"Dompter un djinn me doterait de pouvoirs immenses. Ce qui pourrait me servir, un de ces jours."

I suppose that the second sentence means something along the lines of:

" ... could prove useful to me one of these days."

But I’m not sure how to interpret the "Ce qui" part. I have seen a couple of similar sentences that start with "Ce qui", and I wonder if some phrase is omitted at the top?

1 Answer 1


This sentence could easily be translated with the same syntax in English:

Dompter un djinn me doterait de pouvoirs immenses. Ce qui pourrait me servir, un de ces jours.
Taming a djinn would give me great powers. Which could be useful one of these days.

Then, it's up to your interpretation. "Which/ce qui" can cover the whole previous sentence (taming a djinn) or more specifically the consequences of it (the great powers).

To my mind, what the writer has in mind is the powers the djinn would give them instead of the djinn specifically.

  • 1
    Ce refers to the whole sentence and can't refer the to the powers themselves (the demonstrative pronoun to use if you want to do so is ceux-ci), but it could refers to the result understood as être doté de grands pouvoirs. Here the difference is minor but in other contexts it could lead to misunderstandings. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 17:02
  • Though you are completely right in regards of grammar, the meaning is sometimes approximate. In most cases, the person will have interest in the powers, not really caring how he/she got them. And though I don't always agree with it, it has been told that meaning can be reason enough to bend the grammatical rules.
    – Chop
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 20:18
  • @Chop Merci. I now see that the "Ce qui" does not need to have any preceding words accompanied, but can the word "C'est", if anything, be placed before it? "C'est ce qui pourrait me servir, un de ces jours." { It is what could be useful ... } Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 3:57
  • @pourraitpuet-etre "C'est ce qui pourrait me servir." is perfectly correct, grammatically speaking. It would not really be fitting in this context, but in a conversation, it helps putting some emphasis on the subject.
    – Chop
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 6:52

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