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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

376                The Loom of Language
French offers a bewildering choice of possibilities for words of this
class, some appropriate to persons only, some to persons and things
The following rules apply to persons or things alike
(a)  QUI can always replace who or which as subject of a clause, e g
rhomme qui Fa dit = the man who said it, le tram qui est arrive
 the train which came in
(b)  QUE can always replace who(m) or which as object, e g le medecin
quej'at consults  the doctor whom I consulted, les biscuits que
fai manges  the biscuits I ate
(c)  DONT can always replace whose or of which, e g
lafemme dont le man est pnsonmer  the woman whose husband
is a prisoner
(d)  LEQUEL (laquelle* lesqvels, lesquelles) can always replace whom or
which preceded by a preposition (or, what comes to the same
thing, thai followed by a preposition at the end of the subordi-
nate clause) Lequel3 etc, has agglutinative contractions with d
and de, i e auquel, auxquels, auxquelles (but d laquelle^ duquel>
desqueh) desquelles (but de laquelle)
lafemme pour laquelle il a donne sa vie
the woman for whom he gave his life
The words who, whom, whose> which> as also what, can turn up in
questions as interrogative pronouns Both which and what can also
accompany a noun in a question The choice of the correct French
substitute depends on whether they do or do not The French inter-
rogative adjective is QUEL (quelle, quels, quelles), e g quelle route dois-je
sutvre? (which road must I follow^) Quel> etc 3 has also an exclamatory
use (e g quel donmage1 = what a pity1) When a question involves the
verb to be followed by a noun, what or which are really predicative
(p 156) adjectives So we can say
quelle est votre opinion*          what is your opinion?
quels sont leurs amis*              which are their friends ?
The French pronoun substitute for  which? is  LEQUEL (etc)
Like QUI3 which can stand for who? or whorn^ lequel> etc 3 can follow
a preposition  The French for whafi falls out of step  As subject or
object it is QUE  After a preposition the correct equivalent is the
stressed form QUOI* The use of these pronouns is illustrated by*
* Both French qui (who^) and que (what>) have alternative forms We
may ask qui est-ce qui? for qui?> or qu'est-ce que for que^ Spoken French
favours the longer of the two forms, e g qui est-ce qui veut venir avec
men? = qui veut avec avec moi? (who wants to come with me?), qu*est-ce
que vous desirez, monsieur? = que desirez-vous, monsieur? (what do you
want?)*