FR: demander à ce que l'on lui fasse un échange


New Member
I'm reading a French book about a convicted murderer and I can't seem to get the meaning of this sentence:

Ayant brisé la lame de la scie qui a servi de découper Ginger Gasaway, l'assassin se serait rendu, les vêtements couverts de sang, dans le magasin Home Depot, pour demander à ce que l'on lui fasse un échange.

My attempt at translating:
Having broken the blade of the saw which had served to cut up Ginger Gasaway, the murder had driven himself, his clothes covered in blood, to the shop Home Depot, to ask they exchange him a new saw.

What confuses me is the "demander à" which, in my knowledge, is used to ask people for something, yet in this case it's demander à "ce que". Does this then mean "ask about"? And I also don't know why it's in subjunctive :")

Basically, please help me with the grammar regarding the last nine words! Thank youu
  • Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    À ce is actually superfluous. It is just a convoluted way to phrase the sentence. Some grammars even go as far as saying it is incorrect to include à ce:

    demander à ce qu'on lui fasse un échange = demander qu'on lui fasse un échange = demander qu'on lui échange [la lame de la scie] = ask they exchange him [a new saw blade]

    See also FR: demander (à ce) que.

    Anyway, the subjunctive is typically used after requests like demander.
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