"Which sofa to buy?"

Translation:Quel canapé acheter ?

February 23, 2013

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I don't understand when I'm supposed to use quel and lequel. Are there any rules?


"quel" is an adjective modifying a noun: "quel sofa ?"

"lequel" is a pronoun, used as a replacement of a noun: "il y a deux sofas ; lequel acheter ?"


Thanks, this was a problem to me too.


quel - which

lequel - which one


Why was que and qui given as translations?


Because it can happen, depending on context and sentence construction, that "which" translates to "qui" or "que":

-c'est la jupe que je préfère = that is the dress that/which I like best

-c'est la jupe qui m'a coûté 150€ = that is the dress that/which cost me €150


so qui/que = which in the sense of that quel/quelle= which in the choice sense


It looks like qui is when it refers to the subject of the subordinate clause (IT cost me 150), whereas que is when it refers to the object of the subordinate clause (I is the subject in the "that I prefer" subordinate clause, the que refers to the skirt, which is the object of the verb prefer.). Qui is a subject, que is an object.


Quel canapé acheter ? This is the correct answer...? I highly doubt that. I'm not sure myself, but google suggested either "a acheter" or "d'acheter." Anyway, just "acheter" doesn't sound right to me.


Though it is right. You can consider it is an abbreviation of "quel canapé (dois-je) acheter"


good explanation


Why was this not the case in a previous unit's question (which utilized negative/nothing.) I think the sentence was like this: Il n'y a rien à manger. How come the "à" stays in for that example, but not this one?


As you can see, the construction is different, it is not a matter of positive/negative:

  • il y a quelque chose à manger - il y a... à + infinitive
  • quel... acheter + infinitive


I'm a bit confused on whether the preposition depends on the verb or the construction of the sentence.

For example, are you saying that these would be correct? "Il y a quelque chose à acheter." "Quel chocolate manger?"


Does this explanation apply when I want to say: "Which card to use?" = "Quelle carte utiliser?"
"which shirt to wear?" = "Quelle chemise porter"


Oui, parfaitement.


Can I say ,"quel canapé pour acheter?" More importantly when would I write pour acheter?


No you can't. You would write "pour acheter,,," if "acheter" is your reason for doing something. Example:

Pourquoi vas-tu au magasin? Pour acheter des pantalons. Why do you go to the store? To buy pants.

Note that exactly like in English you wouldn't use it without a complement. "I go to the store, to buy." doesn't sound right.


Generally, you don't put "pour + inf" where you could not say "for + gerund" in English. So you couldn't say "which couch for buying?" but you could say someone is going to the store "For buying pants." Even though it is a bit awkward, it isn't wrong. Anyway, that's how I think of it. Sometimes it is useful to think of the French infinitive as an English gerund. Hope it is helpful.

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