"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.
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)
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.