FR: dont / duquel, de laquelle, desquelles / de qui, de quoi

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Welshie

Senior Member
England, English
This is something I've been struggling with for some time. Compare these two sentences:

La chose à laquelle je pense (penser à qqch)

So I would expect to see in a similar sentence:

La chose de laquelle je parle (parler de qqch)

After all, the sentences are pretty much the same grammatically, just with a different verb and proposition. However, I *know* that the second sentence should be:

La chose dont je parle (dont replaces de + object)

Which leaves me with an awkward worry...Have I done something wrong and if not, when *does* one use duquel/de laquelle/desquelles?


Moderator note: Multiple threads merged to create this one. See also:
FR: ce dont / de quoi
dont / lequel / auquel / duquel / d'où - Français Seulement
dont / duquel - Français Seulement
 
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  • Monsieur Hoole

    Senior Member
    Canada English
    You can generally use dont anywhere you would use duquel etc. unless it's refering to a place eg le parc duquel je suis sorti (this is a horrible example, but hopefully you get the point:eek: )
     

    Ardnaxela

    Senior Member
    British English
    Bonjour


    Dans la phrase suivante, est-ce que je devrais utiliser « dont » où « de laquelle » ? Je ne comprend pas le règle pour ceci.


    « il est évident qu'il a été douloureusement touché par la perte de sa mère, (dont/de laquelle) il était très proche ».


    Merci en avance.
     

    fanch

    Member
    France / French
    hi
    I think it all depends on the tone of your translation. In oral French, everybody would say "dont", though nobody should if i'm right... We use "dont" all the time when the rule says not to. I'll try to check in Le bon usage and let you know, since this is definitely not a definitive answer...
     

    polaire

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    I'll be interested in your answer. When I first learned French I was taught to use "dont," "de laquelle," and "duquel". When I went to France briefly, everyone used "dont." I felt like an idiot, and asked if there'd been a streamlining of the grammar.

    Is it "de laquelle" and "duquel" for people, "dont" for things and ideas already referenced?
     
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    fanch

    Member
    France / French
    hi polar.

    My first thought was, like you say, to consider that one should use "de laquelle" and "duquel" for people and "dont" for things and ideas. But then i could imagine some cases when you would could say "duquel" or "de laquelle" for objects, let alone "pour lequel / laquelle" which have not been mentionned... (ex: la jolie blonde pour laquelle il s'était pris d'affection). The problem is that in Le bon usage, Grévisse doesn't list cases when you should use one or the other. The only thing he says is that sometimes "dont" is "maladroit"...
    So, to cut a long story short, here is what i propose to Ardnaxela: use the one you like best.
    But i'd be glad to hear what everyone has to say about this...
     

    teuch007

    Member
    Français / France
    Use "dont" if the subordinate clause needs object introduced by " de " or " d' ". Such clauses may indicate possession or they may contain verbs which are followed by the preposition "de".

    Le livre dont je suis l'auteur est un roman historique = The book of wich I'm the author is an historical novel.

    "Dont" often indicates possession ; "whose" is its English equivalent.

    The relative pronouns lequel, laquelle, lesquels and lesquelles are used when the relative clause is introduced by a preposition other than "de/d' ". these pronouns make the usual contractions with the prepositions "à" and "de". Note that the preposition in French must always be placed immediately in front of the relative pronoun.

    Ce roman , dans lequel Brayan utilise les souvenir de guerre de Paw-Paw, est très réaliste. = This novel, in which Brayan uses Paw-Paw's war memories is very realistic.

    I hope it can help you !
     

    fanch

    Member
    France / French
    Viera: the problem is not how it sounds since here we are talking of a grammatical rule that very few people apply. Then we cannot rely on what sounds familiar since it is very probably not correct.

    Teuch: i'm not sure the rule is that simple, though i'd love to. Did you find it somewhere or do you just have better memories of French grammar than i ?
     

