"I think what I say, and I say what I think."

Translation:Je pense ce que je dis et je dis ce que je pense.

September 22, 2017



The relative pronoun ce que is used in sentences where there is no expressed antecedent (see definition at the end of this explanation). In other words the relative pronoun doesn't refer to a specific noun.

to illustrate this concept consider the following two sentences

Ce n'est pas le livre que j'ai commandé. It isn't the book I ordered
In this sentence que is acting as a relative pronoun and has an antecedent, namely the book

Ce n'est pas ce que j'ai commandé It's not what I ordered.
In this sentence ce que is acting as a relative pronoun and is used instead of que because the relative pronoun does not have an antecedent

examples of the use of the relative pronoun ce que

ce n’est pas ce que je veux It is not what I want
Je comprends ce qu'elle fait I understand what she is doing
Je ne comprends pas ce que ça veux dire I don’t understand what it means
personne ne sait ce que c’est Nobody knows what it is
vous voulez m’expliquer ce que vous voulez dire Will you explain to mean what it means
C'est ce que je voulais être quand j'avais douze. It is what I wanted to be when I was 12 years old

definition of antecedent

An antecedent is the word (or words) that a pronoun refers to. Typically, the antecedent of a pronoun is a noun or a noun phrase. Despite the name, an antecedent does not always come before its pronoun.


When you see the professor, please tell him I'll be 10 minutes late this evening.
In this example, the antecedent is professor. It is the word that the pronoun him refers to. The word professor comes before the pronoun him.

When you see him, please tell the professor I'll be 10 minutes late this evening.

Mary called to say she will be late. (In this example, Mary is the antecedent of the personal pronoun she.)

The man who lives next door lost his driving licence. (In this example, man is the antecedent of the relative pronoun who)

September 22, 2017


J'adore tes explications ! Je l'ai ajouté à mes notes, merci Nicholas

September 22, 2017


il n'y a pas de quoi

When I encounter a sentence where I don't understand the grammar I like to investigate the logic underpinning the grammar because I am a Mathematician at heart.

The linguist Michel Thomas explained that whenever the word what appears in the middle of a sentence it is translated as ce que. However, this is not true in all cases and he didn't explain the reason why or why it sometimes can be que or ce que or ce qui

Also note that when you don't have an antecedent then typically ce qui is used when you have the structure ce qui + verb and ce que is used when you have the structure ce que + subject + verb


Envoie-leur ce qui était prévu. - Send them what was planned.

September 23, 2017


The word bank is missing a second 'que'

April 23, 2018


the second "que" was in the word bank May 2018

May 30, 2018
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