8.2.1.2.2 Sometimes che can be substituted by il quale

Sometimes che can be substituted by il quale / la quale / i quali / le quali.

Everybody may ask himself the following question. Is there any reason to use the construction article + a form of quale? The answer is yes, even if we don't think that it is a really convincing one.

Let's have a look at this sentence.

ejemplo  
  La sorella del mio amico, che adesso è in Francia, è bella.
The sister of my friend, who is in France now, is beautiful.

The Italian sentence (as well as the English one) is ambiguous because we don't know who is in France. Che is invariable, doesn't match in gender and number with the noun it refers to. Therefore, both can be beautiful, the sister or the friend. We can, in this case, avoid the ambiguity by using a form of article + a form of quale.

example  
  La sorella del mio amico, la quale adesso è in Francia, è bella.
The sister of my friend, who is now in France, is beautiful.

But this only works if the two nouns differ in gender or number.

example  
  La sorella della mia amica, la quale adesso è in Francia, è bella.
The sister of my friend, who is now in France, is beautiful.

In this case la quale can refer to the friend as well as to the sister and the ambiguity remains.






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