FR: the centimetres that separate us

bookandlanguagelover

Senior Member
English - U.S.A.
Bonjour,

I am still a little hazy on the difference between these pronouns. Which of the following sentences is correct?

1) "Les rayons du lampadaire tombent sur le lit, dans les centimètres que nous séparent."

2) "Les rayons du lampadaire tombent sur le lit, dans les centimètres qui nous séparent."

Je crois que 2) es correct mais je ne suis pas 100%.

Merci!
 
  • Asr

    Senior Member
    Turquie :)
    Salut,

    If it is the subject of the phrase, it must be followed by "qui". So yes the second one is right.
     

    Tim~!

    Senior Member
    UK — English
    Les rayons are the subject of the sentence, so you need the relative that points to subjects.

    Given that you would say "Le chien que j'ai vu courir dans le jardin est mort maintenant", where chien is the object of the sentence I saw, I think you'd be able to work out your answer :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Fred_C

    Senior Member
    Français
    Hi,
    It is not the whole sentence that counts when you want to find the subject, just the relative clause.

    If you cannot tell for sure if the relative pronoun is the subject or the object, (which should not happen, but...), here is a rule of thumb :
    Build an English sentence that uses the relative pronoun "that".
    The dog that I saw running in the garden is dead now.
    Then try to remove the word "that" :
    The dog I saw running in the garden is dead now.
    If you can remove the word "that" (as in the example above), then you must use "que".
    If you cannot, as in : "the goalkeeper is the player that watches the goal", then you must use "qui".

    This rule works because the removable "that" is always an object in English, and the mandatory "that" is always the subject.

    Note :
    When the following word starts with a vowel, "que" becomes "qu'".
    But "qui" always remain "qui", do not try to elude it as "qu'" !
     

    bookandlanguagelover

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.A.
    Wow, thank you to everyone for your help! Fred_C, that is a great rule to follow! I really think that will help me to keep them straight in the future. Thanks so much! I'm going to be sure to pass that on as well.

    Cheers!
     
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