“Nous pensons que c'est une bonne idée.”
Why is ‘que’ used instead of ‘ce que’ if we’re referring to the entire statement ‘c’est une bonne idée’ and not a specific object?
I’m dying to know why!
You need que in this context, because it functions as the introduction of a subordinate clause and not as a relative pronoun.
Nous pensons que c'est une bonne idée. -- We think that this is a good idea. (Note that "that" isn't a relative pronoun in the English language version either.)
Ce que tu dis est une bonne idée. -- What you say is a good idea. (What = that which)
Claudine aime tout ce que son père lui dit. -- Claudine likes everything that her father tells her. (that = that which)
Claudine aime que son père lui raconte des histoires. -- Claudine likes that her father tells her stories.
Notice that in the last case, where "that" isn't a relative pronoun, the substitution by "that which" doesn't work.
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