# 4.3: Grammaire - présentation

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##### Les pronoms relatifs qui et que

A relative pronoun introduces a clause that explains or describes a previously mentioned noun, which is called the antecedent. Relative pronouns are used to link two related ideas into a single sentence, thereby avoiding repetition.

For example: Shasta est un grand chat. Il aime jouer au foot. -> Shasta est un grand chat qui aime jouer au foot.

In the above example, the relative pronoun qui introduces the subordinate clause, that is, the clause that adds additional information about Shasta. In French there are two main relative pronouns, qui and que. The choice between qui and que in French depends solely on the grammatical role, subject or direct object, that the relative pronoun plays in the subordinate clause.

Qui functions as the subject of the subordinate clause.

Que functions as the direct object of the subordinate clause. Remember that que becomes qu' before a word beginning with a vowel.

Although qui and que are invariable, they assume the gender and number of the antecedent. Que functions as a direct object preceding the verb. Therefore, when the verb of the subordinate clause is in the passé composé, or any other compound tense, the past participle agrees in number and gender with que. The past participle also agrees in number and gender with qui if the verb forms its passé composé with 'être'.

For example: Les pronoms relatifs sont des pronoms que j'ai étudiés hier. Alex, Morgan et Nathan sont des étudiants qui se sont rencontrés sur le campus de UH.

##### QUI ou QUE ?

1. J'aime la salade .... ma copine a faite. 2. Shasta adore les étudiants ... sont sportifs.

1. que 2. qui

##### Les pronoms relatifs dont et où

A relative pronoun introduces a clause that explains or describes a previously mentioned noun. In instances where the relative pronoun is the object of a preposition, relative pronouns other than qui and que must be used. De is the most common of these prepositions, and dont is the relative pronoun representing both the preposition de + its object.

Use dont if the subordinate clause needs an object introduced by de/d'. Such clauses may indicate possession or they may contain verbs which are followed by the preposition de. Some of these verbs include 'parler de' (to talk about); 'avoir besoin de' (to need); 'avoir peur de' (to be afraid of); 'tenir de' (to take after).

For example: Le pronom dont nous parlons maintenant c'est le pronom "dont". L'examen dont j'ai peur c'est l'examen final de maths.

Dont often indicates possession; 'whose' is its English equivalent.

For example: Idéfix c'est un chien dont le meilleur ami est Astérix.

The relative pronoun  means 'where, in which, on which.' Use  if the subordinate clause needs an object indicating location introduced by dansàsursous. When used after adverbs of time,  means 'when.'

For example: Le stade de UH est un endroit où Shasta passe beaucoup de temps. Le mois de décembre c'est le mois où  les étudiants ont beaucoup d'examens.

##### DONT ou OÙ ?

1. L'endroit ..... je déjeune tous les jours c'est la caféteria du campus. 2. J'ai écrit une belle composition .... je suis très fier.

1. où 2. dont

##### La formation du conditionnel

The conditional is used to refer to hypothetical events. It occurs in polite requests and most frequently with if clauses. In French, it is called le conditionnel and is most often translated by would in English. The stem used to form the conditional is the same as the stem of the simple future (usually the infinitive). The conditional endings are -ais, -ais, -ait, -ions, -iez, -aient (These are also the imperfect endings).

 jouer  'to play' je jouerais, I would play nous jouerions, we would play tu jouerais, you would play vous joueriez, you would play il, elle / on jouerait, he, she (it) /would play ils / elles joueraient, they would play

