"Il est le seul qui ait besoin de bouger."

Translation:He is the only one who needs to move.

November 10, 2013

117 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnaTall

why subjunctive here

November 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1745

One of the reasons for using the Subjunctive mood is to express insistence, preference, suggestion (or even a command). In the context of this sentence, the speaker seems to be expressing a strong suggestion that "he needs to get a move on". http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/bouger/10342 [Edit: the use of "seul" in this way requires the use of the subjunctive. If you use the indicative, you would be understood, but francophones always use the subjunctive here].

April 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leonr77

Is it not because of 'seul'? I read this on French About: "After main clauses which contain adjectives like principal, seul, unique, premier, dernier, or any superlative, the subjunctive is optional." So my next question is, is the subjunctive optional here or mandatory?

November 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

I think that it's not so much that it's optional as that it relies on context. There is a discussion of it here: https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/superlative-subjunctive/

Going by that, I'd say the subjunctive belongs here.

November 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

You can use "il est le seul" or "c'est le seul", the former being more formal.

You can use "qui ait besoin/doive" or "qui a besoin/doit", the latter stating a fact (the guy has already found another house), while the former in subjunctive is less certain (think of "possibly/potentially").

With such constructions with "le premier/dernier, le seul", you will use the mood matching your own degree of certainty. This is not the case with other constructions requiring a subjunctive exclusively.

December 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Agonisti

Wait, is the sentence about moving as in where you live? I interpreted n6zs's comment to mean that someone is standing/sitting/hanging around somewhere he is not supposed to, and needs to move (or else!).

Also, does "ait besoin de" imply duty here - or in general? I had previously thought it denoted need as in need of care, help and such.

Also, what triggers the subjunctive here - the use of 'qui'?

July 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1745

The sentence is about moving oneself, not moving one's residence. "Avoir besoin de" simply means "to need", not "to be in need", i.e, "j'ai besoin d'un crayon" (I need a pencil). The subjunctive in this sentence is triggered by "il est le seul qui ...." It is not at all obvious in English, but French requires the subjunctive when using an expression like this, meaning "he is the only one who ...."

March 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RKNYC

Frankly, I read it differently: that of all the people here, he was the only one who had to move

November 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1745

It is perfect, except that the sentence is in Present Subjunctive (has to), not "Past Subjunctive" (had to). Were you thinking that I am promoting "he needs to get a move on"? No, only giving another interpretation per Larousse.

November 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/becky3086

This is what I thought as well. He was the only one who needs to move. = He is the only one who needs to move and get another place to live.

February 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_Kierz_

La link ne travaille pas!

Edit: Le lien ne fonctionne plus!

February 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1745

Larousse sometimes makes changes. I have updated the link above. BTW, "link" is "le lien" in French. And "travailler" is used for people. When talking about some thing that doesn't work, use fonctionner, e.g., Le lien ne fonctionne plus = the link doesn't work anymore.

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_Kierz_

Merci!

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie282520

I usually have trouble with Larousse loading etc. It is really a good site when it does. the best. I enjoy looking at roots of words to see where they came from for new words and for memory building. I don't think any of the on line dictionaries show the roots? 943 days of streak is just amazing dedication.

June 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Aside from subjunctive, reading the comments here tells me that "to need" is the same in French as it is in English, having a dual-purpose of expressing 1. a necessity imposed by others on the subject of the verb (The protesters need to move), and 2. a necessity felt by the subject of the verb (the protesters need more money.)

In the first example, "need to" can be replaced by "must/have to/should" without any problems. In the second, that's just not the case. "they need more money" makes sense, while "they must more money" doesn't. And even "they must have more money" doesn't have the same externally imposed quality as "they need to move".