    Ardnaxela

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thanks so much for all your advice, everyone. It sure is nice to know that I'm not the onlyone who's a bit unclear on these rules!

    So, just to clarify, teuch, can you give me any examples of contexts where you would use duquel/de laquelle/desquels/desquelles? My grammar book simply translates these as 'of which' or 'of whom' - exactly the same definition given for 'dont', with no distinction made between them.
     
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    CARNESECCHI

    Senior Member
    French / France
    Hello,
    Some ideas :
    "Le gens pour le compte desquels il avait travaillé"
    "La fille pour les beaux yeux de laquelle il avait trimé"
    "Le lac au bord duquel il allait pêcher"
    Hope it ehlps!

    Hope it helps
     

    Welshie

    Senior Member
    England, English
    […]

    Pour "dont" ou "de laquelle", je ne peux pas vous aider, puisque j'ai moi-même du mal à comprendre, mais il me semble que l'on n'entend pas très souvent "de laquelle":

    La chose dont je voudrais te parler
    La femme dont j'avais besoin

    Tous les deux sonnent mieux que si on y met "de laquelle" si c'est même du bon français. Mais peut-être que j'ai mal compris.
     
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    SofiaB

    Senior Member
    English Asia
    Dont cannot be used instead of De qui or Duquel-De laquelle-Desquels-Desquelles when the relative pronoun is complement of a noun that is preceded by a preposition.

    […]
     
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    Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Carnesecchi's examples illustrate a rule that's buried somewhere deep in my memory: you use 'duquel' etc., when the 'de' is part of a larger expression:

    Il parlait de ce lac > Le lac dont il parlait.
    Il allait pêcher au bord de ce lac > Le lac au bord duquel il allait pêcher.

    You couldn't say 'ce lac au bord dont il allait pêcher'.

    EDIT: I think this is the same as SofiaB's rule...
     

    Varenka

    Senior Member
    Australia, English
    Est-ce que dont peut remplacer duquel/de laquelle/desquels dans chaque contexte?
    Par exemple: "Il y avait 2000 personnes, dont/(desquelles) 30% étaient des hommes."

    "There were 2000 people, of which 30% were men."

    Merci pour les conseils
    :)
     

    krissycokl

    Member
    USA - English
    Je voudrais savoir lequel pronon utiliser en cette phrase:

    A qui sont les meubles [dont / duquels] vous m'avez parlé?

    C'est quoi qui détermine lequel d'utiliser en cette situation? Ceci me laisse perplexe ><

    (Et si j'ai fait des erreurs en ce message, corrigez moi, svp)
     

    Fragga

    Senior Member
    Francais France
    Je voudrais savoir quel pronom utiliser dans cette phrase:
    A qui sont les meubles dont vous m'avez parlé?
    C'est quoi qui détermine lequel utiliser dans cette situation?
     

    geostan

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    There are two reasons why you would use dont rather than "duquels" (This should really be desquels).

    One: it is simpler; you do not have to worry about gender or number.
    Two: The form desquels is normal when completing a compound preposition, for example: Ces meubles, a propos desquels vous m'avez ecrit une longue lettre, coutent trop cher.
     

    Charlie Parker

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    I'm proofreading someone's essay on school uniforms. I'm going to suggest that she subscribe to WordReference. Here's a problem that I noticed. She's written, "Les uniformes sont un élément fondamental pour créer une communauté que tous les étudiants font parties." I want to correct this to "...dont tous les étudiants font partie." Should that be "dont" or "de laquelle...?"

    Merc d'avance
     

    Tresley

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello Charlie,

    I think it should be 'dont' because the verb is 'faire partie de'. 'Dont' is only used when the verb has 'de' with it.

    For example:

    Parler de = dont je parle.

    I hope this helps.

    A French-speaking native will confirm............I hope
     

    Charlie Parker

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    Wow, that was fast, Tresley. Thanks. I should know a rule about that. I'm just not sure when to use dont and when de laquelle would be better.
     

    geostan

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    Usually, dont will suffice. One situation where de laquelle would be used is that of a compound preposition, e.g.

