Les pronoms relatifs : dont

French Grammar (see all)

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Les pronoms relatifs : dont

Relative pronouns such as qui, que, , dont and lequel are used to avoid repetition within a sentence, and usually replace a person or a thing.
C’est un très bon rapport. Gérard Therrien est satisfait de ce rapport.
C’est un très bon rapport dont Gérard Therrien est satisfait. (DONT = de ce rapport)
It’s a very good report. The boss is happy with this report.
It’s a very good report that the boss is very happy with.
C’est un très bon rapport. Marcel a écrit ce rapport.
C’est un très bon rapport que Marcel a écrit. (QUE = ce rapport)
It’s a very good report. Marcel wrote this report.
It’s a very good report that Marcel wrote.

Dont replaces a person or a thing which is introduced after the preposition de. It can be translated in a number of ways depending on the context. The most common are ‘whose’, ‘that’, ‘(of) which’ and ‘(of) whom’.
La ville dont je suis originaire est toute petite. (Je suis originaire de cette ville.) The town which I come from is very small.
La chose dont je suis fière c’est mon style. (Je suis fière de mon style.) The thing (which) I’m most proud of is my style.
Les enfants dont il est le père sont terribles. (Il est le père de ces enfants.) These children, of which he is the father, are awful.

Dont is commonly used in conjunction with these verbs: parler de (to speak about), se souvenir de (to remember), rêver de (to dream of), avoir peur de (to be scared of), avoir envie de (to want to), avoir honte de (to be ashamed of), s’occuper de (to take care of), etc.
L’ami dont je te parle s’appelle Victor. (Car on dit parler de quelque chose.) The friend of whom I spoke (whom I spoke of) is called Victor.

Dont can be used with these common adjective constructions: être fier de (to be proud of), responsable de (to be responsible for), content de (to be happy about), satisfait de (to be satisfied about) etc.
L’homme dont je suis amoureuse s’appelle Victor. (Car on dit être amoureux de quelqu’un). The man that I am in love with is called Victor.

We can also use dont with names.
Victor Hugo ? C’est un écrivain dont je ne connais que le nom. (Car on dit le nom de l’écrivain). Victor Hugo? That’s a writer about whom I know nothing except his name.


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