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FR: the man whose daughter he works with

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by jacques songo'o, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. jacques songo'o Junior Member

    english-ireland
    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. Oddmania

    Oddmania Senior Member

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


    L'homme avec ... la fille ... de qui il travaillait :tick:
    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: Jan 19, 2013
  3. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    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. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    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. jacques songo'o Junior Member

    english-ireland
    Thanks for the help.
     
  6. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    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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