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What's the difference between qui and que?

How to use qui and que correctly?


To show you the main distinctions between qui and que, let's have a look at two examples, both being translated into English:



Difference between qui and que in French

La dame que tu vois est ma soeur.

The woman whom/that you can see is my sister.


In the first sentence, que links the complement la dame to the subject tu.

By doing so, you want to stress the complement first instead of the subject of the sentence.

The inverted sentence would be Tu vois la dame. C'est ma soeur. As you can see, the sentence is not as smooth as the first option.


Difference between qui and que in French

La dame qui est tombée est ma soeur.

The woman who fell is my sister.


In the second sentence, qui links the subject la dame to the verb est tombée.

Qui is a subject pronoun as it replaces the subject la dame to avoid unnecessary repetition.

If you don't add the pronoun, your sentence would sound redundant and clumsy: La dame est tombée. La dame est ma soeur.


If you have any questions or if you would like to brush up on your French knowledge, please contact Tanguy. Private French lessons for adults with Tanguy, a native French tutor are offered whenever you want.


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