When I'm saying

J'écoute de la musique. La musique est belle.

But I can rewrite it using dont,

La musique dont j'écoute est belle.

Is it correct?

I'm not sure if this sentence is grammatically correct, but wouldn't this sentence use que instead?

J'écoute la musique. La musique est belle

La musique que j'écoute est belle


2 Answers 2


La musique dont j'écoute est belle doesn't work. It must be la musique que j'écoute…

You are confused by the nature of de in the first sentence. De is not a preposition here but a partitive article (I'm listening to [some] music) so cannot lead to dont.

Here are sentences with the preposition de and their dont counterpart:

Je te parle de la musique du XIXe siècle.

La musique dont je te parle.

J'écoute la musique de ce chanteur.

Le chanteur dont j'écoute la musique.


J'écoute [de] la musique

La musique que j'écoute.

  • 1
    Incidentally, to avoid confusion, I suppose you could also use dont if you mean "of which I listen to some but not all": « La musique dont je n'ai écouté que cinq minutes ... » Or some element of the music: « La musique dont je n'ai écouté que le commencement ... »
    – Luke Sawczak
    May 15, 2017 at 23:48
  • @LukeSawczak Yes, and the similar la musique dont j'écoute les percussions
    – jlliagre
    May 16, 2017 at 2:11
  • @LukeSawczak I might have written la musique que je n'ai écoutée que cinq minutes ... though.
    – jlliagre
    May 16, 2017 at 8:25
  • Interesting. They could be disambiguated: "que j'ai écoutée pendant 5 minutes" vs. "dont j'ai écouté les premières 5 minutes", I guess?
    – Luke Sawczak
    May 16, 2017 at 13:38
  • @LukeSawczak Yes
    – jlliagre
    May 16, 2017 at 14:03

Sometimes dont can actually be translated into English as which (or that), which otherwise is the normal way of rendering que into English.

Voilà le chat dont [not que] je suis jaloux. Why dont here? Because the valency of the adjective jaloux is de. So, you have être jaloux de. Hence the sentence Voilà le chat dont je suis jaloux = Here is the cat which / that I'm jealous of.

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