Lequel / auquel / duquel

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Lequel / auquel / duquel

We saw in the qui / que section that you can't end a sentence with a propostion.

'The man who I was talking about' becomes 'The man about whom I was talking' or in French 'L'homme dont je parlais'

Que followed by a sentence ending in de became dont.

But what about que followed by a sentence ending in another proposition?

For example:

  • The table I was sitting on
  • The man I work with
  • The firm I work for
This is where lequel etc are used.

You cannot end a sentence with a preposition so you need to move it.

If the thing you are talking about is a person, then you just use the preposition followed by qui.

For example:

The man I work for L'homme pour qui je travaille
The girl I talked to La fille à qui j'ai parlé
The boy I got a card from Le garçon de qui j'ai reçu une carte
The blokes I play football with Les types avec qui je joue au foot

Unfortunately you can only use qui in this structure with people. For inanimate items you have to use lequel etc.

For example:

The company I work for la société pour laquelle je travaille
The tree I was sitting under L'arbre sous lequel j'étais assis
The books I couldn't work without Les livres sans lesquels je ne pourrais pas travailler

Remember the word you use depends on the items' gender and number:

singular plural
masculine lequel lesquels
feminine laquelle lesquelles

We saw that you can have propositions followed by lequel etc. e.g. avec lequel, pour lequel etc. However what about à lequel? Or de lequel?

Normally

  • é + le = au and à + les = aux

therefore

  • à + lequel = auquel; à + lesquels = auxquels and à + lesquelles = auxquelles

Similarly

  • de + le = du and de + les = des

therefore

  • de + lequel = duquel
  • de + lesquels = desquels
  • de + lesquelles = desquelles

This is summarised below:

à + lequel etc.
masculine feminine
singular auquel à laquelle
plural auxquels auxquelles

de + lequel etc.
masculine feminine
singular duquel de laquelle
plural desquels desquelles

Note: If the de is the result of a verb then use dont.

For example: Le stylo que j'ai besoin de Le stylo dont j'ai besoin.

If the de is the result of a preposition, then use de + laquelle etc.

For example: La ville que la maison se trouve au centre de... à la ville au centre de laquelle la maison se trouve...

Try the following exercise, click on the gap and type in the missing conjunctive.

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