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je veux que vous preniez ça - I want you to take this

In French you must use relative pronouns, right (?) In this case the pronoun 'que' is referring to the indirect object ça?

Also as a side note, why does prendre need to be l'imparfait?

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  • Hi and welcome to Language Learning Stack Exchange. This is a site for questions about methods and hard-to-find resources for learning or teaching languages. Questions asking for explanations of specific language features are off topic here. This question will be migrated to French Language Stack Exchange.
    – Tsundoku
    Dec 9, 2021 at 23:11

1 Answer 1

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French does have relative pronouns but the "que" in the sentence you mentioned is not one, it's a subordinating conjunction. In the sentence "Le gâteau que j'ai acheté hier." (The cake I bought yesterday.), "que" is a relative pronoun, it refers to "the cake".

For the second point, "preniez" is not imparfait here, it's subjunctive present! This tense is used in subordinate clause to talk about actions that have not been carried out yet. In "je veux que vous preniez ça", the object has not been taken yet. It's the same form as the imparfait "preniez" so I understand why this is confusing but had the personal pronoun been different, you would have noticed right away: "je veux que tu prennes ça."

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    The cake [that] I bought yesterday.
    – Lambie
    Dec 10, 2021 at 14:21

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