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How To Use French Relative Pronouns Properly

French relative pronouns

Like in English, Relative Pronouns in French don't just stand in for other words, they are used to build up sentences by connecting clauses.

Example:

Je mange la tarte que ma mère a préparée / I eat the piethatmy mother has prepared

Simple Forms

Qui Who, which, whom
Que That
Quoi What
Dont Whose, of which
Where

Examples:

Il faut trouver le témoin qui a identifié le meurtier. / We must find the witnesswhoidentified the murderer.

La croisiére que j'ai fait m'a été recommendée par l'un de mes amis. / The cruisethatI just went on was recommended by one of my friends.

Je ne sais pas quoi te dire. / I don't knowwhatto tell you.

Les chaussures dont elle s'est dôtée lui ont permi de finir le marathon. / The shoesof whichshe availed herself allowed her to finish the marathon.

La maison où elle a vécu se trouve au Canada. / The housewhereshe lived is located in Canada.

Complex Forms (le,la,les+quel)

Lequel Which one (masculine, singular form)
Lesquels Which ones (masculine, plural form)
Laquelle Which one (feminine, singular form)
Lesquelles Which ones (feminine, plural form)

Examples:

“Lequel avez-vous choisi?”, me demanda le vendeur en pointant l'étalage de fromages du doigt. /“Whichone did you choose?”, asked the seller, while pointing his finger to the cheese display?

La cause pour laquelle nous nous sommes battus n'en valait pas la peine. / The cause forwhichwe fought wasn't worth it.

Les candidats parmi lesquels nous avons choisi le directeur étaient tous très qualifiés. / The candidates amongwhichwe chose the director were all very qualified.

Les pièces dans lesquelles vous avez installé les tableaux ne sont pas bien protégées. / The rooms inwhichyou installed the paintings are not well protected.

Amalgamated Forms (à, au, aux, du, de la, des + complex form)

Auquel To which, at which (masc., sing. form)
Auxquels To which, at which (masc., plur. form)
À laquelle To which, at which (fem., sing. form)
Auxquelles To which, at which (fem., plur. form)
Duquel Of which, of whom, from which, from whom (masc., sing.)
Desquels Of which, of whom, from which, from whom (masc., plur.)
De laquelle Of which, of whom, from which, from whom (fem., sing.)
Desquelles Of which, of whom, from which, from whom (fem., plur.)

Examples:

L'espèce à laquelle vous faîtes allusion n'existe plus. / The speciesto whichyou're referring no longer exists.

La recette indique de commencer avec du lait, auquel on peut ajouter du fromage. / The recipe tells us to start with milk,to whichone can add cheese.

La voiture à côté de laquelle elle était garée à été volée. / The car by the sideof whichshe was parked has been stolen.


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