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Possible Duplicate:
Peut-on utiliser « ce » dans cette phrase?

How would one use “ce qui” differently as compared to “ceux qui”, “celui qui”, etc.?

marked as duplicate by Gilles 'SO nous est hostile' Oct 28 '11 at 19:47

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« Ce » is only used for objects and sometimes for non-human living creatures (depends of the relation you have with it). It's a little bit like « it » in English. In fact, most of the times, if you would refer to something as « it », use « ce » instead of « celui », « celle », « ceux », ...

In your case, « ce qui » means « the thing that », but « ceux qui » means « those who ». It has a perfectly similar meaning, except that the subject is once « it » and once « they ».

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  • Ce qui can refer to a previous part of the sentance or the text: in a certain way, you can compare ce to the english word which in that context:

J'ai trouvé un travail, ce qui est bien.
I have found a job, which is a good thing.

  • Ce qui can also refer to something (but not somebody) for a future reference:

Ce qui se trouve sur cette table me semble bon.

For somebody, we would use celui qui (masc) / celle qui (fem) / ceux qui (plur) instead:

Ceux qui sont venus m'aider sont très gentils.
Those who came to help me are very kind.

  • We say ce monsieur, ce plombier, cet agent, ce bureau, cette table, etc, to refer to someone or something. We can then refer to it using qui by saying celui/celle/ceux qui, not ce qui:

-Ce gars est sympathique.
-De qui parles-tu ?
-Je parle de celui qui est assis sur la chaise, à côté de la table.

-This guy is really nice.
-Who are you referring to?
-I'm referring to the the guy sitting on the chair, close to the table.

  • Don't omit « ce qui se trouve sur la table », « what is on the table ». – SteeveDroz Oct 20 '11 at 9:31
  • That's absolutely right! I've edited my answer. Thanks Oltarus! – Shlublu Oct 20 '11 at 9:35

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