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

It's an interesting observation but I wouldn't want to overstate the function of the grammatical difference, which could also be characterized as simply dependent on whether a noun or a verb follows. "Need" can take either. "Must" requires a verb. External versus internal need, on the other hand, is largely about context: "John needs a job" versus "John needs a swift kick". Who thinks so, and why? ;-)

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aliceuh

"Subjunctive is nearly always found in dependent clauses introduced by que or qui" :

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/ss/subjunctive.htm

November 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnaTall

Thanks Aliceuh. The problem for me is that this example (above) doesn't show any signs of ... subjectivity, as per your link: The subjunctive mood is used to express actions or ideas which are Subjective or otherwise Uncertain: Will/Wanting, Emotion, Doubt, Possibility, Necessity, Judgment. I don't see any o this in this example. I'm sure I'm wrong but would like to understand why. :)

November 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aliceuh

It's tricky for me too because I usually don't reflect on the grammar of my native language. I think "avoir besoin de" expresses a necessity, which is why you should use the subjunctive.

November 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liambennie

Actually, it should be the subjunctive because of the "seul", this is a restrictive subjunctive and does imply doubt and judgement in a certain sense, and therefore subjectivity. There may be other people who need to move as well. The indicative would mean that he is absolutely the only one and would only be used in certain specific circumstances.

November 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnaTall

Thanks @liambennie

April 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BillofKempsey

"need" in the English is subjunctive too.

March 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnaTall

yes, but the sentence above could be easily translated as ' He is the only one who needs to move'

April 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/only_human

Still it is nice to see the subjunctive in English here if only to acknowledge that it still exists.

April 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sally410

Anna, I thought that first. So, to be clear, this could be For there being a need to move him, OR, For him to be the only one needing to move. Is this it?

September 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie282520

wouldn't it then be "he is the only one who need move" ?

June 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1745

So that subjunctive purists and those who are disdainful of its use are acknowledged, both of these forms of English are accepted here. Everyone wins today.

June 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie282520

It's too bad in a way tho. If a higher register were needed, it is now.

June 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M.parlange

excuse my ignorancy, I am not a native English speaker. Do I have to understand that «He is the only one who need to move» is also correct?

December 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

No, "he is the only one who need to move" is not correct.

The equivalent indicative and subjunctive options that Duo gives you are:

  • He is the only one who needs to move. (indicative)
  • He is the only one who need move. (subjunctive)

Notice that with the subjunctive "need", there's no "to" for the following infinitive — we use what's called a "bare infinitive". The indicative "needs", on the other hand, is followed by a to-infinitive.

December 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M.parlange

Thanks a lot, PeaceJoy, for your helpful answer! A lingot for you. I have to write here, not possible elsewhere.

Just another question. What about «He is the only one needing to move»? This was my translation but DL didn't accept it.

Thanks in advance

December 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

"He is the only one needing to move" is correct English. However, it's a less common way of putting it. One reason for this could be that "need" is a verb that we usually treat as stative, and don't typically put in the present continuous, so we see it less often in its "-ing" form. That might be why Duo doesn't like it.

However, stative verbs do sometimes show up in the present continuous form, though the circumstances are not always generalizable from one verb to another. With respect to the sentence in question, you wouldn't hear or see, for example, "he is the only one who is needing to move" in standard English.

But in this particular case, dropping the "is" and retaining the participial phrase makes it more palatable, probably because it takes on a more adjectival character, as opposed to a verbal (present continuous) character. It would probably take me some research to explain it better, but in any event, "I don't see myself needing to move in the near future" is another example of a sentence in which it works (and it's even better there than in the Duo sentence, to my mind).

And "needing to move" is a valid nominalization, e.g. in a sentence like "needing to move (house) but not having anywhere to go would be a very stressful situation".

I have another comment on this page that touches on the translation of this structure to and from French for the current sentence:

December 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jliusiwei

It's hard to explain in this case, but it's similar for superlative adjectives, like for instance, "c'est le meilleur prof que j'aie jamais eu."

June 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/awefulwaffle

According to the webpage below, the subjunctive is often used when the principal clause contains terms such as:

  • le seul, l'unique, le premier, le dernier

Here is the original French text:

De même, le subjonctif est fréquent quand la principale contient les termes tels que : le seul, l'unique, le premier, le dernier.

  • C'est le seul ami que je lui connaisse.

http://grammaire.reverso.net/1_1_20_Le_subjonctif.shtml

October 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ambipath

He is the only one who need move? I don't think I've ever encountered such use of language anywhere. He is the only one who needs to move is the only way I would say this. Weird.