    Nous avons vu la foule au milieu de laquelle se trouvait mon frère.

    Another case is that of an antecedent which is itself object of a preposition:

    ... pour la mère de laquelle (or de qui) j'avais acheté ce cadeau.
     

    flyer236

    Member
    England, English
    Hi everyone

    I'm currently studying french at college, and I must admit I'm a bit confused by dont and duquel. Are the two interchangeable?

    For example, which of these is right?

    " L'argent dont j'ai besoin "

    or

    " L'argent duquel j'a besoin " ???

    Because from what I understand, dont and duquel both mean "of which". So are there any circumstances where one should be used instead of the other? Or is one totally wrong?

    I'd appreciate any help anyone can give me.

    Many thanks
     

    jayharlow

    Member
    England, English
    Je me demande, qu'est-ce que c'est la difference entre duquel/de laquel et dont? Car, comme je comprend, on utilise 'lequel' au lieu de 'que/qui' ou on a une preposition. Par exemple, 'connais-tu le livre auquel je pense?', et 'Le cinéma près duquel on mange'. Mais on dit '...dont j'ai besoin'. Est-ce qu'on dit...duquel j'ai beson?'. Personne peut m'expliquer?

    J'espere que mon francais est correct sauf la manque des accents.
     

    moe0204

    Senior Member
    Français
    On peut tout à fait dire duquel j'ai besoin. Mais d'une manière générale, lorsqu'on peut utiliser dont, l'utiliser est préférable (les composés et dérivés de lequel sont toujours un peu plus lourds).

    Dont est d'abord le pronom relatif complément du nom : "L'homme dont je suis le neveu" --> "Je suis le neveu de l'homme".

    Mais il peut aussi remplacer de qui, de quoi, duquel, de laquelle, desquels, desquelles, même s'il ne s'agit pas d'un complément du nom : "L'endroit dont je sors" --> "Je sors de cet endroit" (on pourrait aussi dire : "L'endroit d'où je sors" & "L'endroit duquel je sors").

    En général donc, on peut retenir que dont = de + [qui, quoi, où, lequel (et ses dérivés en genre et en nombres)]
     
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    Sentance

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Qui would also be used as the object of a preposition (other than 'de', for the most part) referring to persons.
    You said it couldn't be used with 'de'. How would one write the following then, in French:

    "Here is the boy from whom you wanted to hear"

    Without changing the structure into something like "...the boy with whom you wanted to speak.", I mean. Is it even possible to write this in French?

    "Voila le garcon de qui vous vouliez entendre." <- doesn't sound as though that would make any sense in French really.

    A better example perhaps:

    "Here is the boy from whom the watch was stolen."

    "Voila le garcon de qui la montre a été volée."

    I think you're right, 'de qui' doesn't sound right. So what could one use? 'dont'? 'de lequel'? ...
     
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    itka

    Senior Member
    français
    "Voila le garcon de qui vous vouliez entendre.":cross:
    But you can say :
    "Voilà le garçon de qui vous vouliez entendre le témoignage"
    or
    "Voilà le garçon de qui je voulais vous parler"

    A better example perhaps:
    "Here is the boy from whom the watch was stolen."
    "Voila le garcon de qui la montre a été volée.":tick:

    I think you're right, 'de qui' doesn't sound right. So what could one use? 'dont'?:tick: 'de lequel':cross: ?
    ---> de + lequel = duquel...

    dont seems better.
    duquel is heavier.
     
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    Sentance

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Huh... so 'de qui' is quite correct then?

    I usually read 'dont' as 'of which', would it really be correct also to say:

    "Voila le garcon dont la montre a été volée." ?
     

    Vachefolle

    New Member
    france
    Huh... so 'de qui' is quite correct then? :cross:
    "Voila le garcon dont la montre a été volée." :tick:

    Qui: Voilà le garçon qui est arrivé aujourd'hui. (le garçon = sujet dans les deux phrases).

