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Kwiziq community member
7 April 2018
B2 writing challenge re. a relative pronoun used
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?
8 April 2018
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).
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.
Kwiziq language super star
15 April 2018
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!
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.
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