À + qui, auquel, à laquelle = to whom, what, which (relative pronouns)

Look at these sentences:

La fille à qui je pense est belle. 
La fille à laquelle je pense est belle.

The girl (whom) I am thinking about is beautiful.

(Faire peur à = to scare [someone/something])

Le chat, auquel tu as fait peur, s'est caché sous le lit.  
Le chat, à qui tu as fait peur, s'est caché sous le lit.

The cat which you scared hid under the bed.

Ce problème, auquel je ne comprends rien, m'énerve!
This problem, about which I understand nothing, is getting on my nerves!

Marie et Juliette, à qui tu as menti, sont furieuses.  
Marie et Juliette, auxquelles tu as menti, sont furieuses.

Marie et Juliette, to whom you've been lying, are furious.

Mes amis, à qui j'écris régulièrement, viennent me voir bientôt.  
Mes amis, auxquels j'écris régulièrement, viennent me voir bientôt.

My friends, to whom I write regularly, are coming over soon.

To introduce relative clauses with the preposition à, there are two ways in French:

- à qui (about whom/to whom), which can only apply to living things

- The contracted forms of à + quel: auquel / à laquelle /auxquels / auxquelles  (which)
-> Note that these forms agree in gender and number with the object they refer to.

 ATTENTION:

You can never have à or auquel at the end of the clause like in English:

La fille qui je pense à / La fille laquelle je pense à

Le garçon je pense auquel

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Le chat, auquel tu as fait peur, s'est caché sous le lit.  
Le chat, à qui tu as fait peur, s'est caché sous le lit.

The cat which you scared hid under the bed.


Ce problème, auquel je ne comprends rien, m'énerve!
This problem, about which I understand nothing, is getting on my nerves!


Marie et Juliette, à qui tu as menti, sont furieuses.  
Marie et Juliette, auxquelles tu as menti, sont furieuses.

Marie et Juliette, to whom you've been lying, are furious.


Mes amis, à qui j'écris régulièrement, viennent me voir bientôt.  
Mes amis, auxquels j'écris régulièrement, viennent me voir bientôt.

My friends, to whom I write regularly, are coming over soon.


La fille à qui je pense est belle. 
La fille à laquelle je pense est belle.

The girl (whom) I am thinking about is beautiful.


Q&A

Hilary

Kwiziq community member

2 November 2018

0 replies

Comment refaire les questions

Bonjour- je voudrais refaire les deux questions? J'ai cliqué sur le mauvais bouton, donc je n'ai pas pu les finir la. Merci

Judy

Kwiziq community member

12 October 2018

2 replies

Qui or à laquelle

I know this is a grammar issue, but I need help.

in the phrase “an endless adventure she couldn’t resist” is translated to

”une aventure sans fin à laquelle elle ne pouvait pas résister”.

Why is “qui” wrong (my answer) and “à laquelle” correct?

Judy

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

13 October 2018

13/10/18

Hi Judy,

It is because of the verb is 'résister à' ,  'à qui' is not possible either as aventure is not a living thing as explained in the lesson.

So the correct answer is:

'...une aventure sans fin à laquelle elle ne pouvait pas résister...'

Hope this answers your question...

 

Judy

Kwiziq community member

13 October 2018

13/10/18

Thank you. I understand now.

Dragana

Kwiziq community member

14 September 2018

6 replies

à qui or de qui or dont

Why is "les filles dont je pense sont géniales" - wrong?

parler de? 

Sometimes dont is used and in this case à qui/auxquelles

Dragana

Chris

Kwiziq community member

14 September 2018

14/09/18

Dont has several uses but mostly it replaces a phrase introduced by a verb+de. For example:

avoir envie de: tu connais ce dont j'ai envie. 

Parler de: je n'ai aucune idée de ce dont tu parles.

Dragana

Kwiziq community member

14 September 2018

14/09/18

Hi Chris,

This does not answer my question.

The phrase "les filles dont je pense sont géniales" was incorrect according to kwizbot.

Why? if dont replaces "de" with verbs that need a preposition.

thanks

Dragana

Chris

Kwiziq community member

15 September 2018

15/09/18

The phrase is penser à quelqu'un. Therefore it would be les filles à qui je pense.  