    Que: Voilà le garçon que j'ai rencontré hier. (le garçon = COD dans la phrase [j'ai rencontré le garçon hier]; COD = Complément d'objet direct).

    Dont: deux constructions possibles; pour les deux constructions il y a la préposition DE dans la phrase reformulée.
    1. Voilà le garçon dont le chien s'appelle Kiki. (= le chien DE ce garçon s'appelle Kiki)
    2. Voilà le garçon dont je parlais tout-à-l'heure. (parler DE qqn).
    --> Dont = [de qui]

    De qui: Voilà le garçon à coté de qui je me suis assis.
    --> seulement dans le cas des prépositions composées avec 'DE', et seulement pour les personnes (pour les objets on a duquel / de laquelle / desquels / desquelles)
    -d'autres exemples de prépositions composées avec DE:
    en face de / à propos de / au sujet de / en compagnie de etc.

    I think the conclusion here can only be the following advice: don't stick so close to English or you won't get the hang of the French system. The entire talk about who / which is irrelevant to the French system in most cases, and in particular in this one. Try to understand French grammar as if you weren't speaking another language (i know its easier said than done!), and forget your English in the process ;)
     

    p4l

    Member
    South Korea - Korean
    Salut! ^^

    I have read in the Oxford Frech Dictionary of a brief description on the usage of 'dont', but I would be thankful if anyone could explain why sometimes you have to use 'dont' and sometimes 'de quoi', 'que' etc. are more appropriate.

    I thought it would be useful if I state some examples to refer to:

    1) J’ai des doutes puisque la meilleure chose dont je me souviens quand j’étais petite c’est que j’étais rieuse!

    2) why is: "c'est un enfant dont je suis fier" (is la langue courante) BUT "le livre dont tu m'as parlé (is la langue soutenue -so this is not always acceptable)? (sentences from Oxford French Dictionary)

    Merci beaucoup!!! :)
     

    itka

    Senior Member
    français
    1) J’ai des doutes puisque la meilleure chose dont je me souvienne quand j’étais petite c’est que j’étais rieuse! After "meilleur" you must use the subjunctive.

    2)
    "c'est un enfant dont je suis fier" is not more formal or colloquial than "le livre dont tu m'as parlé".
    I don't think "de qui" or "de quoi" are more appropriate in any case. You could use them in such sentences :
    "La personne de qui je t'ai parlé.."
    Imo, "dont" is always better. Here, you could say :
    "c'est un enfant dont je suis fier" ---> "c'est un enfant duquel je suis fier"
    "le livre dont tu m'as parlé".---> "le livre duquel tu m'as parlé"...
    but "dont" is far better.
     
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    Fred_C

    Senior Member
    Français
    Hi,
    In my opinion, "de qui" and "de quoi" are used in questions or in interrogative clauses. In relative clauses, one should use "dont" instead.
    Example :
    "Je ne sais pas de quoi il parle" (interrogative clause)
    "je comprends le sujet dont il parle" (relative clause).
     
    i believe 'dont' is used for the accusative (direct object case).

    Je ne sais pas de quoi il parle: I do not know of that (which) you speak (of)
    Je comprends le sujet dont il parle: I understand the topic that you speak (of)

    get it?
     

    Fred_C

    Senior Member
    Français
    Hi,
    These sentences are correct, but the reason given to explain why they are correct is not.
    In the first sentence, "de quoi il parle" is an interrogative clause, and "dont" is forbidden in an interrogative clause.
    In the second sentence, "dont il parle" is a relative clause, and "dont" is always preferable in a relative clause.
    If you cannot tell the difference between an interrogative clause and a relative clause, you can remember that a relative clause's function is always to complete a noun. (here : "le sujet").
    Interrogative clauses can have different functions, but will most often be object of a verb. (here, "de quoi il parle" is object of the verb "savoir").
     
