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Why "ce qui" and/or Quel ?

STEPHENC1Kwiziq community member

Why "ce qui" and/or Quel ?


Ce qui est essentiel, c'est ça !         /            Quel est essentiael                    What is essential is this!Why is the 2nd sentence wrong ?
Asked 2 years ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Ce qui (and its object complement ce que) is a relative pronoun which refers to something mentioned previously. Quel is an interrogative pronoun used for asking questions. In English both may, at times, be translated as "what" but French keeps them always distinct.

Here's a quick test: try to substitute "that which" for either ce qui or quel. You'll see that it only works for the former.

Ce qui est essentiel, c'est ça! -- What (that which) is essential, is this!
Quel bonheur! -- What a pleasure! Clearly, "that which pleasure" doesn't work here.

RebeccaB2Kwiziq community member

Wow, thanks, Chris!  I have been struggling with this ever since I started French two years ago.  You should see the flowchart I have trying to figure which one to use.  You made it simple.  Beaucoup beaucoup merci!

Why "ce qui" and/or Quel ?


Ce qui est essentiel, c'est ça !         /            Quel est essentiael                    What is essential is this!Why is the 2nd sentence wrong ?

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