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Je ne sais pas de quoi vous parlez.

I originally put ce que, and I was wondering if ce que could still be right? What is the difference between ce que/ce qui and quoi?

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I don't think "ce que" because "on parle de qqch", and so at best it should be "ce dont". But I'm no expert... –  Justin Young Feb 17 at 8:19
    
Je ne sais pas ce que vous parlez means that I didn't identify in which language you are talking. –  mouviciel Feb 17 at 13:38
    
FWIW, you wouldn't say the literal translation in English either: "I don't know what you speak." You would say "I don't know what you are saying". And in French you would say "Je ne sais pas ce que tu racontes." IOW, if you translate the verb correctly then things are parallel. –  Drew Feb 18 at 5:14

1 Answer 1

You can't use ce que in this sentence, it would be wrong:

Wrong: Je ne sais pas ce que vous parlez.

Here are correct sentences with translations, I hope they help you to understand the difference:

Je ne sais pas ce dont vous parlez. => I don't know what you are talking about.

Je ne sais pas de quoi vous parlez. => I don't know what you are talking about.

Je ne sais pas de qui vous parlez. => I don't know whom you are talking about.

First two sentences are correct but ce dont is more elegant (and would be used when written), and de quoi is more common in conversations.

ce qui or ce quoi cannot be used in your example.

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"Ce qui/quoi" can't be used in these examples because with parler the object has to be introduced by "de", It is "parler de". –  Laure Feb 17 at 9:19
    
Correct, I was also thinking about Je ne sais pas de ce quoi vous parlez. I think it could be used but it isn't really appropriate. –  Laurent G. Feb 17 at 9:23
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Et je ne pense pas que ce soit correct. –  Laure Feb 17 at 9:25
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"Je ne sais pas ce que vous parlez." sounds correct to me but meaning "I don't know what language can speak". "- Je ne sais pas ce que vous parlez dans votre pays - On parle anglais.". –  Yann Feb 21 at 7:29
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@guillaume31 ce dont is more elegant as stated and more posh, but still it's used a lot in literature –  Kiwy Feb 27 at 13:38

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