Created using FigmaCreated using FigmaCreated using FigmaCreated using Figma

Prepositions + qui, lequel, laquelle, etc : on what, behind whom, beside which (relative pronouns)

Look at these sentences:

La fille derrière qui je suis assis est belle. 
La fille derrière laquelle je suis assis est belle.

The girl behind whom I'm sitting is beautiful.

Le fauteuil, sur lequel j'ai laissé mes lunettes, est très vieux.
The armchair, on which I left my glasses, is very old.

Jacques, devant qui je suis assis, est mon meilleur ami. 
Jacques, devant lequel je suis assis, est mon meilleur ami.

Jacques, in front of whom I'm sitting, is my best friend.

Les lunettes sur lesquelles j'ai marché sont complètement cassées !
The glasses on which I stepped are completely broken!

 

To introduce relative clauses with a preposition (on/behind/with/for...which), there are two ways in French:

preposition + qui (whom), which can only apply to living things

- preposition + lequel / laquelle / lesquels / lesquelles (living or non-living)

Note: these forms agree in gender and number with the object they refer to

ATTENTION: you cannot use preposition + quoi, either for living or non-living things. Only the options above are correct in French. 


Note:
you can NEVER place the preposition at the end of the clause like in English, so while you could say "The girl that I'm sitting behind", you would never say 'La fille laquelle je suis assis derrière / La fille qui je suis assis derrière.'

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Les lunettes sur lesquelles j'ai marché sont complètement cassées !
The glasses on which I stepped are completely broken!


La compagnie pour laquelle je travaille a les meilleurs résultats du secteur.
The company for which I work has the best results in the industry.


Jacques, devant qui je suis assis, est mon meilleur ami. 
Jacques, devant lequel je suis assis, est mon meilleur ami.

Jacques, in front of whom I'm sitting, is my best friend.


Le fauteuil, sur lequel j'ai laissé mes lunettes, est très vieux.
The armchair, on which I left my glasses, is very old.


Le bébé avec qui elle joue, est mon neveu. 
Le bébé avec lequel elle joue, est mon neveu.

The baby she plays with is my nephew.


La fille derrière qui je suis assis est belle. 
La fille derrière laquelle je suis assis est belle.

The girl behind whom I'm sitting is beautiful.


Q&A

Shruti

Kwiziq community member

1 April 2018

2 replies

Les deux phrases sont correcte?

la fille derrière qui je suis assis est belle. 

La fille derrière laquelle je suis assis est belle.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 April 2018

2/04/18

Hi Shruti,


yes the two phrases are correct. You have reason to doubt?


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

20 April 2018

20/04/18

Hi Shruti,


Yes indeed, both sentences are correct.

stephen

Kwiziq community member

31 December 2017

2 replies

NO: Is-ing and am-ing

La fille derrière qui je suis assis est belle. La fille derrière laquelle je suis assis est belle. "The girl behind whom I'm sitting is beautiful." Should it have been translated "The girl behind whom I sat is beautiful."

Jim

Kwiziq community member

1 January 2018

1/01/18

La fille derrière qui je me suis assis est belle. The girl behind whom I am sat is beautiful.
La fille derrière laquelle je me suis assis est belle. The girl behind which I am sat is beautiful.
These are my understanding of the text but I'm not a native speaker.
The lesson does not show the verb asseoir in it's reflexive form but I think that it should -- maybe an expert will comment further.
Regards,
Jim

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

28 February 2018

28/02/18

Hi Stephen,


Je suis assis means, 


I am sitting , or I am sat in the present tense.


The girl behind whom I sat, would use a past tense,


la fille derrière qui/ laquelle j'étais assis.


The verb in this case is,  Être assis , which is the verb Asseoir but in the passive voice....


Hope this helps!


 

Angela

Kwiziq community member

23 March 2016

1 reply

I would have have thought you would have to say avec qu'il parle

In the quiz the question was "la fille avec ... il parle " I chose laquelle but the answer qui was also expected. I did not choose that because the qui should have been qu'

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

23 March 2016

23/03/16

Bonjour Angela !

The pronoun "qui" can never be shortened into " qu' " . Only "que" can become " qu' " .

E.g. La fille que j'aime et qu'il aime.
La fille qui aime le chocolat.

A bientôt !

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

find your French level

Share the love!

Let me take a look at that...