Prepositions + qui, lequel, laquelle, etc : on what, behind whom, beside which (relative pronouns)

Look at these sentences:

La fille derrière qui je suis assis est belle. 
La fille derrière laquelle je suis assis est belle.

The girl behind whom I'm sitting is beautiful.

Le fauteuil, sur lequel j'ai laissé mes lunettes, est très vieux.
The armchair, on which I left my glasses, is very old.

Jacques, devant qui je suis assis, est mon meilleur ami. 
Jacques, devant lequel je suis assis, est mon meilleur ami.

Jacques, in front of whom I'm sitting, is my best friend.

Les lunettes sur lesquelles j'ai marché sont complètement cassées !
The glasses on which I stepped are completely broken!

 

To introduce relative clauses with a preposition (on/behind/with/for...which), there are two ways in French:

preposition + qui (whom), which can only apply to living things

- preposition + lequel / laquelle / lesquels / lesquelles (living or non-living)

Note: these forms agree in gender and number with the object they refer to

ATTENTION: you cannot use preposition + quoi, either for living or non-living things. Only the options above are correct in French. 


Note:
you can NEVER place the preposition at the end of the clause like in English, so while you could say "The girl that I'm sitting behind", you would never say 'La fille laquelle je suis assis derrière / La fille qui je suis assis derrière.'

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Jacques, devant qui je suis assis, est mon meilleur ami. 
Jacques, devant lequel je suis assis, est mon meilleur ami.

Jacques, in front of whom I'm sitting, is my best friend.


Le fauteuil, sur lequel j'ai laissé mes lunettes, est très vieux.
The armchair, on which I left my glasses, is very old.


Le bébé avec qui elle joue, est mon neveu. 
Le bébé avec lequel elle joue, est mon neveu.

The baby she plays with is my nephew.


La fille derrière qui je suis assis est belle. 
La fille derrière laquelle je suis assis est belle.

The girl behind whom I'm sitting is beautiful.


Les lunettes sur lesquelles j'ai marché sont complètement cassées !
The glasses on which I stepped are completely broken!


La compagnie pour laquelle je travaille a les meilleurs résultats du secteur.
The company for which I work has the best results in the industry.


Q&A Forum 5 questions, 10 answers

RobC1Kwiziq community member

"Prepositions + qui, lequel, laquelle, etc"

Can someone please let me know why is the word "etc" in the heading of this lesson? Are we talking about pronouns other than those stated?

Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Rob, 

It is because it includes all the cases of feminine, masculine, singular and plural including -

lesquels, lesquelles

and the number of characters in the title is probably limited.

Hope this answers your query.

"Prepositions + qui, lequel, laquelle, etc"

Can someone please let me know why is the word "etc" in the heading of this lesson? Are we talking about pronouns other than those stated?

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ShreyA1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Distinguishing between the correct prepositions

Bonjour Madame Cécile !

A sentence mentions-

La compagnie pour laquelle je travaille a les meilleurs résultats du secteur.The company for which I work has the best results in the industry.

I would like to ask whether “dans laquelle” is also acceptable ?

Also if a sentence is given-

L’automne est la saison .................... les feuilles jaunissent. 

I came up with the following options-

pendant laquelle/ dans laquelle/ en laquelle 

Which of the above is grammatically accurate?

Je vous remercierais pour votre réponse.

Asked 5 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Shrey!

1. On travaille pour une compagnie/société/entreprise

2. you could say -

....saison pendant /dans laquelle..... 

The difference being as in English between during which/ in which .

( en laquelle is incorrect) 

Hope this helps!

 

 

ShreyA1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Merci encore Madame Cécile pour votre aide.

Je vous souhaite une bonne journée.

Distinguishing between the correct prepositions

Bonjour Madame Cécile !

A sentence mentions-

La compagnie pour laquelle je travaille a les meilleurs résultats du secteur.The company for which I work has the best results in the industry.

I would like to ask whether “dans laquelle” is also acceptable ?

Also if a sentence is given-

L’automne est la saison .................... les feuilles jaunissent. 

I came up with the following options-

pendant laquelle/ dans laquelle/ en laquelle 

Which of the above is grammatically accurate?

Je vous remercierais pour votre réponse.

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ShrutiA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Les deux phrases sont correcte?

la fille derrière qui je suis assis est belle. 

La fille derrière laquelle je suis assis est belle.

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Shruti,

Yes indeed, both sentences are correct.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Shruti,

yes the two phrases are correct. You have reason to doubt?

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Les deux phrases sont correcte?

la fille derrière qui je suis assis est belle. 

La fille derrière laquelle je suis assis est belle.

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StephenC1Kwiziq community member

NO: Is-ing and am-ing

La fille derrière qui je suis assis est belle. La fille derrière laquelle je suis assis est belle. "The girl behind whom I'm sitting is beautiful." Should it have been translated "The girl behind whom I sat is beautiful."
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Stephen,

Je suis assis means, 

I am sitting , or I am sat in the present tense.

The girl behind whom I sat, would use a past tense,

la fille derrière qui/ laquelle j'étais assis.

The verb in this case is,  Être assis , which is the verb Asseoir but in the passive voice....

Hope this helps!

 

JimC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
La fille derrière qui je me suis assis est belle. The girl behind whom I am sat is beautiful. La fille derrière laquelle je me suis assis est belle. The girl behind which I am sat is beautiful. These are my understanding of the text but I'm not a native speaker. The lesson does not show the verb asseoir in it's reflexive form but I think that it should -- maybe an expert will comment further. Regards, Jim
ChristopherB1Kwiziq community member

Hi Stephen

I stand to be corrected but....

'La fille derrière qui je me suis assis est belle.' 'The girl behind whom I sat is beautiful.' Je me suis assis is the Passé Composé Tense of s'asseoir so it refers to an act of sitting down completed in the past, i.e. usually 'sat' but also more colloquially 'was sitting'.  Je suis assis is the verb être plus the Past Participle of asseoir, meaning I am seated.

CécileKwiziq team member

I have noticed that on planes :

Restez assis... 

is translated : 

remain seated ...

NO: Is-ing and am-ing

La fille derrière qui je suis assis est belle. La fille derrière laquelle je suis assis est belle. "The girl behind whom I'm sitting is beautiful." Should it have been translated "The girl behind whom I sat is beautiful."

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AngelaC1Kwiziq community member

I would have have thought you would have to say avec qu'il parle

In the quiz the question was "la fille avec ... il parle " I chose laquelle but the answer qui was also expected. I did not choose that because the qui should have been qu'
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Angela ! The pronoun "qui" can never be shortened into " qu' " . Only "que" can become " qu' " . E.g. La fille que j'aime et qu'il aime. La fille qui aime le chocolat. A bientôt !

I would have have thought you would have to say avec qu'il parle

In the quiz the question was "la fille avec ... il parle " I chose laquelle but the answer qui was also expected. I did not choose that because the qui should have been qu'

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