French Grammar: Relative Pronoun [LEQUEL]

French Grammar: Relative Pronoun [LEQUEL]

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French Grammar: Relative Pronoun [LEQUEL]
la grammaire française: le pronom relatif [LEQUEL]


In French as well as in English, a relative clause describes a person or thing introduced in the main clause. A relative pronoun connects a relative clause to that person or thing. The person or thing that precedes the relative pronoun is called the antecedent.

A relative pronoun can function as the subject, direct object, or object of a preposition in a sentence. Although the relative pronoun is often dropped in English, it can never be dropped in French!

The relative pronoun [LEQUEL] functions as the object of a preposition and means which or whom.  It is mostly used for things, although there are times when it is used for people. [LEQUEL] must agree in number and gender with its antecedent.  It therefore has four (4) forms:

Masculine singular : lequel  / Masculine plural : lesquels

Feminine singular : laquelle / Feminine plural : lesquelles

Voilà l’hôpital dans lequel je suis née.
There is the hospital in which I was born.

C’est la clôture par laquelle le chien s’est échappé.
This is the fence through which the dog escaped.

Il prend soin des outils avec lesquels il travaille.
He takes care of the tools with which he works.

Ce sont les rues parmi lesquelles le défilé s’est passé.
These are the streets through which the parade passed.

A form of [LEQUEL] is always used after the prepositions entre (between) and parmi (among) to refer to people. The relative pronoun [QUI] is never used after either of these prepositions.

Ce sont les deux politiciens entre lesquels nous choississons.
Those are the two politicians between whom we are choosing.

Ce sont les femmes parmi lesquelles il y a une différence de vue.
These are the women among whom there is a difference of opinion.

After the preposition À, the forms of [LEQUEL] contract as follows:

à + lequel –> auquel

à + laquelle –> à laquelle

à + lesquels –> auxquels

à + lesquelles –> auxquelles

Ce sont les villes auxquelles ils voyagent.
These are the cities to which they (masculine) are traveling.

After the preposition DE, the forms of [LEQUEL] contract as follows:

de + lequel –> duquel

de + laquelle –> de laquelle

de + lesquels –> desquels

de + lesquelles –> desquelles

C’est le quartier près duquel on va construire un usine.
That is the neighborhood near which they are going to build a factory.


Ce sont les fleurs avec lesquelles je vais décorer la table.
These are the flowers with which I am going to decorate the table.

La France et l’Espagne sont deux pays auxquels j’ai voyagé.
France and Spain are two countries to which I have traveled.

C’est le cahier dans lequel je prends des notes.
This is the notebook in which I take notes.

Voici la liste des cours parmi lesquels tu dois choisir.
Here is the list of courses among which you must choose.

Il n’aime pas le restaurant près duquel il travaille.
He doesn’t like the restaurant near which he works.