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French Relative Pronouns

French Relative Pronouns:

In this lesson you are going to be introduced to the French relative pronouns. This lesson is simplified in order to not confuse and discourage the beginner.

  • The relative pronoun is used in place of a name introduced by a relative adjective (Je me souviens d'une femme qui avait dit l'avoir vu/ I remember a woman that said she saw it) = qui put for that woman that said she saw it.


  • At the same time, the relative pronoun brings a connection (relationship) between two proposals: (Il y avait un enfant qui portait un bouquet de fleurs/ There was a child who was carrying a bunch of flowers). The name (or pronoun) that represents the relative pronoun is called its antecedent.
  • A relative pronoun may replace a subject, a direct object, an indirect object, or a preposition.



  1. 1.     Simple forms of relative pronouns:









who, what

Indirect object (person)

which, that, whom


Direct object

whom, what, which, that


Indirect object (thing)

what, which, that


Object of de

of which, from which, that

Indicates possession


Indicates place or time

when, where, which, that



  1. 2.     Compound forms of relative pronouns:

masculin singulier : lequel, duquel, auquel

masculine singular: which, whose, which

féminin singulier : laquelle, de laquelle, à laquelle

 feminine singular: when, where, when

masculin pluriel : lesquels, desquels, auxquels

 masculine plural: which, whose, whom

féminin pluriel : lesquelles, desquelles, auxquelles

 feminine plural: what, where, which




  1. 3.     Other compounds, undefined relatives, can be added to these forms:



quoi que ce soit qui

anything that


anyone who

qui que


quoi que




F  Ils aiment l’appartement dont je leur ai parlé – They like the apartment I talk to them about


F  Je connais un homme qui parle couramment le chinois – I know a man that speaks chinese fluently


F  Le pays où vous habitez est l’Australie – The country where you live is Australia


F  Est-ce-que vous avez vu la dame qui a retrouvé mon chien ? – Did you see the woman who found my dog ?


F  Quiconque veut grimper au sommet d’une montagne doit s’entraîner – Whoever wants to climb a mountain must train


F  Quoique je fasse, il n’est jamais content – Whatever I do, he is never happy


F  Ce ne sont pas les chaussures auxquelles je pensais – These are not the shoes I was thinking about ( note: we use auxquelles, feminine plural, because it is relative to the shoes, feminine plural subject)


F  Qui que vous soyez, le réglement est le même pour tout le monde – Whoever you are, the rules are the same for everyone


Voici le restaurant que j'ai trouvé.

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