Que = Whom, which, that (relative pronouns)

Look at these sentences using que:

La femme que je dessine.The woman whom I am drawing

Les fleurs que Paul sent.The flowers which/that Paul is smelling.

Le bébé joue avec la peluche que sa maman adore.The baby is playing with the cuddly toy that his mum loves. 

Knowing when to use qui and when to use que can be tricky for English speakers, as we often mistakenly think que only means that or which but it can also mean who or whom.

How to know when to use que (instead of qui) in French

Fortunately, there's an easy pattern to spot:

use que when the word that follows is (or represents) a person or thing/s, such as Cécile, je, tu, il, etc. (as opposed to qui when the word that follows is a verb).
In grammar jargon, que is an object pronoun - que replaces the object of the verb.
If subjects, verbs and objects confuse you watch the cartoon video explaining them. They're easier than they sound. 
Contrast this with: Qui = Who, which, that (relative pronouns)

Replacing objects and people with que

Here are examples of sentences being changed so that people and objects are replaced with relative pronouns in both French and English:

Je dessine la femme -> La femme que je dessine.
I am drawing the woman -> The woman whom I am drawing.
 
Paul sent les fleurs -> Les fleurs que Paul sent.
Paul smells the flowers -> The flowers which/that Paul smells.
 
Le bébé joue avec la peluche. Sa maman adore cette peluche. -> Le bébé joue avec la peluche que sa maman adore.
The baby is playing with the cuddly toy. His mum loves this cuddly toy. -> The baby is playing with the cuddly toy that his mum loves.
Note: When the relative pronoun que is optional in English (you could say the room we rented), in French it cannot be omittedyou cannot say la chambre nous avons louée.

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Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

...Lui souffle la romance, 
Qu'il chantait petit enfant, oh !
...Whispers to him the (romantic) song, 
That he used to sing (as a) young child, oh!
Marie a écrit une lettre qu'elle a envoyée à Paul.Marie wrote a letter which/that she sent to Paul.
Nous aimons la chambre d'hôtel que nous avons louée.We like the hotel room which/that we rented. 
Les fleurs que Paul sent.The flowers which/that Paul is smelling.
Subject, verbs and objects (direct and indirect) MADE EASY!
Je mange une pizza que j'ai achetée en Italie.I'm eating a pizza which/that I bought in Italy.
Mes plantes, que j'arrose tous les jours, sont très belles.My plants, which I water every day, are very beautiful.
Le bébé joue avec la peluche que sa maman adore.The baby is playing with the cuddly toy that his mum loves. 
La femme que je dessine.The woman whom I am drawing
Les choses que je fais sont intéressantes.The things that I do are interesting.
Eve sort avec Cyril qu'elle a rencontré à une fête.Eve is going out with Cyril whom she met at a party.
Thinking...