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À + qui, auquel, à laquelle = to whom, what, which (relative pronouns)

Look at these sentences:

La fille à qui je pense est belle. La fille à laquelle je pense est belle.
The girl (whom) I am thinking about is beautiful.

(Faire peur à = to scare [someone/something])

Le chat, auquel tu as fait peur, s'est caché sous le lit.  Le chat, à qui tu as fait peur, s'est caché sous le lit.
The cat which you scared hid under the bed.

Ce problème, auquel je ne comprends rien, m'énerve!
This problem, about which I understand nothing, is getting on my nerves!

Marie et Juliette, à qui tu as menti, sont furieuses.  Marie et Juliette, auxquelles tu as menti, sont furieuses.
Marie et Juliette, to whom you've been lying, are furious.

Mes amis, à qui j'écris régulièrement, viennent me voir bientôt.  Mes amis, auxquels j'écris régulièrement, viennent me voir bientôt.
My friends, to whom I write regularly, are coming over soon.

To introduce relative clauses with the preposition à, there are two ways in French:

- à qui (about whom/to whom), which can only apply to living things

- The contracted forms of à + quel: auquel / à laquelle /auxquels / auxquelles  (which)
-> Note that these forms agree in gender and number with the object they refer to.

 ATTENTION:

You can never have à or auquel at the end of the clause like in English:

La fille qui je pense à / La fille laquelle je pense à

Le garçon je pense auquel

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

La fille à qui je pense est belle. La fille à laquelle je pense est belle.
The girl (whom) I am thinking about is beautiful.


Le chat, auquel tu as fait peur, s'est caché sous le lit.  Le chat, à qui tu as fait peur, s'est caché sous le lit.
The cat which you scared hid under the bed.


Ce problème, auquel je ne comprends rien, m'énerve!
This problem, about which I understand nothing, is getting on my nerves!


Marie et Juliette, à qui tu as menti, sont furieuses.  Marie et Juliette, auxquelles tu as menti, sont furieuses.
Marie et Juliette, to whom you've been lying, are furious.


Mes amis, à qui j'écris régulièrement, viennent me voir bientôt.  Mes amis, auxquels j'écris régulièrement, viennent me voir bientôt.
My friends, to whom I write regularly, are coming over soon.


Q&A

Stewart

Kwiziq community member

13 May 2018

1 reply

Use of 'auquel' / à qui instead of 'que'

In the lesson ‘Que = Whom, which, that (relative pronouns)’ an example sentence is given as:

‘La femme que je dessine’

An example sentence from this lesson is: ‘Le chat, auquel tu as fait peur’ OR ‘Le chat, à qui tu as fait peur’ 

I’m struggling to understand why is ‘Le chat, que tu as fait peur’ is not used?

Thanks

Chris

Kwiziq community member

13 May 2018

13/05/18

He Stewart,


It is "J'ai peur à quelque chose." Hence you need an indirect object like "à qui" or "à laquelle/auquel". "Que" is the direct object pronoun.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Heyes

Kwiziq community member

21 January 2018

2 replies

Why isn't it 'la fille, à laquelle je pensé?' Instead of just laquelle?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

21 January 2018

21/01/18

It is "La fille, à laquelle je pense, est belle."

What was your question again?

-- Chris.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

21 January 2018

21/01/18

You can say both : "la fille à qui je pense" or "la fille à laquelle je pense".


You cannot say "la fille laquelle je pense" because you need the à as the verb is penser à quelqu'un.


Hope this answers your question Heyes...

Peuma

Kwiziq community member

9 October 2017

4 replies

Mes amis, auxquels j'écris

Is it correct to use ''auxquels'' in this context when the antecedent is animate, because I was under the impression that ''auxquels'' was a restricted to inanimate objects (things) only

Ron

Kwiziq community member

9 October 2017

9/10/17

Bonjour Peuma,
Below are links to two sites that provide explanatory description of the use of auxquels. I use other sites at times to review a structure that I am unsure of. It gives me a little different perspective that at times assists me to better understand the concept,. The first link, the article is written by Laura from Kwiziq and the second is from the French department at the University of Texas at Austin. Both are excellent.
https://www.thoughtco.com/french-pronoun-lequel-1368874
https://www.laits.utexas.edu/tex/gr/int6.html
J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait.
Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisé par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet

