Relative Pronouns Relative pronouns are words that connect two clauses of a sentence to create a more complex sentence rather than having two simpler sentences with repetitive words. There are several relative pronouns in English: that, which, who, whom and whose. In French you will use the relative pronouns qui, que or dont. All three French relative pronouns have the same meanings: that, which, who, whom and whose. You must recognize the parts of speech to choose the correct French relative pronoun.
Relative pronouns qui and que The relative pronoun qui (that, which, who) is used to describe something that was already mentioned (the antecedent). Qui is the subject of the relative clause and is usually followed by a verb. The relative pronoun que (that, which, whom) is used to describe something that was already mentioned (the antecedent). Que/Qu is the object of the relative clause and is usually followed by a subject.
Relative pronouns qui and que qui = subject que = object Tu connais le film avec Tom Cruise? Le film joue à Loews. Le film is mentioned in both sentences. You can combine these two sentences by taking out le film, the subject in the second sentence, and then replacing it with the relative pronoun qui. Tu connais le film avec Tom Cruise qui joue à Loews? Tu as déjà vu le film? Jadore le film! Le film is mentioned in both sentences again. You can combine these two sentences by taking out le film, the direct object in the second sentence, and replacing it with the relative pronoun que. Tu as déjà vu le film que jadore?
Relative pronoun dont The relative pronoun dont is used in French to mean that or whom, it is always used in place of the preposition de and a noun. Memorize these four verbal expressions that contain the preposition de: parler deto talk about avoir besoin de to need avoir envie deto feel like avoir peur deto be afraid of For now, these are the only phrases you will need to use with dont, however the list goes on and on!
Relative pronoun dont Dont also means whose. It is used to show possession. When dont shows possession you must not have a possessive adjective (mon, ma, mes, etc.) in the same sentence; you must use a definite article (le, la, l, les) instead. Voilà la fille. (Theres the girl.) Je connais sa mère. (I know her mom.) Voilà la fille dont je connais la mère. (Theres the girl whose mom I know.)
Present Participles A present participle is a verb form ending in the letters –ing in English. It doesnt have a subject, EVER!! To form a present participle in French you have to conjugate the verb in the present indicative nous form, drop the –ons and add the ending -ant. infinitivenous formadd -anttranslation parlerparlonsparlanttalking finirfinissonsfinissantfinishing perdreperdonsperdantlosing
Present Participles There are only 3 irregular present participles in French. They must be memorized! infinitiveirregular stem add -anttranslation êtreét- étantbeing avoiray- ayanthaving savoirsach- sachantknowing Remember they are never ever used with a subject!
Present Participles Present participles are used much more often in English. Do not confuse these with conjugated verbs ending in –ing. You would just use present indicative or imparfait for that translation. There are 3 uses of present participles in French. 1. As an adjective: charming (make agreement) un homme charmant une femme charmante 2. To say while/by/upon ---ing... Je mange (tout) en regardant la télé. adding tout before en emphasizes the action, it is optional. 3. In place of the relative pronoun qui La fille qui porte le pull rouge est sympa. La fille portant le pull rouge est sympa.
Cest and il/elle est Use cest (its, hes shes) and ce sont (theyre) with a noun to identify who or what things are. Cest une histoire vraie. Ce sont des acteurs. Its a true story. Theyre actors. Cest is always followed by an article when used with nouns. Cest un acteur.Hes an actor. Cest un Français.Hes French. Cest is also used with an adjective to describe something general. Faire du ski cest amusant. Skiing is fun.
Cest and il/elle est When talking about someones profession or nationality you can use cest or il/elle est. Use cest when theres an article before the noun. Il est acteur.Cest un acteur. Il est français.Cest un français. Identify someone with il/elle est followed by a noun (without an article) or an adjective. Channing Tatum?Il est acteur. Il est beau. Katy Perry?Elle est chanteuse. Elle est belle.