À + qui, auquel, à laquelle = to whom, what, which (relative pronouns)

Look at these sentences:

La fille à qui je pense est belle. 
La fille à laquelle je pense est belle.

The girl (whom) I am thinking about is beautiful.

(Faire peur à = to scare [someone/something])

Le chat, auquel tu as fait peur, s'est caché sous le lit.  
Le chat, à qui tu as fait peur, s'est caché sous le lit.

The cat which you scared hid under the bed.

Ce problème, auquel je ne comprends rien, m'énerve!
This problem, about which I understand nothing, is getting on my nerves!

Marie et Juliette, à qui tu as menti, sont furieuses.  
Marie et Juliette, auxquelles tu as menti, sont furieuses.

Marie et Juliette, to whom you've been lying, are furious.

Mes amis, à qui j'écris régulièrement, viennent me voir bientôt.  
Mes amis, auxquels j'écris régulièrement, viennent me voir bientôt.

My friends, to whom I write regularly, are coming over soon.

To introduce relative clauses with the preposition à, there are two ways in French:

- à qui (about whom/to whom), which can only apply to living things

- The contracted forms of à + quel: auquel / à laquelle /auxquels / auxquelles  (which)
-> Note that these forms agree in gender and number with the object they refer to.

 ATTENTION:

You can never have à or auquel at the end of the clause like in English:

La fille qui je pense à / La fille laquelle je pense à

Le garçon je pense auquel

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Ce problème, auquel je ne comprends rien, m'énerve!
This problem, about which I understand nothing, is getting on my nerves!


Marie et Juliette, à qui tu as menti, sont furieuses.  
Marie et Juliette, auxquelles tu as menti, sont furieuses.

Marie et Juliette, to whom you've been lying, are furious.


Mes amis, à qui j'écris régulièrement, viennent me voir bientôt.  
Mes amis, auxquels j'écris régulièrement, viennent me voir bientôt.

My friends, to whom I write regularly, are coming over soon.


La fille à qui je pense est belle. 
La fille à laquelle je pense est belle.

The girl (whom) I am thinking about is beautiful.


Le chat, auquel tu as fait peur, s'est caché sous le lit.  
Le chat, à qui tu as fait peur, s'est caché sous le lit.

The cat which you scared hid under the bed.


Q&A

Dragana

Kwiziq community member

14 September 2018

5 replies

à qui or de qui or dont

Why is "les filles dont je pense sont géniales" - wrong?

parler de? 

Sometimes dont is used and in this case à qui/auxquelles

Dragana

Chris

Kwiziq community member

14 September 2018

14/09/18

Dont has several uses but mostly it replaces a phrase introduced by a verb+de. For example:


avoir envie de: tu connais dont j'ai envie. 


Parler de: je n'ai aucune idée dont tu parles.

Dragana

Kwiziq community member

14 September 2018

14/09/18

Hi Chris,


This does not answer my question.


The phrase "les filles dont je pense sont géniales" was incorrect according to kwizbot.


Why? if dont replaces "de" with verbs that need a preposition.


thanks


Dragana

Chris

Kwiziq community member

15 September 2018

15/09/18

The phrase is penser à quelqu'un. Therefore it would be les filles à qui je pense.  

Dragana

Kwiziq community member

15 September 2018

15/09/18

Can I say:


Qu'est-ce que tu penses de les filles là-bas?


Les filles dont je pense sont géniales.


Chris

Kwiziq community member

15 September 2018

15/09/18

Penser à = to think of


penser de = to think about


mimi

Kwiziq community member

23 August 2018

2 replies

A qui vs A laquelle

The question: La personne ________ je pense me rend heureux.

I wrote "a qui" but "a laquelle" was marked correct...Why is "a qui" nearly correct and not correct when your examples show that both are correct?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

23 August 2018

23/08/18

I hope you wrote "à qui" and not "a qui" (without accent)?

mimi

Kwiziq community member

24 August 2018

24/08/18

That explains it!


Thank you so much!

mimi

Kwiziq community member

23 August 2018

1 reply

I wrote "a qui" but "a laquelle" was marked correct...Why is "a qui" nearly correct and not correct when your examples show that both are correct?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

23 August 2018

23/08/18

Hi mimi,


both ought to be correct:


La personne à qui je pense me rend heureux.
La personne à laquelle je pense me rend heureux.


Mabye you were supposed to check both possibilities but you only checked one of them?

mimi

Kwiziq community member

23 August 2018

1 reply

The question: La personne ________ je pense me rend heureux.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

23 August 2018

23/08/18

Hi Mimi,


The only possible answers are: 


La personne à qui/à laquelle je pense me rend heureux.


 

mimi

Kwiziq community member

23 August 2018

1 reply

Why was I scored "nearly correct" instead of correct?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

23 August 2018

23/08/18

What did you actually write, Mimi?