February 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

It's the English subjunctive, which is practically a relic at this point. People still use it, especially with the verb 'be' (e.g. 'if I were to go there'), but you hardly ever hear it in everyday speech otherwise.

April 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ntennis

I don't think "need" is subjunctive in this sentence - rather it is a modal auxiliary verb like "can" or "will".

May 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

No, it is. Auxiliary verbs, modal or not, still need to be conjugated according to whether they're being used subjunctively, which, in this case, it is.

May 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

Okay, I'll buy that for now, or at least that it's some sort of subjunctive and/or deontic, whether or not it follows a relative pronoun. (I'm not quite convinced that it's jussive, and I don't quite understand the difference between that and necessitative.)

Apparently there's some overlap in these categories, in any event (or just some fuzziness). Wikipedia lists the jussive in the category of deontic, and the subjunctive in the category of epistemic, while at the same time saying that the jussive itself is expressed by the subjunctive, e.g. in German.

It's rather academic, anyway, especially to narrow something to a category that's not specifically marked in this language. It's irrealis – of that I'm sure!

October 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ntennis

Replying to talideon above, you can't "unpack modal need" as "it is necessary that + SBJV". Let's apply that to the sentence in question:

*He is the only one who it is necessary that move.

It's not a well-formed English sentence. This also contradicts your earlier claim that it is "need" that is conjugated subjunctively - your formula applies the conjugation instead to "move".

The grammatical category of "mood" (e.g. subjunctive) is one way of expressing the general notion of modality. Alternatively, modality can be expressed by modal verbs. In English, modal verbs are followed by the infinitive - usually the bare infinitive, as in "who need move", "who must move", etc., and sometimes the to-infinitive as in "who ought to move" - not the subjunctive.

November 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

I thought so at first, but upon further consideration I don't know how you could tell for sure, modals being defective.

  • He is the only one that is here. / He is the only one that be here.

The first is indicative, though it follows a relative pronoun. The second is present subjunctive, which clearly sounds outdated, if not simply wrong.

  • He does not need to move. / He need not move.

The first is indicative. The second is a defective modal, but there's nothing to define it as subjunctive per se.

  • He must move. / He is the only one that must move.

The first is a regular defective modal. Is there anything that distinguishes it from the second?

Why assume that because it comes after a relative pronoun, it's a subjunctive, given that an indicative is at home in that position? It could be, but perhaps it need not be.

October 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

Aren't subjunctives annoying? :-)

There are two issues here that are being mixed up, and this is partly down to me giving an incomplete and not pointing out that 'need' here is being used as a semi-modal auxiliary, which you correctly pointed out. I was trying to relate it back to the French usage, but should've made all that more explicit. :-/

The thing about 'need' is that it hides the subjunctive: 'need' is subjunctive by its nature or, more accurately, jussive. English doesn't mark for this but uses modal auxiliaries to do the same job.

French (and German with Konjunktiv I, IIRC) do the same thing by using subjunctive. You could unpack modal 'need' as "it is necessary that + SBJV.", which makes it more obvious.

I wasn't saying that it's just because it comes after a relative pronoun.

October 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie282520

Perhaps it need not be!! there is the subjunctive functioning. I think it is currently a register issue. That term is sort of new to me but it represents a formality used in some situations and works hard to lift.

June 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

re: "He does not need to move. / He need not move.
"The first is indicative. The second is a defective modal, but there's nothing to define it as subjunctive per se."

I think that the mere idea of "needing" to do anything casts the verb in subjunctive. It's self-defining, not requiring some other clause to establish the conditions for subjunctive. "To need" is not an absolute statement, as it carries with it the possibility of not having the need met. It's very close to a bare "if" statement:

"If this be treason, make the most of it."

Given the impending demise of subjunctive in English, it seems to me that the use of this tense in English has more to do with sonority than grammar. For example, I think that the following statements use or don't use subjunctive simply because of the way they sound, although they follow subjunctive or indicative constructions:

"He needs to go" (indicative) is preferable to "He need go". "He need not go" (subjunctive) is no more preferable than "He doesn't need to go" (indicative), but "he needs not to go" (indicative) is really ugly English.

