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Dans lequel / laquelle : alternative to où with places (relative pronouns)

Look at these sentences:

La maison dans laquelle / où j'habite est assez petite.
The house in which / where I live is quite small.

Le jardin dans lequel / où il se promène est magnifique en été.
The garden (in which) / where he's having a walk is gorgeous in the summer.

Le canapé dans lequel / où vous êtes assis m'a coûté une fortune.
The sofa in which / where you're sitting cost me a fortune.

Les villes dans lesquelles / où j'ai vécu étaient toutes uniques.
The cities in which / where I lived were all unique.

To introduce relative clauses talking about places (in which/where), there are two ways in French:

-  (where)

- dans + lequel / laquelle / lesquels / lesquelles (in which)
Note: these forms agree in gender and number with the object they refer to

Note: you can never have dans lequel ... separated like in English, or just dans at the end of the clause.
e.g.you cannot say La maison laquelle je vis dans. / La maison je vis dans. (The house (which) I live in.)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Le jardin dans lequel / où il se promène est magnifique en été.
The garden (in which) / where he's having a walk is gorgeous in the summer.


Les villes dans lesquelles / où j'ai vécu étaient toutes uniques.
The cities in which / where I lived were all unique.


Le canapé dans lequel / où vous êtes assis m'a coûté une fortune.
The sofa in which / where you're sitting cost me a fortune.


La maison dans laquelle / où j'habite est assez petite.
The house in which / where I live is quite small.


Micro kwiz: Dans lequel / laquelle : alternative to où with places (relative pronouns)
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Q&A

John

Kwiziq community member

10 May 2016

2 replies

vous êtes assis??

Hi - the example "Le canapé dans lequel / où vous êtes assis m'a coûté une fortune", the translation has me a bit confused (where you're sitting = vous êtes assis). My mind wants to make "where you're sitting" the present tense - ie: vous (vous) asseyez. However if the passé composé is correct, my brain wants to either write vous vous êtes assis, or vous avez assis?? Thanks in advance..

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

10 May 2016

10/05/16

Bonjour John,

Your brain is in the right place, but here the trick is the nuance between "to sit (to be sat)" and "to be (in the process of) sitting", which is more strongly marked in French.
If you want to say you're sitting DOWN, you will use the verb "s'asseoir" in Le Présent: "où vous vous asseyez".
However, when you want to say you're sat (or sitting, hence confusion), then you will use Le Présent of "être assis(e)" (to be sat): "vous êtes assis".

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

helen

Kwiziq community member

30 November 2017

30/11/17

So the difference is... you're already been seated -- so you're "sitting": etre assis.
If you're in the process of sitting, you'd use the reflexive verbs: s'asseoir/s'assoir ?

Barb

Kwiziq community member

19 February 2016

1 reply

maisons dans lesquelles j'ai vécu : choice of passé composé

Since living in these towns would have been ongoing for periods of time, why not imparfait?

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

20 February 2016

20/02/16

Bonjour Barb,


The fact that there have been several houses means that we know each one had a specific beginning and ending, therefore we need the passé composé.


The "ongoing" rule for the French imperfect means, in essence, "ongoing without a clear beginning or ending."

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