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    Fred_C

    Senior Member
    Français
    Yes, absolutely.
    A completive clause (also called a noun clause or a nominal clause) always act as a noun.
    An interrogative clause is a particular type of completive clause, one that (more or less) asks a question.
    An example of a completive clause that is not an interrogative clause :
    "qu'il viendra" in : "Je sais qu'il viendra". (This one does not ask a question at all.)
    Interrogative clauses usually are introduced by question words like "qui, quoi or pourquoi", they can also be introduced by "si" (if) as in :
    "Je ne sais pas s'il viendra."
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I believe you could say
    "je de sais pas ce dont il parle."
    which is consistent with your explanation as ce is now the object and dont il parle a relative clause attributing ce.

    (Cf. Dictionaire de l'Académie francaise, 9th edition, "dont", II. 8. - available online)
     

    indefrance

    New Member
    India, hindi
    As far as i know there are certain verbs which take 'de' as preposition for example parler de, etre content de, fier de,avoir besoin de etc. so when ever we have these verbs we use dont in relative clause.
    eg J'ai un travail dont je suis content.
     

    globalconcoction

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Bonjour,

    Je voudrais confirmer l'usage de <dont> et <duquel>..
    Est-ce si suivi d'une préposiotion on utilise duquel? ex- à cote duquel, près duquel..etc, et sinon c'est <dont>??
    Est-ce la seule différence??
    Merci de vos réponses sur laquelle je sais que je peux bien compter :)
     

    itka

    Senior Member
    français
    dont et duquel (de laquelle, desquels, desquelles) sont en principe synonymes, mais chaque fois que c'est possible, il vaut mieux employer dont qui est moins lourd. Ce n'est en effet pas possible après une préposition.

    Pour plus de détails tu peux voir ce site qui est très complet et très précis.
     

    hanbaked

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Bonjour

    I've read the other links with this title in the forum, but they don't answer my query. On pourrait me dire si on peut dire également 'dont' ou 'de qui' dans la phrase ci-dessous ou s'il faut toujours utiliser 'dont' ?

    Voilà l'homme dont je vous ai parlé.
    Voilà l'homme de qui je vous ai parlé.

    Je pense que j'ai entendu ce dernier. Est-ce que je me suis trompée ?

    Merci.
     

    dan144556

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Use "de qui" or "de quoi" when asking a question or making some other sort of interrogative statement.

    Use "dont" when using a relative clause, such as in the sentence you suggested.

    [...]
     
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    geostan

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    Voilà l'homme dont je vous ai parlé.
    Voilà l'homme de qui je vous ai parlé.

    Je pense que j'ai entendu ce dernier. Est-ce que je me suis trompée ?
    Pas du tout. Il est vrai que dont serait mon choix, mais de qui est également correct.

    Mais dans un exemple comme le suivant, on ne peut pas employer dont:

    Voilà le garçon à la mère de qui j'ai rendu ce petit service. Si l'antécédent est objet d'une préposition, c'est de qui ou duquel qu'il faut employer.
     
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    david.watty

    Member
    English-England
    J'ai trouvé cette explication:

    Les pronoms relatifs "duquel, desquels, de laquelle, desquelles, de qui" ont le même sens que "dont".

    Est-ce que cela veut dire qu'on peut choisir entre les deux possibilités?
     

    Jet Lewis

    Senior Member
    French (Belgium)
    Pas tout à fait, "duquel, de laquelle,..." s'emploient après une locution finissant par "de" , normalement. Le pronom relatif prends le genre et le nombre du CDO. ("De qui" si c'est une ou des personnes)

    Exemples:
    -avec au cours de: "Il a eu un mois de vacances, au cours duquel il a travaillé pour ses études."

    -auprès de: "Voici la liste des administrations auprès desquelles vous pouvez faire votre demande"

    S'il n'y a pas de locution, on utilise "dont".

    Exemples:
    "Voici l'article dont tu m'as parlé."
    "Qui est cet homme dont tout le monde parle?"

    […]
     
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