Dragana

Kwiziq community member

15 September 2018

15/09/18

Can I say:

Qu'est-ce que tu penses de les filles là-bas?

Les filles dont je pense sont géniales.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

15 September 2018

15/09/18

Penser à = to think of

penser de = to think about

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

22 September 2018

22/09/18

Hi Dragana,

Qu'est-ce que tu penses des filles là-bas? = What do you think of/about the girls over there ? (penser de) 

Les filles à qui/auxquelles je pense sont géniales. The girls I am thinking of,  are great.(penser à) 

In those examples to think of means two separate concepts :

Penser de = What's your opinion on ...

Penser à = to think of someone/something

Hope this helps!

mimi

Kwiziq community member

23 August 2018

2 replies

A qui vs A laquelle

The question: La personne ________ je pense me rend heureux.

I wrote "a qui" but "a laquelle" was marked correct...Why is "a qui" nearly correct and not correct when your examples show that both are correct?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

23 August 2018

23/08/18

I hope you wrote "à qui" and not "a qui" (without accent)?

mimi

Kwiziq community member

24 August 2018

24/08/18

That explains it!

Thank you so much!

mimi

Kwiziq community member

23 August 2018

1 reply

I wrote "a qui" but "a laquelle" was marked correct...Why is "a qui" nearly correct and not correct when your examples show that both are correct?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

23 August 2018

23/08/18

Hi mimi,

both ought to be correct:

La personne à qui je pense me rend heureux.
La personne à laquelle je pense me rend heureux.

Mabye you were supposed to check both possibilities but you only checked one of them?

mimi

Kwiziq community member

23 August 2018

1 reply

The question: La personne ________ je pense me rend heureux.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

23 August 2018

23/08/18

Hi Mimi,

The only possible answers are: 

La personne à qui/à laquelle je pense me rend heureux.

 

mimi

Kwiziq community member

23 August 2018

1 reply

Why was I scored "nearly correct" instead of correct?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

23 August 2018

23/08/18

What did you actually write, Mimi?

Robert

Kwiziq community member

15 August 2018

1 reply

"À qui" vs "de qui'

In the quiz question: "La personne ________ je pense me rend heureux." , could you please clarify why "de qui" cannot be considered correct?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

15 August 2018

15/08/18

Hi Robert,

Only 'à qui' is possible as the verb is: penser à quelqu'un.

Hope this helps!

Leslee

Kwiziq community member

9 July 2018

1 reply

I don’t understand why auqelle is used in this phrase. Ce problème, auquel je ne comprends rien, m'énerve!

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

10 July 2018

10/07/18

Hi Leslee,

In this sentence the verb  is 'ne comprendre rien à quelquechose' so it would become "Ce problème, (à + lequel=) auquel je ne comprends rien , m'énerve.

Hope this helps!

Stewart

Kwiziq community member

13 May 2018

2 replies

Use of 'auquel' / à qui instead of 'que'

In the lesson ‘Que = Whom, which, that (relative pronouns)’ an example sentence is given as:

‘La femme que je dessine’

An example sentence from this lesson is: ‘Le chat, auquel tu as fait peur’ OR ‘Le chat, à qui tu as fait peur’ 

I’m struggling to understand why is ‘Le chat, que tu as fait peur’ is not used?

Thanks

Chris

Kwiziq community member

13 May 2018

13/05/18

He Stewart,

It is "J'ai peur à quelque chose." Hence you need an indirect object like "à qui" or "à laquelle/auquel". "Que" is the direct object pronoun.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

ch

Kwiziq community member

19 September 2018

19/09/18

It's because the expression is "faire peur à qqn/qq chose" or in English, "to make/give fear TO someone/something". If you don't know the phrase, you won't get the right relative pronoun (though with time and experience, you'll be able to figure it out from the rest of the sentence, if they give it to you).

And then it's easy: "Tu as fait peur au chat." It's the "à" that triggers "à qui" or "auquel".

(An aside. To be afraid of something is "avoir peur DE qq chose." I've never heard of "avoir peur à quelque chose" but I'm not a native speaker, so anything is possible.)

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