11.8 Quoi as relative pronoun

The rules how to use quoi as relative pronoun has already been shown in the summary table - here it is to be found in e4. As a short summary of what has been said the following examples.

  Summary  
rien, ce => preposition + quoi
  tout => ce + preposition + quoi
  la seule chose / quelque chose => preposition + laquelle

Without a preposition and the expressions de + ce, rien, tout, la seule/quelque chose the relative pronoun dont is to be used.

The relative pronoun quoi is used when ce, tout or rien is referred and a preposition is used with the relative pronoun (see situation e4). In English we mostly use what.

  Examples
Car ce mensonge contredisait tout ce sur quoi il avait publiquement fondé sa renaissance politique.
    Because this lie contradicts everything on what he had founded his political resurrection.
  Ce sont des apparences qui disparaissent, rien sur quoi fonder une vie.
    These are aspects that go over, nothing on what one could found a life.
  C' est la seule chose sans laquelle on ne peut pas vivre.
    This is the only thing without which one cannot live.
  Il n' a rien dont il peut se plaindre.
    He has nothing that he could complain about.

  from: In the shadow of the young-girl's flower by Marcel Proust
Odette représentait exactement tout ce avec quoi on venait de rompre et d'ailleurs immédiatement de renouer (car les hommes, ne changeant pas du jour au lendemain, cherchent dans un nouveau régime la continuation de l'ancien), mais en le cherchant sous une forme différente qui permît d'être dupe et de croire que ce n'était plus la société d'avant la crise.
    Odette stood exactly for all that with what they had broken, only to start anew (since people cannot change from one day to another, they search in new relations the continuance of the old), even though in a different way, a way that allows, to betray oneself and that let one believe that the things are different now than before the crisis.






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