French Grammar Guide for non-francophones

Relative Pronouns (e.g.: qui, que, dont, lequel, etc.)

Questions about Relative Pronouns

Q: Why is it C'est moi qui dois le faire and NOT C'est moi qui doit le faire?

Here, the subject is moi (1st person singular), so the verb must have the "je" ending, which is -s for -ir verbs.

Q: Why is it le livre dont j'ai besoin and NOT le livre que j'ai besoin?

Since the complete expression is avoir besoin de, the corresponding relative pronoun is dont.

Q: Why is it le problème dont j'ai parlé and NOT le problème que j'ai parlé de?

Since the complete expression is parler de, the corresponding relative pronoun is dont.

Q: Why is it les fruits que j'ai achetés and NOT les fruits que j'ai acheté?

In relative clauses where a direct object precedes a passé composé, the past participle must agree in terms of plural and feminine.

Q: Why is it C'est nous qui devons le faire and NOT C'est nous qui doit le faire?

Here, the subject is nous (1st person plural), so the verb must have the -ons ending.

 

 
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