As an example to illustrate the need for the subject what, start from a statement you may hear: La pluie a causé la rupture du barrage. French Relative Pronouns, Simply Explained (with Examples), short sentences are often easier to read than long ones, take a look at these words that we get from other languages, check out these interesting facts about language, 12 Reasons to Study Abroad (and 0 Reasons Not To). The French relative pronoun que means “who” or “that.” It replaces grammatical objects. Ma femme a un frère qui habite à Londres. In each of the examples below, you’ll see a pair of sentences that we can combine into one. However, there are some subtle differences. It’s also less formal and more universally accepted as the English equivalent for the word because. That may seem overly simple, but that’s really what it comes down to. If you do find a subject other than what, then what is the object of the verb in your question. In both French and English, and in many European languages, the range of words used as relative pronoun is very similar to those used as question words 1. Elle comprend la raison pour laquelle il doit partir. Notice that whereas with ne ... pas (not), pas could only be placed after the auxiliary verb (être or avoir) in compound tenses. If you like word origins, then take a look at these words that we get from other languages. It replaces grammatical objects. Start your Braimap today », I only went to the cinema (I did nothing else), I went to the cinema only (I went nowhere else), Kwiziq French is a product of and © Kwiziq Ltd 2020, Du, de la, de l', des all become de or d' in negative sentences (partitive articles), Using ne ... pas with simple tenses (negation), Using ne ... pas with reflexive verbs in simple tenses (negation), Using 'ne ... pas' with compound tenses (negation), Using 'ne ... pas' with reflexive verbs in compound tenses (negation), Restrictive ne … que = only (simple tenses). Before we get started, here’s a key point that you should etch into your grammar-lovin’ brain: pronouns replace nouns. (What caused the break of the dam?). However, if you want to use it, inversion must follow, which makes your sentence sound a bit pompous to French ears. The sentence Qu’est-ce qui est arrivé? The qu- word that alternates between qui and que is the second one. If you can’t find a noun or pronoun acting as the subject, the sentence probably doesn’t have one, in which case what is the subject in your question. Parce Que. It lets the beginning speaker combine two sentences into one. Mon petit-fils prend le train qui départ à 15h20. To see why pronouns are incredibly useful, consider the following example in English: Jake bought a car. Here are the balls with which the team is going to play. Then imagine you didn’t hear the first words. See also the simple tenses cases Restrictive ne … que = only (simple tenses), Want to make sure your French sounds confident? Let's dig in! You should place que in front of the word you restrict. (English grammar purists, you might prefer “whom” over “who” in the first translation below, but most English speakers would say “who.”). Matthew is the founder and principal of RedLine Language Services LLC. In French, the words qui and que generally cover the function of that, which etc in the sentences above. Voici les ballons avec lesquels l’équipe va jouer. He loves the movie that you’re talking about. (The rain caused the break of the dam.). However, there are also some difference that will necessitate some practice to sort it out. Most of the sentences presented include audio of the sentence in Spanish, which allows you … She understands the reason for which he has to leave. (What happened?) When I first learned French grammar, the word dont intimidated me. Note: The word dont is used in the same way as que (it replaces a grammatical object), but it has de built into it. In the toggle panes below are explanations of the French relative pronouns qui, que, où, and dont, as well as lequel and its forms. The good news for English speakers, or other Roman languages like Italian or Spanish, is that French sentence construction is similar in many ways to your own. Because the interrogative qu’est-ce que can’t be the subject, it must be the object. Qu’est-ce qui does not have a short version. Last, check out these interesting facts about language. Take a look at a few example sentences using parce que: La pomme? Here are the two previous examples from before with the short version: Que voyez-vous là-bas? (If you’re not easily offended, then read about French swear words.). The word lequel means “which” and follow prepositions such as sur, avec, and pour. Véronique Mazet has a doctorate in French from the University of Texas at Austin and is the author of two successful grammar books. Here are a couple of other examples: Qu’est-ce que vous voyez là-bas? It’s not hard to master French relative pronouns. Je n ‘ai que 5 euros (of course when people speak, they don’t say the “ne”: j’ai que 5 euros, but it is not correct French) “Ne” is before the first verb of the sentence and “que” after.
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