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I wanted to ask if my following answers are correct

Je sais pas dont je parle

Means "I don't know what I'm talking about" right? And if you say

Je sais pas ce que j'en parle

Means "I don't know what I talk of it"

And

Je sais pas auquel je pense

Means "I don't know what I'm thinking"

And

Je sais pas ce que j'y pense

Means "I don't know what I think of it" Right?

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  • Why is it that you ask questions here about complicated structure but fail to not use the ne...pas in your negative sentences? That is hard to understand. Are you perhaps trying to sound like what one hears in movies when people talk fast and say; Sais pas etc? Just wondering....
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 16:30
  • I wrote this on a paper during school haha, I had to write it quickly Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 16:33
  • The examples I mean which I just copied into my phone Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 16:33
  • You wrote it on a paper? But then you had to write it again to post it here, right? You mean in a paper, right?
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 16:38
  • That's a very confusing sentence um... Yes I wrote the examples on my notebook, then copied them unto my phone on the stack exchange app haha. Why did you have to repeat paper haha Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 16:44

1 Answer 1

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"Je sais pas dont je parle" is not possible, because "dont" is a relative pronoun referring to a noun that is a complement of the preceding proposition, and here you have omitted it. Moreover, "pas" is not really a negation: it has to be used with "ne". You should say:

"Je ne sais pas de quoi je parle" or "Je ne connais pas ce dont je parle"

Then "Je sais pas ce que j'en parle" is wrong as well

Here, you could say:

"Je ne sais pas ce que j'en dis" (I don't know what I say about it)

This is correct, although the meaning is rather queer. You cannot say "ce que j'en parle" because parler is not a transitive verb, meanwhile "dire" is transitive..

Bad luck once more,

"Je sais pas auquel je pense"

is wrong also. "auquel" like "dont" refers to a complement of the preceding proposition, but with the sens of "to that" meanwhile "dont" means "of that". But in your sentence, you have no referring complement, so you should say:

"Je ne sais pas à quoi je pense".

"Je sais pas ce que j'y pense"

is wrong, although the motto of the English kings is "honi soit qui mal y pense", but this is old French from the middle-age. Here, you cannot say "y" be cause "y" means "to that", which has no sense here, where you mean "about that", so you must use "en". The correct form would be:

"Je ne sais pas ce que j'en pense".

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  • I feel so stupid now... Haha, sorry for bothering you and making you have to write that haha. Hope you didn't hurt your head from facepalming Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 7:29
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    While this is natural to us, it can be tricky to foreigners. At some point, native speaker don't even need to remember the rule to know the proper expressions. I might have had a spat with BBBreiz, but I have to concede that his knowledge is quite good.
    – MakorDal
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 9:32
  • I just wanted to point out that dont and auquel (lequel, etc.) really translate to which and not what for the most part. Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 11:13
  • In your example of "Je ne sais pas de quoi je parle" versus "Je ne sais pas ce dont je parle", what are the rules for eliding "ce"? For example, can you say "Je ne sais pas ce à quoi je pense", or is only "Je ne sais pas à quoi je pense" correct? Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 12:50
  • "je ne sais pas à quoi je pense" is a correct form. "je ne sais pas ce à quoi je pense" is wrong, but "je ne connais pas ce à quoi je pense" is correct and "je ne connais pas à quoi je pense" would be wrong. Nevertheless, the reason why it is so, is quite hard to explain. If you insist, I will try to, otherwise you may simply trust me...
    – BBBreiz
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 13:27

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