Robert

Kwiziq community member

15 August 2018

1 reply

"À qui" vs "de qui'

In the quiz question: "La personne ________ je pense me rend heureux." , could you please clarify why "de qui" cannot be considered correct?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

15 August 2018

15/08/18

Hi Robert,


Only 'à qui' is possible as the verb is: penser à quelqu'un.


Hope this helps!

Leslee

Kwiziq community member

9 July 2018

1 reply

I don’t understand why auqelle is used in this phrase. Ce problème, auquel je ne comprends rien, m'énerve!

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

10 July 2018

10/07/18

Hi Leslee,


In this sentence the verb  is 'ne comprendre rien à quelquechose' so it would become "Ce problème, (à + lequel=) auquel je ne comprends rien , m'énerve.


Hope this helps!

Stewart

Kwiziq community member

13 May 2018

2 replies

Use of 'auquel' / à qui instead of 'que'

In the lesson ‘Que = Whom, which, that (relative pronouns)’ an example sentence is given as:

‘La femme que je dessine’

An example sentence from this lesson is: ‘Le chat, auquel tu as fait peur’ OR ‘Le chat, à qui tu as fait peur’ 

I’m struggling to understand why is ‘Le chat, que tu as fait peur’ is not used?

Thanks

Chris

Kwiziq community member

13 May 2018

13/05/18

He Stewart,


It is "J'ai peur à quelque chose." Hence you need an indirect object like "à qui" or "à laquelle/auquel". "Que" is the direct object pronoun.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

ch

Kwiziq community member

19 September 2018

19/09/18

It's because the expression is "faire peur à qqn/qq chose" or in English, "to make/give fear TO someone/something". If you don't know the phrase, you won't get the right relative pronoun (though with time and experience, you'll be able to figure it out from the rest of the sentence, if they give it to you).


And then it's easy: "Tu as fait peur au chat." It's the "à" that triggers "à qui" or "auquel".


(An aside. To be afraid of something is "avoir peur DE qq chose." I've never heard of "avoir peur à quelque chose" but I'm not a native speaker, so anything is possible.)

Heyes

Kwiziq community member

21 January 2018

2 replies

Why isn't it 'la fille, à laquelle je pensé?' Instead of just laquelle?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

21 January 2018

21/01/18

It is "La fille, à laquelle je pense, est belle."

What was your question again?

-- Chris.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

21 January 2018

21/01/18

You can say both : "la fille à qui je pense" or "la fille à laquelle je pense".


You cannot say "la fille laquelle je pense" because you need the à as the verb is penser à quelqu'un.


Hope this answers your question Heyes...

Peuma

Kwiziq community member

9 October 2017

4 replies

Mes amis, auxquels j'écris

Is it correct to use ''auxquels'' in this context when the antecedent is animate, because I was under the impression that ''auxquels'' was a restricted to inanimate objects (things) only

Ron

Kwiziq community member

9 October 2017

9/10/17

Bonjour Peuma,
Below are links to two sites that provide explanatory description of the use of auxquels. I use other sites at times to review a structure that I am unsure of. It gives me a little different perspective that at times assists me to better understand the concept,. The first link, the article is written by Laura from Kwiziq and the second is from the French department at the University of Texas at Austin. Both are excellent.
https://www.thoughtco.com/french-pronoun-lequel-1368874
https://www.laits.utexas.edu/tex/gr/int6.html
J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait.
Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisé par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet

Ron

Kwiziq community member

9 October 2017

9/10/17

Bonjour à nouveau,
Here are four locutions:
Mes amis, auxquels j'écris, viennent me voir bientôt --> My friends, that I write, come see me soon
Mes amis, desquels j'écris, viennent me voir bientôt --> My friends, of which I write, come see me soon
Mes amis, lesquels j'écris, viennent me voir bientôt --> My friends, which I write, come (are coming to) see me soon
Mes amis, à qui j’écris, viennent me voir bientôt. --> My friends, to whom I write, come to see me soon.
Which of these contexts best describes the scenario in the phrase you provided using «auxquels»?

Peuma

Kwiziq community member

10 October 2017

10/10/17

The first, second and third because I believed that in each case it would not be possible to use auxquels/desquels/lesquels because they are referring to animate objects of the preposition.
The first link you provided stated this:
"2) Relative pronoun: Lequel replaces an inanimate object of a preposition. (If the object of the preposition is a person, use qui.)"
Would appreciate some clarity on this matter.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 October 2017

17/10/17

Hi Peuma,

as explained in the lesson, "à qui" is reserved for animate objects/persons. "Auquel", "à laquelle", "auxquels" and "à laquelles" can be used in either case.

-- Chris (no native speaker).

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