Kwiziq community member
25 March 2018
Qui or Que before Tu?
This relates to:Qui = Who, which, that (relative pronouns) -
Que. See https://french.kwiziq.com/my-languages/french/view/735
26 March 2018
The words "que" or "qui" perform different functions: they can be either interrogative pronouns or relative pronouns. Depending on how they are used, they behave a bit differently.
First their interrogative function:
Qui se trouve dans la chambre? -- Who is in the room?Que se trouve dans la chambre? -- What is in the room?Qui sent la chocolate? -- Who smells like chocolate?Que sent la chocolate? -- What smells like chocolate?
Here "qui" is for persons and "que" for inanimate objects. They always function as the subject of the sentence and behave in their roles very much like the English "who" and "what".
Then there is their functions as relative pronouns. And whether you use "que" or "qui" doesn't depend on whether it concerns a person or an object. Their use is determined by whether it represents the subject (nominative) or the direct object (accusative) of the subordinate clause.
C'est le pull qui me va bien. -- It is the sweater which suits me.C'est Sabine, qui m'aime. -- It is Sabine who loves me
In both cases you use "qui" because in both instances it functions as the subject in the subordinate clauses.
C'est Sabine, que j'aime. -- It is Sabine whom I love.Le pull, que tu as acheté, me plaît. -- I like the sweather, which you bought.
Here you use "que" for Sabine as well as the sweater because "que" represents the direct object in the subordinate clause. The correspondingt subjects are "je" and "tu", respectively. Hence the rule: if you can find a subject in the subordinate clause then you will need "que" (as there can't be multiple independent subjects in a clause).
-- Chris (not a native speaker).
Yes I know, but using "que" rather than "qui" before a noun or non-reflexive pronoun is a quick tip given on the website. The point is that the noun/pronoun that follows must be the subject of a verb, and so the thing referred to by "que" will presumably be the object and so needs "que" rather than "qui". There is a similar quick tip for "qui" which I think CrystalMaiden was referring to.
4 May 2018
Login to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your French to the CEFR standard