And the still-popular subjunctive remnant, "If I/he/she/it were" sounds better than "If I/he/she/it was", which has a crude kind of sound to it, although even that is starting to fade. But that's the nature of English. It changes a lot.

Note: "you/we/they were" are the same for both indicative and subjunctive. That's true for many English verbs - the subjunctive isn't any different from the indicative, so why bother?

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

@Jeffrey855877: I'm not quite sure what you mean by the statement "the mere idea of 'needing' to do anything casts the verb in subjunctive", given that "need" is commonly used in the indicative.

But in any event, as a result of my thinking and reading about the topic, I've come to see defective modals as subjunctives, and I'm comfortable calling "need" a subjunctive when it looks like one.

I think you're onto something with the idea of sonority, particularly if coupled with the notions of formal and poetic effect.

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

With reference to your reply to talideon at my comment, the question I still don't have a clear answer to is this:

While a modal verb imparts a modality (which is indeed distinguishable from "grammatical mood", though it gets muddled) to a clause (conditional, mandative, etc.), is the modal itself, taken by itself, in a mood, and if so, is it a subjunctive mood by default? Or does it even make any sense to describe the mood of a modal itself (perhaps irrespective of its defective nature)?

Curiously enough, the linguist who wrote the post at the other end of the following link goes so far as to say that English might not even have a subjunctive (wait, what?):

(I don't agree with that one.)

November 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ntennis

My understanding is that grammatical mood involves the use of particular verbal inflections. The modal auxiliaries in English are not considered to be inflected, except for the "present" and "preterite" forms, so they can't be in a mood. In Old English, before these verbs became grammaticalised, they had subjunctive forms like other verbs, but the modal auxiliaries do not derive from these subjunctive forms and I think they more closely resemble the uninflected forms of the indicative mood.

The subjunctive in the French sentence "Il est le seul qui ait besoin de bouger" is apparently triggered by the "seul" in the main clause (according to comments above). I don't see a parallel subjunctive structure here in English, despite what many other commenters on this page seem to think! So thanks for sharing your own reservations about this claim :)

November 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

I agree that there's no parallel structure that would necessitate the subjunctive, but despite my reservations I still think it's possible that the modal can be characterized as subjunctive simply as a modal, and I don't know that it matters whether it was derived from the Old English subjunctive form (partly because there appears to have been a more robust system with several subjunctive forms in Old English, and there's no real carryover into the modern language in any event).

In other words, I have reservations about my reservations.

With "were" as an exception, most current subjunctives look like the bare infinitive. Among the modals, "need" is of course also the form currently used for the subjunctive of that particular verb, but that's just one verb. From what I can tell, however, "ought", "would", "must", "might", "should", and "could", whatever their accepted derivations, all bear a resemblance to singular past subjunctives – of "agan", "willen", "motan", "magan", "sculan", and "cunnan", respectively – which is by no means determinative, but is an interesting fact. (Granted, there are indicative forms that are identical for most of these.) "Will", "may", "shall", and "can", for their part, seem at first blush to be closer vowel-wise to indicative forms in Old or Middle English, but are also not all that far from the singular present subjunctive forms of "willen", "magan", "sculan", and "cunnen", respectively.

So whether or not they're properly called subjunctives in current English, it does appear possible that some if not all of the above evolved from an Old or Middle English subjunctive usage.

Of course, all of that being said, and however they evolved, the question is how to characterize them now. On that note, I have finally found the assertion by a linguist that "the present subjunctive mood also always appears in verb phrases that contain modal verbs". It's on the following page:

I assume she's talking about the modal auxiliary itself, and not the verb following it (which I've always thought was the bare infinitive, or, with "ought", the to-infinitive). It does beg the question, though, of what the point would be of characterizing modals as subjunctive if "(defective) modal" is good enough, and anyway, given that that other linguist seems to think we might not even have a subjunctive in English, I'll take the statement only for what it's worth.

