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What is the capital of Tunisia?

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What is the capital of Tunisia?

When do we use “ce que” instead of “que”?

It’s not a rigorous explanation, but when you can say the thing that in English, you have to say ce que in French. In proper English, it’s most often translated by what.
For instance:

Ce n’est pas ce que j’ai commandé. → It’s not the thing that I ordered.It’s not what I ordered.

Je mange ce que je veux. → I eat the thing that I want.I eat what I want.

Basically ce is a pronoun, that can represent anything.

My faint memories from grammar class tell me that in the sentence

Ce n’est pas ce que j’ai commandé.

the “que j’ai commandé” part is a relative clause (someone please correct me if I am wrong), in French a “proposition relative”, and it needs to relate to an object which in this example is “ce” (itself referring to the first “ce”, the subject).

If you just say “Ce n’est pas que j’ai commandé”, you have a subject (“Ce”), a verb (“n’est pas”), a relative clause (“que j’ai commandé”), and… no object for it to relate to.

Maybe it will look more clear with a different example:

Ce n’est pas le plat que j’ai commandé.

In this sentence “ce” and “le plat” are two different elements, which both refer to the same semantic matter, but have different roles in the sentence.

La question porte sur le choix entre ce que ou que en tant que pronom relatif. Que a des usages très variés en français mais c’est le seul cas où on puisse hésiter entre les deux.

Ce n’est pas ce que j’ai commandé.

ce que est ici un pronom relatif sans « référent » (appelé aussi « antécédent »). Il introduit la proposition relative complément d’objet (Qu’est-ce que tu as commandé ? → « ce que ») le pronom relatif remplace le nom qui le précède mais dans cette phrase il n’y a qu’un groupe verbal sans objet, on emploie « ce » pour représenter cet objet grammatical non nommé.

Si on avait un nom dans la proposition principale qui précède, on n’aurait pas besoin du ce, par exemple :

Ce n’est pas le livre que j’ai commandé.

Your concern is about the use of que or ce que in a relative clause. Not to be confused with other uses of que in French (they are quite numerous).

Ce n’est pas ce que j’ai commandé.

ce que is here a relative pronoun without an antedecent and it introduces a relative clause. It represents the object considered by the verb in the relative clause (What did you order? → “ce que”) the relative pronoun stands instead of the noun but in this kind of sentence where que is only preceded by a verbal group without a grammatical object, ce is used to represent the grammatical object and in a way plays the role of the noun.

If we had a noun in the clause preceding the que, we wouldn’t use ce, for instance :

Ce n’est pas le livre que j’ai commandé.

If you want to compare with English :

Ce n’est pas ce que j’ai commandé → It’s not what I ordered.

We must use some kind of antecedent in English (whether it be “the thing”, “what” or whatever).

Ce n’est pas le livre que j’ai commandé → It’s not the book I ordered. / It’s not the book which/that I ordered.

In English we can use that or which or the relative pronoun can be omitted altogether.

Think of “ce” as “this”.

Ce est tellement beau (correction: C’est tellement beau.)

Its so easy ce refers to anything like it in English, so

It is not the book I ordered,

Ce n’est pas le livre que …

It’s not it that I ordered

Ce n’est pas ce que …


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What is the capital of Tunisia?