1. reader28 Junior Member

    What is the difference between "dont" and "ce dont"? In what kinds of sentences or situations are each of them used in french writing?
  2. Donaldos

    Donaldos Senior Member

    French - France
    Compare the two following sentences :

    Le chien dont j'ai peur. (lit. The dog of which I am scared)​

    Ce dont j'ai peur. (lit. That of which I am scared)​

    In the second sentence, the neutral pronoun ce plays the exact same role as le chien in the first sentence : they are both antecedents. Whether you should use ce or something else before dont depends entirely on what you are trying to say.

    ce may stand for a noun, a clause, an abstract idea etc. :

    What I need is money. Ce dont j'ai besoin, c'est d'argent.

    What I need is to find a good job.Ce dont j'ai besoin, c'est de trouver un bon travail.

    I almost died in a car accident when I was five. Which I never told anyone about.J'ai failli mourir dans un accident de voiture quand j'avais cinq ans. Ce dont je n'ai jamais parlé à personne.

    As you can see, most of the time the word ce has no apparent equivalent in the English sentence. what and which are known as "fused" relative pronouns : such relative pronouns contain their own antecedent.

    What I like (what = fused relative pronoun)
    That which I like (that which = antecedent + relative pronoun)
    Ce que j'aime.(ce que = antecedent + relative pronoun) ​
  3. reader28 Junior Member

    Thanks Donaldos

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