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I've been having trouble with differentiating when to use "ce qui", and "ce que" instead of "qui". Like here:

If you were translating "That's my reaction every time I see her, which is always" would you say

C'est ma réaction chaque fois que je la vois, ce qui est toujours

Or

C'est ma réaction chaque fois que je la vois, qui est toujours

And another:

If you were saying something like:

The reason why I like this tree rather than the other one is because, this tree has fruits which the the other tree doesn't have.

Would you say

La raison pour laquelle j'aime cet arbre plutôt que l'autre c'est parce que cet arbre a des fruits, ce que n'a pas l'autre arbre

Or

La raison pour laquelle j'aime cet arbre plutôt que l'autre c'est parce que cet arbre a des fruits qui n'a pas l'autre arbre

Sorry if my French is wrong

5

First, to answer your question about these specific instances, the correct formulations would be :

C'est ma réaction chaque fois que je la vois, CE QUI est toujours ...

La raison pour laquelle j'aime cet arbre plutôt que l'autre c'est parce que cet arbre a des fruits, CE QUE n'a pas l'autre arbre.

To speak more generally, ce que/ce qui are used like que/qui, only when there is no expressed antecedent ; for example, they're used to refer to an idea. In your second example, the idea is "the ability to bear fruits".

Then the choice between using que/ce que or qui/ce qui will depend on the grammatical function they occupy in the sentence. que is used when serving as the direct object ; qui is used when serving as the subject.

In your second example, we're using ce que because the pronoun is the direct object. If we were to replace the pronoun, it would be as follows :

L'arbre n'a pas [la faculté de produire des fruits]

These two links can provide you with more info if needed : link and link

Hope it helps.

  • What I meant by the second sentence is: "This has fruits, which the tree doesn't have". I'm not referring to the kind of fruit the favoured tree contains, but fruits in general. – Oboark Jun 24 '16 at 9:54
  • Like the meaning changes in English when you add a pause in between "fruits" and "which". In the sentence, "which" and "that" are not interchangeable – Oboark Jun 24 '16 at 9:56
  • Hey, got it ; updated my answer to reflect this better. Does it make more sense ? – Théo Reno Jun 24 '16 at 12:23
  • i'm trying to understand this answer. The first sentence, you say that there is no expressed antecedent. But isn't "ma réaction chaque fois que je la vois" the antecedent? That is, you could rewrite "ce qui est toujours" as "ma réaction chaque fois que je la vois est toujours", and thus it should be "qui est toujours"? – silph Apr 12 '18 at 17:03

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