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french subjunctive

How to get one's brain round the french subjunctive. Help please!

July 15, 2017



The subjunctive is used mostly with verbs or adverbs expressing desire, doubt, order, or occurrence. Almost always preceded by que (that).

Similar uses to English:

Demand, command, encourage to do something Il faut qu’elle comprenne cela ("t is necessary that she understand that)

Expressing a desire to do the act denoted by the root verb eg Vive le roi!

Subordinate clauses: for example with although and before, the subjunctive is used

Bien que ce soit ton anniversaire (Although/even though it is your birthday)

Avant que je m’en aille (Before I go away)

Imperfect subjunctive - used in older, formal, or literary writing, replaces the present subjunctive in a subordinate clause when the main clause is in a past tense.


Thank you Xamaranth for your concise explanation, but it still does not make it any easier to learn as the other verb tenses but I will persevere.


There are a few guidelines, but exceptions are easily found and overall it's not very logical at all. Here are some links I used for help.

https://www.talkinfrench.com/french-subjunctive-phrases/ https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/understanding-french-subjunctive


Thank you for your input , all very useful.

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