Que or ce qui

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Kwiziq community member

30 October 2018

1 reply

Que or ce qui

I'm struggling with the difference in rules between ce que / que and ce qui / qui. Is it correctly understood that we use either "ce que" or "qui" when followed by an object (so the rule is different with/without the ce, unlike with verbs and reflexive pronounse)? Are these two sentences correct, "sa maman" being an object here? 

Tu ne devineras jamais ce qui sa maman a fait! 

Le bébé joue avec la peluche que sa maman adore. 

This relates to:
Que = Whom, which, that (relative pronouns) -


Kwiziq language super star

31 October 2018


Hi Arndís,

Relative pronouns are complicated so I can understand your frustration...

I will try and make them easier for you to use with some Rules of Thumb designed to help -

Qui/Ce qui

They will be  both followed by a verb (sometimes by ne) , they will certainly never be followed by a subject pronoun or the name of a person ( je /tu/ il/elle/on , ils ,elles, Marie, Papa etc..)


C'est elle qui va aller en courses It's her who is going to go shopping

Les enfants qui jouent dans le parc sont les miens = The children who are playing in the parc are mine

Je me demande ce qui va arriver = I wonder what is going to happen

You will however find object pronouns sometimes after qui/ce qui:

Je fais ce qui me plaît! = I do what I like

Elle a choisi cette tenue, ce qui lui va très bien = She's chosen this outfit, which suits her very well

C'est ce qui *vous * attire chez lui? Is that what attracts you to him ?

*vous * note here is an object pronoun.

Also note, *qui/ce qui cannot be elided .

Que /Ce que 

These relative pronouns will be followed by subject pronouns, names ...:


L'homme que vous voyez devant la Poste est mon cousin = The man (that) you see in front of the Post Office is my cousin

Le train qu'il a manqué est parti en avance = The  train (that) he missed, left early

C'est ce que m'a dit Martin That's what Martin told me

C'est Daniel qu'elle a vraiment aimé It is Daniel that she really loved

Je vais vous dire ce qu'on va faire = I'll tell you what we are going to do

Note:  Que/ce que can be elided to, qu'/ce qu' 

C'est ce que son mari a décidé de faireThat's what her husband decided to do 

This is why your first sentence is incorrect as it should be - 

Tu ne devineras jamais ce que sa maman a fait !

Hope this helps!



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