee
 In French proverbs,
celui qui 
La vengeance est un plat 
se mange froid 
Revenge is a dish best served coldIn some archaic idiomatic expressions, it can replace
ce qui 
Qui plus est 
What’s more
Qui pis est 
What’s worse
Qui mieux est 
What’s better
Il est bavard et qui pis est sonore
He is talkative, and what’s worse he’s loud
When qui is the object of a preposition, it refers only to peopleLa fille à qui vous parlez est gentilleThe girl to whom you
Que replaces a noun that is the
direct object
of the relative clause, and can be used forpeople or things.
La cliente que vous attendez ne vient pas
The client that you were
waiting for didn’t come
 Que is an object pronoun, comparable to
in English. It may refer to people orthings. It becomes
before a vowel.Le garçon que nous avons vu hier est mon frèreThe boy whom we saw yesterday is my brotherLes livres qu'elle écrit sont intéressantsThe books she writes are interestingQue is sometimes used to replace
after certain expressions of timeL'année que je reviendraiThe year when I will return
Dont can refer to persons or things and means whose, of (about) which, of (about) whom. Itis replacing forms of 
de qui 
, referring to persons, and
de laquelle
, referring to things that do occur. It replaces the preposition
de + noun phrase
 La femme de qui nous parlons est Marie Dupont
La femme dont nous parlons est Marie Dupont
The woman about whom we are speaking is Marie Dupont 
Le film duquel nous parlons est bon
Le film dont nous parlons est bon
The movie of which we are speaking is good 
Je connais une fille dont la mère est médecin
I know a girl whose mother is a doctor 
L'homme dont le fils parle est avocat
The man whose son is speaking is a lawyer 
Voilà un tableau dont j'admire la beauté
There is a painting whose beauty I admire
Dont cannot be followed by a possessive adjectiveVoilà la fille, Je connais
parents.Voilà la fille dont je connais
parentsDont can only be used when it immediately follows the noun to which it corresponds. If thenoun is followed by a prepositional phrase, the appropriate form of 
de + lequel 
must beused.
C'est le garçon avec la sœur
je suis sorti
He is he boy whose sister I went out with
Voilà la fille à la mère
de laquelle
vous avez parlé
There is the girl whose mother you spoke to
Dont is particularly used with verbs and verbal expressions using the preposition
(avoirbesoin de, avoir envie de, faire la connaissance de...)In more conversation register/structure:Tu vois la jeune fille là-bas? Je t'ai parlé d'elle hier.
Voilà la jeune fille
je t'ai parlé hier 
La religion, je n'en parle jamais
La religion est un sujet 
je ne parle jamais
Ce Qui
Ce qui is a neutral pronoun and means
what, that which
. It is used at the subject of theclause when there is no antecedentComprenez-vous ce qui se passe
Do you understand what's happening? 

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