Nous ne ménageons pas nos efforts pour fournir à nos clients les fruits et les légumes les plus frais qui soient.

I wonder if you add « qui soit/soient » to the superlative only when you are boasting of its quality. If so, I imagine that it wouldn’t make sense to use this expression with an adjective with a negative connotation, as in « le plus mauvais qui soit ».

  • 1
    It's the same as in English: the worst there is. Your question is in English, so I'm guessing you are familiar with this usage in English.
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 1:25
  • Je serais curieuse de savoir quelle méthode de langue tu utilises, c'est impressionnant cette maîtrise de la langue pour quelqu'un qui vient de commencer le français.
    – Quidam
    Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 4:56
  • @PERCE-NEIGE Ça fait plusieurs années qu'elle étudie le français... Qu'est-ce qui te fait croire qu'elle vient de commencer ? Il lui arrive même de dire des choses comme "en 3 ans j'ai jamais entendu cette expression, pourtant on me dit que c'est très courant". Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 9:38
  • Pas Drew, elle n'a rien dit en français. C'est Ah alone-zee qui parle d'une méthode de langue.
    – Quidam
    Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 10:20
  • @TeleportingGoat Hi. Colour me confused! Because I don't recall ever saying "learning for 3 years", or anything to that effect... Perhaps, you misread some of my past comments? Anyway, I've been learning French exactly as long as I've been on this site: 7 months now. One year ago, "an, do, toewa" were just about the only French words I knew! :) Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 10:29

3 Answers 3


Qui soi(ent) = that exist, existing in the world, qui exist(ent).

Un peu comme l'usage de "ever" en Anglais, on a un renforcement du sens:

It's the worst book. It's the worst book ever.

Je lui donne les plus beaux légumes.
Je lui donne les plus beaux légumes qui soient.

On a en plus du renforcement de sens, une certaine amélioration "esthétique" de la phrase. Elle est un peu plus littéraire que si on avait ajouté "du monde", ou autre.


It would be grammatically correct, but the sentence would have an unusual meaning: why would they get the worst possible produce?

Instead, you can say

Ils vendent les légumes les plus mauvais qui soient.


"qui soit" / "qui soient" = "that exist(s)"

It's basically the same usage as "ever". The full phrase corresponding to "ever" would be something like "that has/have ever existed", like:

They are selling the worst vegetables that have ever been grown.

In French, the full phrase would be "qui aient jamais existé", such as:

Ils vendent les pires légumes qui aient jamais existé.

Note that "jamais" is usually translated by "never" when talking about a frequency, but this is also the right way to translate "ever".

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