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  5. "I want you to eat cheese."

"I want you to eat cheese."

Translation:Je veux que tu manges du fromage.

April 5, 2013



I am coming from a multiple choice example where I correctly selected this answer which I will copy and paste directly here:

Je veux que vous mangiez du fromage.

I selected this answer because the other two were clearly wrong. However, I hadn't seen the mangiez format before and wondered why Duo would throw in some new conjugation without warning.

Coming to these comments I see that it is indeed a new conjugation. So I have two questions.

First, what is the subjunctive in French?

Second, if I did indeed select the correct answer why is the translation at the top of the this page rendered in the present tense, one that was not available on the multiple choice example?


For your first question, subjunctive is a mood used to express facts when they are still thoughts, wishes, dreams or imaginations.

For more information, see this link : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subjunctive_mood

For your second question, for most exercises there will be more than one correct answer, but they chose to show only one on the feedback page (which I hope will change in the near future).


There was only one correct answer out of the three. If I remember correctly manger was given in the present tense in the other choices but they had other things wrong with them.

From what you say I can see what subjunctive form is and why a separate conjugation would be handy. But then I wonder why it isn't used at the top of this page.

And thanks for the link.


Thanks so much! But when do you use subjunctive vs reflexive verbs


Subjunctive is not a kind of verb, it's a mood. All verbs can use the subjunctive mood, whether they are reflexive or not, it only depends which tense they use. As I explained above, you use this mood when what you want to express are not pure facts but rather thoughts or expectations. If the article I provided is not enough, feel free to do more research on the matter.

  • Indicative mood with a reflexive verb: "Nous nous suicidons." (présent de l'indicatif)
  • Indicative mood with a non-reflexive verb: "Nous regardons la maison." (présent de l'indicatif)
  • Subjunctive mood with a reflexive verb: "Il faut que nous nous suicidions." (présent de l'indicatif for "falloir" and présent du subjonctif for "se suicider")
  • Subjunctive mood with a non-reflexive verb: "Il faut que nous regardions la maison."

Reflexive verbs in the other hand, are simply verbs which use an additional pronoun referring to the subject, to indicate that the action is made on the subject itself. There are verbs that can only be reflexive, like "se suicider", and there are verbs that can have more than the reflexive form, like "se regarder" vs "regarder". Watch out, because the meaning of the reflexive form and the non-reflexive form can differ, like "s'attendre" (to expect) vs "attendre" (to wait).


Wouldn't the correct translation of this actually use the subjunctive though because "I" wish that "you" eat the cheese (it is not yet certain that you will eat it)? I just figured out that it just so happens that the indicative and subjunctive moods are identical for the singular pronouns for « manger ».


It does use the subjunctive, for "manger". And you are correct, subjunctive and indicative presents are the same for "manger", except for the first and second person plural, that's why it's hard to spot in this sentence, only "que" suggests that we use the subjunctive.


Just for starters, if you see: (clause) + (que/qui/qu') + (dependent clause) there's a good chance that the subjunctive is required. There are numerous exceptions to my made up rule though. E. G., the primary clause contains the verb être, you're recounting what someone said, any verb in the primary clause that is concrete and leaves no room for doubt/opinion/possibility like je sais que...



I see. All very simple. Especially in conversation.

But otherwise thx.


Why is "je te veux manger du fromage" wrong? Is it just gibberish?


It's not correct French.


Can you elaborate? Is it the te in front of the veux that's wrong? Or are we asking someone to eat themselves by putting it in front of the manger? Where, specifically, is the offense?


There is no offense, it's just that it doesn't make sense.

In English, we don't necessarily have to use a conjunction for a subordinate clause, but in French we do. Here we have to use a subordinating conjunction : "que".

Also, "Je te veux" means "I want you", but implying a sexual connotation (the person really wants another person, not an action made by this person), it doesn't make sense in this sentence, and, as I said above, there is nothing connecting "Je te veux" with "manger du fromage", which makes even less sense.


Thank you so much for clarifying this for me. Surely there is some kind of grammatical construct here...direct/indirect, etc, etc, etc.


Whoa... they're asking us to use the subjunctive here. In the tu form, it is the same as the regular present, manges. But if you used vous here, then you needed to write "vous mangiez".


That's because it's how "manger" is conjugated to the subjunctive present.

For more information :



Doesn't mangez not have an "i"?


Read the previous posts. The tense is different, that's why "manger" is conjugated differently.


Why is "Je veux tu manger du fromage" incorrect, where did the "que" come from ?


My answer to @Djones123 and @Droplettt applies to your question as well.


why "Je veux que vous mangiez du fromage." and "Je veux que tu manges du fromage." are both right?

since "mangiez" is subjuctive and "manges" is present?


Subjunctive is not a tense, it's a mood, like imperative and indicative, there are several tenses in each mood.

"Je veux que vous mangiez du fromage." and "Je veux que tu manges du fromage." are both using "présent de l'indicatif" for the verb "vouloir" and "présent du subjonctif" for the verb "manger".

You can check the conjugation for those verbs here:




Why isn't vouloir subjunctive?


Because it's a fact that "I" want "you" to eat some cheese. Whether or not "you" eat it is an entirely different matter. The act of "my" wanting (« vouloir »), since it is a fact, is indicative; because it is uncertain whether "you" will do it, « manger » is in the subjunctive. Generally, the verbs before « que » are in the indicative mood (because they're factual), and the verbs after « que » are in the subjunctive mood.

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