Que – When English doesn’t help us

When English and French don’t match

It’s fine to use English when its close connection with French helps us.

However, what is not a good thing to do is assume that all French and English verbs follow the same structure.

Many French verbs don’t follow the same structure as their English counterparts.

For example: to listen and écouter.

  • I listen to something. Écouter quelque chose.

In English, listen requires a preposition (to) so the object (the something) is no longer direct, but indirect (technical language…*shudder*)

In French, it’s still a direct object. So we can do what we did before.

  • J’écoute une très belle chanson.
  • C’est une très belle chanson que j’écoute.
  • In English: It’s a very good song that I’m listening to OR It’s a very good song to which I’m listening.

So, when a verb in French has an indirect object, we can’t use que to represent it. We need something that will in a later lesson.

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