FR: without whose money

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by lily91a, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. lily91a Senior Member

    Scottish - English

    One final question about the translation of relative pronouns. Is this a correct translation into French of the underlined part of the phrase: He is the patron without whose money the project cannot continue.

    My attempt: Il est le patron sans celui dont l'argent projet ne peut pas continuer.

    Thanks once again,
  2. BEEKEEPER Senior Member

    France French
    Je préfèrerais une affirmation à deux négations:
    C'est le patron dont l'argent est nécessaire pour continuer le projet.

    L'argent de ce patron est nécessaire pour continuer le projet.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2010
  3. sam16 Member

    alger algérie
    le projet ne peut pas se poursuivre sans l'argent du patron.
  4. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    If you are doing a grammatical exercise on relative pronouns, Lily91a, then I think your instructor will be looking for an answer different from the ones you have received so far.

    When you need to use a preposition and a relative pronoun together, you generally need a relative pronoun from the lequel family (which includes the auquel and the duquel groups).

    It is generally helpful to write your sentences without the relative pronoun first.

    He is the patron. Without the patron's money, the project cannot continue.
    C'est le bienfaiteur. Sans l'argent du bienfaiteur, on ne peut pas poursuivre le projet.

    The word you want to replace with pronoun is the 2nd bienfaiteur, so that you can avoid repeating it. Because it's l'argent du bienfaiteur you know you will need either dont or duquel. Because the the preposition sans introduces l'argent du bienfaiteur, this means that the relative pronoun is part of the object of this preposition... and so you need a relative pronoun from the lequel family.

    --> C'est le bienfaiteur sans l'argent duquel on ne peut pas poursuivre le projet
    He's the patron without whose money the project cannot be completed.

    The sentence is just as heavy, awkward and unpleasant in French as it is in English. Which is why a couple of people have suggested finding a different way to say this idea. But if you are working on a grammatical exercise, you will be expected to apply the rules of pronoun usage without looking for alternate solutions. :p

    PS. Note that he English word "patron" has several possible translations into French... but patron (which generally means "the boss") is not one of them.
  5. quinoa Senior Member

    Tout à fait d'accord "sans l'argent duquel", bof!!
    "C'est le bienfaiteur, et sans son argent, on ne peut poursuivre le projet." (Hop! Plus de pronom relatif, mais coordination et possessif, ça fait mieux l'affaire)
  6. lily91a Senior Member

    Scottish - English
    Thank you all for your replies. I'm sure that the best way of saying the sentence would be to modify it slightly to avoid the complications and heavy sounding sentence I get using the relative pronoun.

    However, I did have to use the relative pronoun (as my tutor expected me to) so thanks Jann for your help and your good explanation. Despite trawling through numerous grammar books, your explanation is the most clear and easy to understand that I've found!

  7. Mauricet Senior Member

    near Grenoble
    French - France
    Mais on peut remplacer duquel par de qui, ici, et c'est perçu comme moins lourd, je crois.
  8. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Je ne sais pas si c'est moins lourd, mais cela relève en tout cas d'une langue plus soignée.
  9. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    Thanks for letting me know, Lily! I'm glad to be able to help.

    A little more detail about that "rule" I mentioned:
    As my colleagues mentioned, you could also use de qui in this sentence, and it would be more elegant. In explaining the logic for picking a pronoun, I should have gone just a little farther. After you have analyzed the situation and applied the logic I described, there is one final step. You may ask yourself if you're talking about a person. And if are, you can use préposition + qui in place of the relative pronoun combination from the lequel family. This replacement is elegant, but it is not grammatically required.

    The reason I didn't mention it before was partly because I was a bit rushed, and partly because it can be hard to introduce the person/thing distinction clearly. As soon as the animate/inanimate idea gets introduced, English speakers learning French tend to try apply it all the time, in all sorts of situations where they shouldn't. This is because they subconsciously start thinking in terms of "who" vs. "that/which" -- and this is NOT productive, because English and French deal with the animate/inanimate distinction a bit differently. :)

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