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Qui or Que before Tu?

CrystalMaiden 7.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Qui or Que before Tu?

Asked 6 years ago
Chris W.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Please post your question in a bit more detail here. -- Chris.
Alan G.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Que. See Que = Whom/which/that (French Relative Pronouns)

use que when the word that follows is (or represents) a person or thing/s, such as Cécile, je, tu, il, etc. (as opposed to qui when the word that follows is a verb).
Chris W.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi CrystalMaiden/Alan,

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).

Alan G.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Chris,

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.

CrystalMaiden 7.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
By this point I've gotten the hang of it. Also, the reason my question was so short is probably that I ran into the word limit through a glitch multiple times and was barely able to post the question, so I was deleting most of the question just to post it.

Qui or Que before Tu?

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