thank you in advance to anyone who can help me! I have three questions:
1. Of these three forms which would a French person use the most naturally in speaking and writing?
2. Is it OK to use "duquel" and "de laquelle" when referring to people and not to things?
3. If the verb is one which takes a different preposition (not "de") what should we use instead of "dont"?
Thank you for your questions. It is always nice to see students asking more detailed questions. I had fun answering this!
1. Generally, 'dont' is the form used by most French people, being in writing form or speaking form. As you can see in the lesson itself, ‘dont’ is used on all of the first 4 examples.
Les boutons de manchette dont…
La fille dont…
Le garçon dont…
Les chaussures dont…
‘duquel’, ‘de laquelle’, ‘desquelles’ are more used for a more formal context, in writing especially.
2. ‘Duquel’ and ‘de laquelle’ are used to refer both, people and things.
Le manteau duquel tu as besoin est dans le placard = the coat (of which) you need is on the cupbaord
La poussette de laquelle tu parles est cassée = the pushchair you are speaking of (of which you are speaking) is broken
Le boulanger duquel tu parles est sympa = the baker you are speaking of (of whom you are speaking) is nice
L’infirmière de laquelle il a peur est très méchante = the nurse he is afraid of (of whom he is scared) is very mean.
3. If 'de' isn't the preposition following the verb then you can’t use 'dont'. It becomes ‘preposition + lequel / laquelle / lesquels / lesquelles’
L’infirmière avec laquelle il travaille est très gentille = the nurse he works with (with whom he works) is very nice.
Le pompier auquel (à + lequel) tu parles est drôle = the fireman you are talking to (to whom you are talking) is funny.
I also invite you to have a look at these two links which will explain my third point in more detail:
I hope this is helpful.
Thank you for your question. I can see this has been discussed before on this thread. I feel I need to be more precise here.
'Dont' is used to refer to objects of verbs or verbal expressions that include the preposition de. It is always directly preceeded by the noun it refers to.
Also, it is nowadays acceptable in ‘modern French’ to have 'dont' instead of duquel, de laquelle etc IN verbal expressions that include the preposition 'de'. It depends if you are a purist or not ;-) As you can see below all the relative pronouns are directly preceded by the noun they refer to.
Tu parles du garçon = You talk about the boy
Le garçon dont / duquel tu parles = the boy (of whom) you are talking about
Elle est fière de sa fille, Wendy = she is proud of her daughter, Wendy
Wendy est la fille dont / de laquelle elle est fière = Wendy is the daughter she is of
About ‘au centre de laquelle’, yes, indeed, you are right when you say that ‘duquel / de laquelle …’ will be used here because the noun they refer to is separated in the sentence by a prepositional phrase (‘au centre de’).
La ville au centre de laquelle ... = the town in the centre of which...
C’est la plage au bord de laquelle ... = It is the beach along which …
Le bâtiment au milieu duquel … = the building inside which ...
@Celine, my understanding is that dont and duquel/... are not interchangeable. I seem to remember that dont is used in verbial phrases and duquel in pronomial phrases:
Le garçon dont tu parles (NOT duquel, since it is a verbal phrase: parler de qqn).La ville au centre de laquelle se trouve la maison... (NOT dont la maison se trouve...)
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