Relative pronouns - Pronoms relatifs

Relative pronouns replace a pronoun or a noun in subordinate clauses. They are divided into simple invariable - qui, que, dont, quoi and compound variable ones - lequel, laquelle, lesquels, lesquelles.

Qui

Qui is usually the subject of a subordinate clause and is translated as "who", “which” or “that”. It refers to animate and inanimate nouns that precede it:

L’homme qui rit. - The man who laughs.

Le manuel de français qui est sur la table est à moi. - The textbook of the French language, which is on the table, is mine.

Les agents de police qui sont venus te voir t’attendent dans la salle de séjour. - The policemen who have come to you are waiting for you in the hall.

Que

Que serves as a complement. Before the vowel, the last letter "disappears", and the apostrophe informs us about the missing letter.

L’exposition que vous venez de visiter, vous a-t-elle impressionné? - Did the exhibition you’ve just visited impress you?

Comment trouvez-vous l’offerte que nous vous avons envoyé? - How do you find the offer we sent you?

Dites-moi, s’il vous plaît, le numéro de téléphone de l’avocat que vous m’avez recommandé. - Tell me, please, the phone number of the lawyer whom you recommended.

Réponds à la lettre qu’il t’a écrit. - Answer the letter he wrote you.

Dont

Dont works as a supplement with the preposition de in a subordinate clause and often serves as a noun definition:

Les problèmes dont nous avons parlé sont sérieux non seulement pour les pays du troisième monde, mais aussi pour les pays développés. - The problems that we talked about are serious not only for the third world countries, but also for developed ones.

L’auteur dont les livres sons assez populaires de genre de genre de science-fiction. - The author, whose books are quite popular these days, continues to work in the fiction genre.

Les électeurs dont la plupart est mécontente des résultats des élections sont sortis dans les rues de la capitale. - Voters, most of whom are dissatisfied with the election results, took to the streets of the capital.

Quoi

Quoi also serves as a supplement, but only applies to inanimate nouns.

C’est ce à quoi il s’intéresse. - This is what he is interested in.

Vous pouvez voir de quoi je suis capable. - You can see what I'm capable of.

Voilà sur quoi reposent nos conclusions. - This is what our conclusions are based on.

Voilà à quoi il emploie son loisir. - That's how he spends his leisure.

also can be attributed here - "where, where, when." Although it is an adverb, it is also used as a relative pronoun.

C’est la ville j’habite. - This is the city in which (where) I live.

La Suisse où nous irons aux derniers jours d’octobre est un pays pittoresque, réputé pour ses bancs et ses montres dans le monde entier. - Switzerland, which we are visiting at the end of October, is a picturesque country, famous for its banks and watches all over the world.

Je n’oublierai jamais le jour où nous nous sommes rencontrés pour la première fois. - I will never forget the day we met for the first time.

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