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Thread: FR: the man whose daughter he works with

  1. #1
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    FR: the man whose daughter he works with

    I was wondering if someone could tell me why "dont" (whose) cannot be used with a preposition preceding it. Why can I not say "l'homme avec dont il travaillait la fille" instead of having to say "l'homme avec la fille de qui il travaillait"? Any help much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Re: dont (whose) with a preposition

    L'homme avec dont il travaillait la fille
    The man with whose he was working the daughter


    L'homme avec ... la fille ... de qui il travaillait
    The man with the daughter of whom he was working.

    Can you see the logic behind the French syntax a little better?


    The man ø I'm talking with → The man with whom I'm talking → L'homme avec qui je parle.

    The man whose daughter he works with → The man with the daughter of whom he works → L'homme avec la fille de qui il travaille.

    You usually have to reword the original English sentence to get a similar syntax as the French one.
    Last edited by Oddmania; 19th January 2013 at 7:33 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: dont (whose) with a preposition

    Quote Originally Posted by Oddmania View Post
    L'homme avec ... la fille ... de qui il travaillait
    The man with the daughter of whom he was working.

    The man whose daughter he works with → The man with the daughter of whom he works → L'homme avec la fille de qui il travaille.

    You usually have to reword the original English sentence to get a similar syntax as the French one.
    I still don't understand the English sentence, and the French one confuses me mightily. What does "the man with the daughter of whom he works" mean, in French or English? (I would understand "the man with the daughter of [the person] for whom he works," but then the daughter wasn't born to "the man, I think. Unless "travaille" is transitive and taking "qui"/"whom" for its object?)

    Doesn't "he" (let's call him Alan) work with this man's daughter? Then we would say:

    The man whose daughter Alan works with...
    L'homme dont la fille travaille avec Alan... / L'homme dont la fille est celle avec qui Alan travaille...

  4. #4
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    Re: dont (whose) with a preposition

    You've got the meaning right, lucas-sp. However, you reversed the subject and object. In the original sentence, Alan is working with the daughter, not the opposite. I must admit that the meaning is pretty much the same, but the grammar is different.

    He (Alan) works with the daughter of that man = Il (Alan) travaille avec la fille de cet homme → the man whose daughter he works with = l'homme avec la fille duquel/de qui il travaille (I prefer duquel here)
    The daughter of that man works with him (Alan) = La fille de cet homme travaille avec lui (Alan) → the man whose daughter works with him = l'homme dont la fille travaille avec lui

  5. #5
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    Re: FR: the man whose daughter he works with

    Thanks for the help.

  6. #6
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    Re: FR: the man whose daughter he works with

    Thanks, Maître. Seeing "avec la fille duquel" finally made me figure out that the whole unit was the preposition.

    It's much less confusing with "duquel" because it attaches so much more strongly to the "avec."

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