Verbs with irregular future stems use the same irregular stems in the conditional. Here is a list of the most common irregular stems:

 infinitive stem conditional translation aller ir- j'irais I would go avoir aur- j'aurais I would have courir courr- je courrais I would run devoir devr- je devrais I would be obliged to envoyer enverr- j'enverrais I would send être ser- je serais I would be faire fer- je ferais I would do falloir faudr- il faudrait it would be necessary mourir mourr- je mourrais I would die obtenir obtiendr- j'obtiendrais Iwould obtain pleuvoir pleuvr- il pleuvrait it would rain pouvoir pourr- je pourrais I would be able recevoir recevr- je recevrais I would receive savoir saur- je saurais I would know tenir tiendr- je tiendrais I would hold venir viendr- je viendrais I would come voir verr- je verrais I would see vouloir voudr- je voudrais I would want
##### Note

Pronononciation. The r in the stem is representative of the conditional, as well as the future. Only the difference in the pronunciation of the endings distinguishes the two. The difference between the je forms is subtle.

##### Mettez les phrases suivantes au conditionnel

1. Je ..... (vouloir) une BMW pour mon anniversaire. 2. Si les étudiants avaient plus de temps, ils ..... (aller) plus souvent aux concerts.

1. voudrais  2. iraient

##### Les usages du conditionnel

1. Wishes and requests. The conditional expresses potentiality. It is used to express a wish or a suggestion, to make a request, or to accept or extend invitations. It is less direct and more polite than the imperative. The verbs 'pouvoir', 'vouloir', and 'devoir' are often found in the conditional to diminish the strength of a command. In most cases, the conditional is translated as meaning would in English. However, je pourrais means 'I could', je devrais means 'I should' and je voudrais means 'I would like'.

For example:  Tu devrais essayer d'apprendre mieux le français.

Also do not confuse 'would' in English meaning 'used to' which should be translated as an imparfait in French, and NOT as the conditional: A Paris, j'allais au MacDo tous les jours.

2. Hypothetical action. The conditional is used when making statements which are contrary to present facts. It expresses a hypothethical result which depends on (stated or implied) circumstances which do not exist. In order for the action expressed by the conditional to occur, something else must take place first. Note that the condition in the si or if clause, is always stated in the imparfait.

For example:  Si j'étais riche, je partirais en voyage.

3. Possibility and uncertainty. The conditional is also used to give information whose accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Journalists often use it to report events which are not known to be true.

For example: Une tornade vient de s'abattre sur Texas. Il y aurait plusieurs victimes.

4. Reported speech. In addition, the conditional is used to represent the future in relation to a narration in the past when reported speech is used to tell what someone said.

For example: Mon père a dit qu'il rentrerait dans deux semaines.

##### Pourquoi le conditionnel ? Est-ce une recommendation ? une demande polie ? ou une action hypothètique ?

1. Vous devriez consulter votre médecin. 2. Si je pouvais changer le monde, j'abolirais la pauverté.

1. une recommendation 2. une action hypothètique

##### Si clauses

Si clauses (if clauses in English) indicate possibilities, which may or may not become reality. They refer to the present, past, and future. These conditional sentences have two parts: the condition, or si clause, and the main or result clause which indicates what will happen if the condition of the si clause is met.

The tense of the result clause depends on the tense of the si clause. In other words, the tense of the two clauses follow a prescribed sequence.

The first type of si clause is used in cases where the condition may be fulfilled and thus the consequence is seen as possible. In this type of clause use present after si, and either present, future or imperative in the main clause.

For example: Si Shasta veut jouer au foot demain, il le fera!

The second type of si clause is contrary to fact in the present. The consequence is thus seen as impossible. In this type of clause use imparfait after si, and conditionnel in the main clause.

For example: Si j'étais riche, je ne travaillerais pas.

Below you see the tables that summarize the 1st and the 2nd types of si clauses.

1. SI + present

 si clause result clause si + present (possible condition) present or future or imperative

2. SI + imparfait

 si clause result clause si + imperfect (contrary to current facts) conditional

1. If you eat less sugar, you will be healthy. 2. If you ate less sugar, you would be healthy.

1. Si tu manges moins de sucre, tu seras en bonne santé. 2. Si tu mangeais moins de sucre, tu serais en bonne santé.