"Be what you want to be."

Translation:Soyez ce que vous voulez être.

August 1, 2017

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How should I decide to use Ce Que or Quoi ?


I think that a basic explanation would be :

"Ce que" is used as the indefinite direct object in a relative clause. Je dépense ce que j'ai gagné. => I spend what I've earned.

"Quoi" is the object of any preposition except "de". De quoi parle-t-il? What is he talking about?

I think it's the basic explanation, but perhaps someone can complete it.

Hope it helps

  • Je veux savoir de quoi tu parles = I want to know what you're talking about (what - about = de quoi)
  • Je veux comprendre ce que tu dis = I want to understand what (= "that which")you are saying (what = ce que)
  • Je suis le chemin que je me suis tracé = I follow the way ("that which") I've traced
  • Tu manges le chocolat que je t'ai donné = You eat the chocolate (that) I gave you
  • Quoi que tu dises, je ne te comprends pas = Whatever you say, I don't understand you

Now some explanation without a grammar book, just from my logic as a french native: Quoi is only used in the beginning of the sentence as an interrogative word:

  • Quoi? What?
  • Quoi que je fasse, je prend du poids = Whatever I do, I gain weight.
  • De quoi tu te mêles? = "Of what are you involving yourself", which is translated as "Mind your business!".

It doesn't really seem to translate to what very often, which is usually Que in french:

  • Que fais-tu? Que vas-tu faire demain? = What are you doing? What will you do tomorrow?

Ce que is rather used when you connect two sentences and the "que" is an undefined thing. I'd sort of translate "ce que" to "that which" (which being "ce" and that being "que"):

  • Pense ce que tu veux, je ne suis pas un menteur = Think what (+ the concept of an undefined thing you're thinking) you want, I am not a liar/Think "that which" you want, I am not a liar.


"ce qui" (subject) and "ce que" (object) are the translation for "what" at the start of a relative clause:

  • be what you want to be = sois ce que tu veux être
  • do what you want to do = fais ce que tu veux faire
  • do what is fair = fais ce qui est juste


Is it generally true that the relative pronoun ce que only comes before a pronoun, so if what doesn’t come before a pronoun then you use the relative pronoun *ce qui or quoi


Je ne sais pas ce que je peux demander. - I don’t know what I can ask
Je ne sais pas quoi demander. - I don’t know what to ask
je ne sais pas quoi faire - I don’t know what to do
fais ce que tu peux - do what you can
Envoie-leur ce qui était prévu. - Send them what was planned.

  • 2748

Ask yourself who does the action (= who is the subject) in the relative clause. RC - relative clause; MC - main clause.

  • Je ne sais pas | ce que je/tu peux demander. (RC sbj. = je/tu)

  • Je ne sais pas | ce que l'ordinateur peux demander. (RC sbj. = l'ordinateur)

  • Je ne sais pas | ce que le troisieme peux demander. (RC sbj. = le troisieme)

  • Je ne sais pas | quoi demander. (RC sbj. = same as MC sbj. = je (implicit))

"ce que" and "quoi" are objects and come before the subject (noun, pronoun, numeral) of the relative clause, and respectively before the verb at infinitive.

  • Envoie-leur | ce qui était prévu. (MC sbj. = tu (implicit); RC sbj. = ce qui)

Hope this will help a bit until Sitesurf comes back.


Can the final verb be omitted in French in this type of sentence? For example,

  • "Soyez ce que vous voulez." = "Be what you want."
  • "Prends ce que tu veux." = "Take what you want."


I wondered the same thing.


I don't understand why "be" is 2 different words in this sentence. I also don't understand why "Soyez" was not included in DLs drop down hints. Any/all explanations very welcome! :]


The first "be" is a command (imperative mood) and the second "(to) be" is the infinitive form of the verb required after "to want". In French, these forms are very different:

  • be! = sois ! (tu) or soyez ! (vous)
  • to be = être

And I added "sois/soyez" in the hints.

[deactivated user]

    Sitesurf says '"ce qui" (subject) and "ce que" (object) are the translation for "what" at the start of a relative clause:'. Given this, I think that Duo should accept ce qui here since it is the subject of the relative clause: the verb 'to be' cannot take an object; hence, logically (to an English grammarian, anyway), ce qui looks natural - especially since the subject of the relative clause is a person...


    Duo can only accept "ce que" because the subject in the relative clause is "tu" (subject of "veux").


    So, it's safe to say if the first word of the phrase is a verb, use ce qui, other wise use ce que?

    Fais ce qui est correct ou fais ce que tu veux!


    I've answered wrongly twice and each time the correct solution is different!!!!


    Different mistakes trigger different correct solutions. The suggestion you receive depends on how many words/signs are correct in your translation.


    Why not être and why not the tu form rather than vous?


    You can pick "tu" or "vous" but you need to conjugate the verbs accordingly:

    • Sois ce que tu veux être
    • Soyez ce que vous voulez être


    Why not the subjunctive 'vouliez' instead of voulez?


    "Soyez" is in the imperative, giving an order/command.

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