November 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anjel483319

I hear, "if I were to go there," if I were... on a daily basis, podsoblu because I am generally around people who speak British English. Now that you mention that it is relic, I do recall my grandparents and others their age using such phrases. Thank you for jogging my memory.

March 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

I still use it, and I'm in my mid-30s. Then again, my idiolect is essentially high-register Irish-English, which can sound... quaint. :-) The subjunctive is a relic in colloquial English, including BE, but it's still very much present in higher, more formal registers. I personally wouldn't fault anybody for not using it though.

March 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

Even Sarah Palin uses it. (Of course if anyone has an idiolect, it's her.)

If I have one hope for Duolingo, it's that it continue to shine a light on the English subjunctive. ;-)

March 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

This is, in fact, a form of the subjunctive in English that I have heard used - specifically with the verb "need". I felt a little cheer of recognition when I saw it here.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KimSCasey

funny, first I jumped on it and thought "nonono!!" then I thought about it and realised, it is quite correct, but, as talideon mentioned hardly ever used. You will hear, "He is the only one that needs to move." much more often. IMHO.

October 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

It's really odd seeing the subjunctive used in English here, given how little it's used any more.

April 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pir_anha

I was thrilled to see the subjunctive also in the English translation. ;) Nicely done, Duo.

August 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MathewP.

Why is "It is the only one that needs to move" marked wrong?

May 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thurid

wondering the same thing...

October 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie282520

That's interesting. It is the only one that need move? An IT probably can't....unless it is a living being and then of course it can of it's own volition move without BEING moved. So perhaps IT was thought to not apply when it in fact could. Exceptions.

June 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeSuisPianist

I see this commonly. One is referring to a person, therefore, it's: "The only one WHO needs to move." This is virtually ubiquitous now—especially in the US—but one should refer to a person as "who" not "that".

January 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Not to mention the "it" that starts out the proposed translation, if we're talking about a person.

However, in English, we often refer to animals as "it", especially those we do not know or wild animals. (Pets are usually referred to by gender as "he" or "she".) So, if we're talking about an animal "it", then the sentence starts out OK. Question is, whether an "it" animal is something "that" or "who" or "which" [does something]. I'd say that "who" coupled with "it" is wrong, making "that" the actual correct translation.

In today's technology, with responsive robots taking our commands, the proposed translation is quite correct.

The sentence cannot apply to inanimate objects which cannot move out of the way on their own.

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaKapsule44

Below another correct solution :

He is the only one who need move ( without the S ).

August 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bouchka1

Thanks, for that !

August 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VigierMich

"He is the only one needing to move". Why not ?

September 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

That's correct English, and a creative way to avoid deciding whether or not to use the subjunctive.

It's further from the original construction, but arguably still acceptable as a translation, especially since it would probably translate back to the given French, because in French this particular English structure wouldn't be available for saying the same thing (as far as I know).

September 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VigierMich

I think so. Thanks for your feedback. Best regards, Michel

September 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M.parlange

PeaceJoy I think that «he is the only one needing to move» could be translated into French as «il est le seul à avoir besoin de bouger»

And this is also a way to avoid the (French) subjunctive

February 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

Oh – thank you!

February 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/awefulwaffle

According to the webpage below, the subjunctive is often used when the principal clause contains terms such as:

  • le seul, l'unique, le premier, le dernier

Here is the original French text:

De même, le subjonctif est fréquent quand la principale contient les termes tels que : le seul, l'unique, le premier, le dernier.

  • C'est le seul ami que je lui connaisse.

http://grammaire.reverso.net/1_1_20_Le_subjonctif.shtml

October 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

A brief list of English expressions with the subjunctive:

  • Would that it be so.
  • The powers that be.
  • He is the only one that need move. (An acceptable, and once accepted, translation here, as already mentioned in other comments – "who" versus "that" not withstanding – with "need" interpretable as a subjunctive modal.)

Although their construction is less commonly encountered these days, and to many they are archaic sounding, or overly formal, or literary in flavor, they are still correct and understandable English.

