I was translating the sentence: “Which I think is balanced” into French and I got as far as:

… que je crois

When I realized I thought I wasn't sure whether I should at a “qui” or not (or even “que c'est”). Logically I should add “qui” but I wasn't sure.

Which is correct:

… que je crois qui est équilbré
… que je crois que c'est équilibré
… que je crois est équlibré

Or are none of the above a good translation?


What you propose doesn't seem correct. I'd use

Voici une solution que je crois être équilibrée.

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    Or “qui est equilibrée, je crois”, which is somehow a (less often used) equivalent of the ad-hoc insertion of “I think” in the middle of a clause in English. In French it is added at the end, as an incise (interpolated clause) within commas, or long dashes. – Stéphane Gimenez May 10 '13 at 19:07
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    @StéphaneGimenez, you should give your answer. It's the closest translation, especially if you move the interpolated clause just after the qui as in "... qui, je crois, est équilibrée". I think the I think is also an interpolated clause, not a case where that is omitted. – Un francophone May 10 '13 at 19:29
  • Yes it is also an interpolated clause, but commas are optional :-) – Stéphane Gimenez May 10 '13 at 19:33

Your sentence contains a single relative clause, with one embedded interpolated clause. The most formal way of writing it is:

Which, I think, is balanced.

Which directly translates into French as:

qui, je crois, est équilibré.

The commas are less often dropped in French (it might happen if the nesting is too high), and it can as well be found at the end of the clause : qui est équilibré, je crois (or je pense).

Notice the small letter in the translation, because a relative sentence on its own isn't standard in French. One would repeat the last noun or use a leading pronoun such as ce to refer to a full clause.

Last, Un francophone's suggestion:

que je crois (être) équilibré.

can also, in some cases, be a perfectly fine translation, as it is much more common in French, compared to its English grammatical equivalent: “which I think (to be) balanced”.

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    Now I know how painful it is to write a full answer with a phone :-) – Stéphane Gimenez May 10 '13 at 20:11

None of your propositions sounds correct, but they are several alternatives: using qui and adding “je crois” as an incise, either at the end or in the middle of the sentence

… qui, je crois, est équilibrée


… qui est équilibrée, je crois

or using dont

… dont je crois qu'elle est équilibrée

though it sounds a bit awkward with croire, however, with the equivalent (here) penser, it would yield

… dont je pense qu'elle est équilibrée

which is how I would say it.

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  • Pas certain que l'utilisation de dont soit à retenir pour un non francophone, avec en plus un problème de compréhension de l'accord d'équilibré. En plus difficile à placer, à moins que les ... représentent une phrase à périodes, . . . ou pour compléter un alexandrin. – Personne May 13 '13 at 13:34

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