Here’s my challenge of the day: explain to you le subjonctif and make it quick & easy to understand and remember. Let’s see if we can do that together! 3 things I need to tell you before we start.

I – Subjective & uncertain actions and / or ideas

Le subjonctif is a mood used for actions and ideas that are subjective and uncertain. Subjective, uncertain. Le subjonctif is used to express desire, possibility, feelings, need, order, judgement, advice. Don’t worry, I will give you examples for all of these.

II – After QUE or QUI

Le subjonctif is mostly found in dependent clauses after “que” or “qui”. Again, you will see that in the examples.

III – Very popular in French

You might think, when do we ever use le subjonctif in English, hardly ever. True. But in French I’m afraid it’s used very frequently. So you have to learn it!

The Seven Categories

I don’t want you to get lost & overwhelmed in this video so here’s what I’m going to do. For each of the 7 categories mentioned above: desire, possibility, feelings, need, order, judgement, advice, I will give you only 2 expressions so it’s easy to grasp and digest. You will see I am keeping the sentences short & simple and that’s on purpose since I just want you to focus on subjonctif.

1- Desire

I want you to come with me = Je veux que tu viennes avec moi

He prefers her to leave now = Il préfère qu’elle parte maintenant.

2- Possibility

It is possible that she knows the truth = Il est possible qu’elle connaisse la vérité.

I doubt we will arrive on time = Je doute que nous arrivions à l’heure.

3- Feelings

I’m afraid he no longer loves me = J’ai peur qu’il ne m’aime plus.

She is so happy he is here = Elle est si heureuse qu’il soit là.

4- Need

I need you to listen to me = J’ai besoin que tu m’écoutes.

You have to pay attention more = Il faut que tu fasses plus attention.

5- Order

He forbids that we take the car = Il interdit que nous prenions la voiture.

I demand that he apologizes = J’exige qu’il demande pardon.

6- Judgement

It would be better for you to keep quiet= Il vaudrait mieux que tu te taises.

It’s a shame they no longer live together = C’est dommage qu’ils ne vivent plus ensemble.

7- Advice

It is time that you tell the truth = Il est temps que tu dises la vérité.

It is important that you communicate = Il est important que vous communiquiez.

Ok. So now you have 2 expressions for each of the 7 categories. Remember: desire, possibility, feelings, need, order, judgement, advice.

However, you can also find the subjonctif after expressions!

Expressions followed by le subjonctif

Bien que = quoique = although

Although her train leaves in one minute, she remains on the platform

Bien que son train parte dans une minute, elle reste sur le quai.

Quoique son train parte dans une minute, elle reste sur le quai.

À moins que = unless

Unless you speak now, this is the end of our friendship.

À moins que tu ne parles maintenant, c’est la fin de notre amitié.

Sans que = without

She organized the whole party without me realizing anything.

Elle a organisé toute la soirée sans que je ne me rende compte de rien.

Pourvu que = as long as

It is a good thing, as long as he doesn’t do it again.

C’est une bonne chose, pourvu qu’il ne recommence pas.

À condition que = provided that

I will go to London provided that you come with you.

J’irai à Londres à condition que tu viennes avec moi.

Pour que = afin que so that

I arrived early so that she doesn’t know I am here.

Je suis arrivée en avance pour qu’elle ne sache pas que je suis ici.

Je suis arrivée en avance afin qu’elle ne sache pas que je suis ici.

Little tip! I’m sure you’re noticing the que everywhere!

Subjonctif dans les phrases négatives

And last but not least, some verbs require the good old indicative when in an affirmative sentence but the subjunctive when in a negative sentence. These verbs are:

penser = to think, croire = to believe, trouver = to find, espérer = to hope.

Penser = to think

I think she’s coming = Je pense qu’elle vient – indicatif

I don’t think she’s coming = Je ne pense pas qu’elle vienne – subjonctif

Croire = to believe

I believe he’s lying = Je crois qu’il ment – indicatif

I don’t believe he’s lying = Je ne crois pas qu’il mente – subjonctif

Trouver = to find

I find the movie interesting = Je trouve que le film est intéressant – indicatif

I don’t find the movie interesting = Je ne trouve pas que le film soit intéressant – subjonctif

Espérer = to hope

I hope that he loves me = J’espère qu’il m’aime – indicatif

I no longer hope that he loves me = Je n’espère plus qu’il m’aime – subjonctif

ATTENTION

One more thing before we finish, you may have noticed, the subjonctif présent looks very similar to the indicatif présent when using 1st group verbs, remember that’s the regular ER verbs such as aimer, regarder, trouver, penser, préférer, douter, etc. Don’t be fooled! Je n’espère plus qu’il m’aime may look like indicatif but it is not! It is the subjonctif.

And we’re done: seven categories, the few expressions that require the subjonctif, some verbs in the negative form. A lot of info but it’s a video so you can back, pause, watch it again 100 times if you want to! It will take a little time and practice but you’ll get there!

Facebook Comments
Become a little bitin 3 easy steps
 
Learn how to incorporate frenchness in your every day life with this free 3 step mini course

Become a little bit
in 3 easy steps

 

Learn how to incorporate frenchness in your every day life with this free 3 step mini course

You have Successfully Subscribed!