Ron

Kwiziq community member

9 October 2017

9/10/17

Bonjour à nouveau,
Here are four locutions:
Mes amis, auxquels j'écris, viennent me voir bientôt --> My friends, that I write, come see me soon
Mes amis, desquels j'écris, viennent me voir bientôt --> My friends, of which I write, come see me soon
Mes amis, lesquels j'écris, viennent me voir bientôt --> My friends, which I write, come (are coming to) see me soon
Mes amis, à qui j’écris, viennent me voir bientôt. --> My friends, to whom I write, come to see me soon.
Which of these contexts best describes the scenario in the phrase you provided using «auxquels»?

Peuma

Kwiziq community member

10 October 2017

10/10/17

The first, second and third because I believed that in each case it would not be possible to use auxquels/desquels/lesquels because they are referring to animate objects of the preposition.
The first link you provided stated this:
"2) Relative pronoun: Lequel replaces an inanimate object of a preposition. (If the object of the preposition is a person, use qui.)"
Would appreciate some clarity on this matter.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 October 2017

17/10/17

Hi Peuma,

as explained in the lesson, "à qui" is reserved for animate objects/persons. "Auquel", "à laquelle", "auxquels" and "à laquelles" can be used in either case.

-- Chris (no native speaker).

Peuma

Kwiziq community member

9 October 2017

3 replies

Mes amis, auxquels j'écris, viennent me voir bientôt.

Is

Ron

Kwiziq community member

9 October 2017

9/10/17

Please see previous response.

Peuma

Kwiziq community member

10 October 2017

10/10/17

I deeply and sincerely apologise if you believed this was spam. It was a basic technical computer error on my end and once again am very sorry if I caused any trouble. My actual question was posted at almost at exactly the same time as the technical glitch and I would greatly appreciate if you could reply to that. Sorry for any inconvenience!

Ron

Kwiziq community member

10 October 2017

10/10/17

Bonsoir Peuma,
I, for one, did not think it to be spam. I have seen this before from others who have posted and it has also happened to me when I posted a question as well as when I have posted a reply. In fact, I did reply to your other post and then found this post. I do agree with your assessment that it was a technical glitch. Another glitch that I have found is that when I have replied to a question and touch submit, my reply double-posted.
Best regards,
Bonne chance.

Andy

Kwiziq community member

18 January 2017

1 reply

Le chat, auquel tu as fait peur, s'est caché sous le lit.

I notice in the above examples, that the sentence talking about a cat is only translated using auquel. Is 'à qui' not applicable here? Is a cat not treated as a living thing in this instance? Thanks for your help!

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

18 January 2017

18/01/17

Bonjour Andy !

"à qui" is indeed applicable to the cat as well, and thanks to you, we've now added this example to the lesson :)

Merci et à bientôt !

Johnny

Kwiziq community member

9 September 2016

1 reply

Is à que ever a valid phrase?

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

11 September 2016

11/09/16

Bonjour Johnny,

I hate to say "never," but I can't think of any time where you could say à que. It should become à quoi. Did you have a specific example in mind?

Michele

Kwiziq community member

2 July 2016

4 replies

So "dont" cannot be used in any of the phrases?

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

2 July 2016

2/07/16

Bonjour Michele,

No, dont can't be used because it always replaces de + something. None of these phrases include de.

Robert

Kwiziq community member

27 May 2017

27/05/17

I'm struggling to differentiate between "The girl you are thinking of ..." in this exam and the example: Le garçon de qui / duquel / dont tu parles, est très gentil.
The boy you are speaking of (of whom you are speaking), is very nice.

Robert

Kwiziq community member

27 May 2017

27/05/17

Sorry, I misquoted the question :

The person I'm thinking of makes me happy.

J

Kwiziq community member

1 July 2017

1/07/17

Could you please elaborate further on why 'dont' cannot be used for 'ce problème...'? My understanding is that one could say 'je n'ai aucune compréhension de cela', so why is it 'auquel'?

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