B2 writing challenge re. a relative pronoun used

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Cheryl

Kwiziq community member

7 April 2018

4 replies

B2 writing challenge re. a relative pronoun used

Bonjour!

Once again, (toujours!) I chose the wrong relative pronoun. I wrote "ce que" in the B2 writing challenge, as I thought "that" referred to the fact that it snowed last night (a whole idea, not just a noun). The correct answer was "que". Below, is the correct sentence from the exercise:

Il a tellement neigé la nuit dernière (it snowed so much last night)

que le jardin était (re)couvert d’un épais manteau blanc (that the garden was convered with a thick white coat)

Can someone please explain why que is the correct answer in this sentence, instead of ce que?

Amicalement, Cheryl

Chris

Kwiziq community member

8 April 2018

8/04/18

Hi Cheryl,


in the sentence you quote, "que" is not a relative pronoun at all. Rather, it is a conjunction. To see the difference, ask yourself the question what (if anything) "que" refers to.


l a tellement neigé la nuit dernière, que le jardin était couvert d’un épais manteau blanc.
It snowed so much last nicht, that the garden was covered by a tick, white coat.


A telltale sign that you are NOT dealing with a relative pronoun is to try and replace "that" by "which". If it doesn't work at all, you have yourself a conjunction. Here are some examples of either:


J'aime ce que tu as fait. -- I like what you did.
"ce que" is a relative pronoun relating to the idea (not mentioned per se) of what the other person did.


J'aime que tu sois venu. -- I like that you came.
This time "que" is a conjunction and NOT a relative pronoun.


Les lunettes, que j'ai perdues, sont dans ma chambre. -- The glasses that (which) I lost, are in my room.
This time "que" is a relative pronoun because it clearly refers back to "les lunettes".



I hope that helps, -- Chris (not a native speaker).

Cheryl

Kwiziq community member

8 April 2018

8/04/18

Once again, thanks for the rescue Chris!


I must admit that I've not yet made a study of French conjunctions, & after all the reading I've done about relative pronouns, I guess I've just got locked into thinking of "que" as one of those! Your reply has enlightened me, especially that if I substitute "which" & it doesn't work, I'll know to use "que" (conjunction), - that will be my guiding rule for now.


Cheryl

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

15 April 2018

15/04/18

Hi Cheryl


If I can just add to what Chris has just said. In the example you give you need 'que' because of the 'tellement' earlier in the sentence .


The expression is 'tellement...que'  meaning, so much... that .


e.g. J'ai mangé tellement de chocolat que je suis malade.


Hope this helps!

Cheryl

Kwiziq community member

15 April 2018

15/04/18

Bonjour Cécile,


and thank you for your input. I appreciate reading this additional point.


My current study efforts in French are relative pronouns and conjunctions. I'm finding it difficult to choose the correct relative pronoun in the writing challenges: que (or) ce que. I often write the incorrect one. The "hints" given in the writing challenge, (frequently: "which"), don't ensure that I choose the correct "que".. unfortunately.


Kind Regards,


Cheryl

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