And perhaps a useful thing to note is that they are all hypothetical, not actual, with respect to state of being or completion of the action.

We intend that he move; we want it to be so; the powers are unidentified and perhaps even only purported.

And this not-necessarily-being-so, or at least a certain amount of subjectivity in the statement being made, is an important criterion for the French subjunctive, even with so-called absolutes or "superlatives", per Lawless.

January 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnaTall

Some more examples of English subjunctive: 'if i WERE a rich man' if I WERE you etc If he WERE to join us

October 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

Indeed, that's a way of using it that remains pretty common. Less common in the real world, but common enough in stories, and still useful on occasion in life: Long live the king/queen!

October 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/no1uno

"... who must move" was not accepted. reported.

January 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oyttb

"must" is a stronger word than "needs to", and I think would be better translated with "devoir" and not "avoir besoin de"

March 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ngmuipai

That's an entirely subjective judgment. There's no difference in meaning between "only one who must move" and "only one who needs to move." In neither case is there any leeway.

July 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bouchka1

The Conditional present on easy English tells me:

The present subjunctive is the infinitive without 'to' for all verbs including 'be' and 'have'.

With the exception of the verb 'to be' it looks like the present tense with the particularity that the 3rd person singular has no 's'.

In the sentence we translate needs a "s". missing something? Thanks for your help. I just find the answer below

April 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

Glad you found the answer. To be clear, unlike French, contemporary English doesn't require the subjunctive here. Though it can be used, it's less common.

April 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hisham792719

Guys, I have no idea what's going on in this lesson. Are we learning a different tense of verbs that come after qui?

July 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

It's about when to use the subjunctive, which can come after expressions with "qui" or "que". This particular question gives an example of the use of the subjunctive after absolutes (or, as labeled by some, "superlatives") such as "le seul qui...".

The subjunctive with superlatives:

The subjunctive in general:

July 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pigslew

Why not "it's the only one that needs moving"?

August 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

I can't say for sure about whether "it" is acceptable, but as for the verb, you've entirely shifted the meaning. He/it needs to move (active); if he/it needs moving, then that is passive, i.e., someone else would be moving him/it. Entirely different.

October 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

I'm not sure about "it", either, because we could be talking about a wild animal, which English-speakers would refer to as "it" and which is capable of moving on it's own (not requiring passive movement by someone outside it). Or with today's technology, a Roomba or other kind of sensate robot.

The passive/active distinction is what kills "that need moving" for me, since it's really better stated as "it needs to be moved". So, I'd think in French, you'd say something like "il doit être déplacé".

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/contrl

I think this is the first time I've seen "ait" used anywhere and there's no drop-down to explain its usage.

August 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jliusiwei

The subjunctive is often used for superlative adjectives when the fact is not objectively proven to be true. For instance, "c'est la plus belle femme que j'aie jamais vue" or "c'est le meilleur prof que j'aie jamais eu." In these cases, the "plus belle" and "meilleur" are superlatives (expressing an extreme...the most, the best). Similarly, "seul," "unique," "premier," "dernier," etc. express an extreme in the same way, and therefore a subjunctive form is called for.

August 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/contrl

Thank you for that! :)

August 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bizworld

Can one also say?..... C'est le seul qui ait besoin de bouger.

August 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1745

Yes, that is accepted.

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bizworld

Ok, thanks.

July 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rosa871766

Im confused. Do you mean he is the only one that needs to move?

September 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1745

Yes, that is the same thing said in the present indicative (avoiding use of the subjunctive).

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skippersan

Why not "He is the only one who needs to get out of the way?"

October 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1745

It is accepted now.

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

Too specific, no? Does he need to get out of the way, or does he need to move into the frame of the photograph?

October 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bahron

Can the french sentence mean both ? - Of all the people, WE need HIM to move, no one else. - Of all the people, only he felt the need to move.

December 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

Only guessing, but I imagine that it's the same in French as in English, where the need is associated with "him", but it could be an expression of his internal motivation or a projection of our own feelings, or it could be just an objective assessment that if he doesn't move, something bad will happen to him.

December 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lesprit_de_l...

