French Relative Pronouns I: Qui, Que

French Relative Pronouns I: Qui, Que in French

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Qui and que are the translation of who, that, whom, which… , they don’t follow the same rules in French and in English

1.Qui as a subject, for people and things

I know a man who can do that
In this sentence “who” is the subject of the verb “can”, for this reason we use “qui” in French

Je connais un homme QUI peut faire ça

I have a cat that is very lazy
Again, the relative pronoun “that” is the subject of “is”, so we use “qui” in French

J’ai un chat qui est très paresseux

2.Qui as an Indirect Object (because of a preposition), for people only

The person to whom I wrote (the person I wrote to)
In this sentence “to” is a preposition  so we use “qui” in French

La personne à qui j’écris

The guy my wife works for
The guy for whom my wife works
Again “for” is a preposition, so we use “qui”

Le type pour qui ma femme travaille

3.Que as a Direct Object , for people and things

The present that I bought
In this sentence “that” is not a subject, so we use “que”

Le cadeau que j’ai acheté

The man I know can do that
The man that I know can do that
Again “that” is not the subject so we use “que”

L’homme que je connais peut faire ça


J'aime les fleurs ... sentent bon / I love flowers that smell good

J'envoie la lettre ... tu m'as demandée / I am sending the letter that you asked

Prends le livre ... est dans la bibliothèque / Take the book that is in the bookcase

Pierre, ... est français, a un accent / Pierre who is French has an accent

C'est le sportif de ... il attendait de meilleurs résultats / He is the sportman whom he expected better results from

La personne à ... j'ai envoyé un email / the person who I sent an email to

C'est mon ordinateur ... est en panne / It is my computer that is out of order

L'ordinateur ... je répare est en panne / The computer I am repairing is out of order

Les vacances ... j'ai passées en France ont été géniales / The holidays I spent in France were great

Je ne comprends pas ... tu dis / I don't understand what you are saying

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6 thoughts on “French Relative Pronouns I: Qui, Que

  1. admin Post author

    Hi, thank you for your question, the answer is in the lesson, this is the part 2 “qui as an indirect object because of a preposition”, the preposition here is “à” so with people we use “qui”!

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