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"From whom is that letter?"

Translation:De qui est cette lettre ?

September 15, 2017



why cette and not ca?


"ça" is short from "cela" and it is a pronoun meaning "that thing".

You cannot use it as a determining adjective before a noun.

  • "lettre" is feminine, so you need "cette".
  • "book" is masculine and would need "ce".
  • "arbre" or "homme" ismasculine and starts with a vowel sound, and would need "cet"
  • "lettres et livres" are plural and would need "ces"


Why is it "est cette' instead of "c'est"?


C'est means "this is/it is".

Cette is a demonstrative adjective* and can only be used with nouns and never on its own: cette lettre — this letter. And "est" is a just a verb which means "is".


"Cette" is a demonstrative adjective, agreeing with the noun it modifies.

Demonstrative pronouns are : ce, ceci, cela, celui, celle, ceux, celles.


why is it «elle est de qui»?


There are several ways of asking questions in French as you probably have already noticed:

  • formal: de qui cette lettre est-elle ?
  • standard: de qui est cette lettre ?
  • informal: cette lettre est de qui ? elle est de qui, cette lettre ? de qui elle est, cette lettre ?


Why "de qui" opposed to "pour qui"?


"pour qui" is "for whom".

"de qui" is "from whom" or "by whom".


Why Elle when there is no she or they in the sentence?


I assume you were suggested: "De qui cette lettre est-elle ?" or "Elle est de qui, cette lettre ?".

These are formal interrogative forms, where the real subject "cette lettre" (feminine singular) is repeated in the form of the personal pronoun "elle", refering to that letter.


shouldn't it be from whom is this letter, if we are using cette.

[deactivated user]

    DL Tips Relative Pronouns states "Que" = Whom & "Qui" = Who


    It is correct, but not exhaustive:

    • "qui" is a subject and can translate to "that, who, which"
    • "qui" can be an indirect object with a preposition: "à qui, de qui, avec qui..." (to/from/with whom, to/from/with which)
    • "que" is a direct object and can translate to "that, whom, which" (+ who for non-purists).

    The other relative pronouns are "quoi, dont, où".

    [deactivated user]

      To confirm 1-"à qui, de qui, avec qui..." may all have the potential to = whom when qui is an indirect object. 2-Can I ask this question using "que" instead of "qui"?


      1) Yes, re. the second line of my previous post.

      • C'est la personne à qui je parle = He/She is the person I am talking to.
      • Pierre est l'homme avec qui je voyage = Pierre is the man with whom I am traveling.
      • Voici le lecteur de qui j'ai reçu une lettre = Here is the reader from whom I received a letter

      2) "Qui" as an interrogative pronoun always represents one or several human beings.

      • Qui est là ? = Who's here/there?
      • A qui parles-tu ? = To whom are you talking?
      • Avec qui voyages-tu ? = With whom are you travelling?

      The interrogative "que" represents a thing:

      • Que veux-tu ? = What do you want?
      • Qu'est-ce que tu fais = What are you doing?

      So, you should be careful to not confuse "qui/que" as relative pronouns and "qui/que" as interrogative pronouns.

      [deactivated user]

        I get it now. Thanks so much.


        the roses are ... De qui yes, from who DEKWI


        My "ce lettre" was corrected with "ce courrier-la" . . . Because "lettre" would need "cette", but why does "courrier" need "la", if "lettre" doesn't?


        "Dont" is a relative pronoun you cannot use to ask a question.

        • C'est cette lettre dont je parle (parler de) = It is this letter I am talking of/about.
        • C'est cette lettre dont l'envelope est bleue (possessive "l'enveloppe de la lettre")= It is this letter of which/whose envelope is blue.


        Cette lettre est pour qui? is this correct?


        No, it is not. "From" indicates a starting point and "pour" an intention.

        Cette lettre est pour qui ? = For whom is that letter?


        Yes, now i realize my mistake. Merci!

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