Is bouger where we get the English budge from?

September 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

Yes. Or from the Middle French version of the word (which was essentially the same).

September 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lesprit_de_l...

Thanks. One of the side benefits of learning a foreign language is discovering the roots of your own.

September 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

Agreed. :-)

September 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amir.pro

Why qui ait is not written as qu'ait?

November 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

That's not a combination of letters that gives rise to an elision, typically.

"Que" gets elided, though, before a vowel.

A note on your English: It should be "Why is qui ait not...". However, if you were to say "Tell me why..." then you would say "...qui ait is not...", without the inversion.

November 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1745

"Qui" is never contracted.

March 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lchu813

Hmm that translation isnt english subjunctive. The proper word by word translation is 'He is the only one who had need of moving' But we never say that because we rarely use subjontive in english. We might say 'he is the only one who had need of the policy' or something like that.

'Needs' is indicative...

English conjugation Subjunctive Present subjunctive I need you need he/she/it need we need you need they need

March 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1745

In English, it is not subjunctive, but in French, it is. The reason is the expression "il/elle est le seul(e) qui ....". This construct virtually always invokes the subjunctive among native French speakers.

April 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

I believe "had need" would simply be interpreted as the past indicative, rather than any kind of subjunctive. (And the French "ait besoin" is a present subjunctive.)

March 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChromateX

Is it still correct to say "Il est le seul qui a besoin de bouger"?

October 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1745

I have been told that such a sentence is grammatically correct but that no francophone would ever say it. We hear the argument frequently used that if something is grammatically correct, it must be accepted. This example debunks that argument.

March 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Teasmade

Why was "He is the only one who has need to move" marked as wrong?

August 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

It's peculiar in English, if not exactly wrong. "...who needs to move" or "...who need move" are both more comfortable to my ear.

October 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

This is just something that resonates in my English-speaking mind, but "has need" is usually followed by the preposition "of [something]." For example, "He has need of help/money/an education." And, although English gerunds (unlike Romance language gerunds) function as nouns, they do not suit this particular idiom. Thus, "He has need of being educated" just isn't an English idiom, like "has need to" is not an English idiom, at least not to my well-read ears.

Finally, since the "need" here involves action - a verb - it can't fit the idiomatic structure of "has need of".

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StevieW-Au

'Got to' ! What the! HAS TO or NEEDS TO' . Don't let bad US 'version' English into Duolingo. Webster already prevented them learning to spell correctly but he didn't change tensecand verbs reading need and requirement. Ick. Super poor 'English' as 'correct' translation here.

February 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

You seem to be influenced by the "US version" of English you decry.

In fact "have/has got to" is not an Americanism and is more common in British English, though it's by no means uncommon in N. Am. English (and in colloquial speech, "[ 've / 's ] gotta" is also not uncommon N. Am.).

For the Americanism, perhaps you're thinking of the use of "gotten" versus "got" as a participle. Many in the UK are rankled that the former is gaining ground there (and some in Australia are also against it), but it's interesting to note that it originated in Britain long before colonization, and was used by the likes of Shakespeare, Bacon, and Pope.

February 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LesAussi

"He alone needs to move." means precisely the same in English. Why is it not accepted?

April 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

You can try reporting it.

Structure-wise, though, "lui seul" is possible in French and seems to be used for "he alone", even as subject. Examples of "il seul" also exist online, but fewer. (I'd want to hear from a native speaker as to how natural either of these sounds or how common it is.)

April 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/987jackie

English being my second language and this French course not even available in Dutch, my English even rather well...... I think DL should refrain from using this uncommon English. It is making it hard for some people to learn French. Even for native English speakers.... I wonder if everybody would know the English subjective.

February 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1745

Although the subjunctive is not used much in everyday English, the subjunctive is common in French. In order to understand it, we examine the subjunctive counterpart in English but accept an English sentence written in the indicative.

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jullobla

I am thinking quite the opposite; I consider my English rather good but it is nevertheless my third language and I enjoy learning this little nuances that I would otherwise not come across and that enrichen my English as well.

September 9, 2017
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