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"I doubt that this guidebook will describe the region well."

Translation:Je doute que ce guide décrive bien la région.

July 13, 2020

27 Comments


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

How do you get will describe (future tense) from decrive? Should that just be describes?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

I got this one wrong as well. Reported it. I think that the French sentence says "I doubt that this guide describes the region well."

(I also quibble with duolingo's insistence on the word "guidebook".)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lucien660983

No, the sentence is correct. There is not future subjunctive in French, so if the sentence structure implies the use of the subjunctive, it remains in the present tense even when you're talking about the future. Counter-intuitive, and a lot of French do the mistake (they would use indicative future, even though it's a mistake), but it is how it is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

There is not future subjunctive in French

No one is claiming that there is. In my case (and I assume in Lsadun's as well), the English sentence appeared first. The English sentence is clearly future indicative. Based on Graham's recent post, it appears that our reporting has paid off. They now accept the future indicative.

I just now encountered this sentence again and this time I remembered that it wants the subjunctive mood and I wrote it that way and it was correct. I was just curious to see if I had commented on it before. It seems that I have. And I stand by my original comment.

I do appreciate that many of these sentences are teaching the subjunctive mood. In fact I made a post about that recently. Perhaps you misinterpret my complaint: I do not quibble with the French sentence. I simply point out that the English sentence is not a faithful translation of the French sentence. To clarify: I am not claiming that this sentence should be written in the future indicative in French, merely that the English translation suggests that it is.


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

I would put it slightly differently. The French sentence uses the present subjunctive because there isn't a future subjunctive. (Thanks for teaching us that, Lucien!) So it's a correct translation of an English sentence in the future indicative. But it's also a correct translation of an English sentence in the present indicative. So both the present and future are correct English translations of the French sentence.

This example may also reflect different thinking about present and future. The guidebook already exists (present tense) but we probably haven't read it yet, so our reading is probably in the future. Does that put the description in the present or the future? As a native speaker of American English, I would always use the present and say I doubt that this guidebook describes the region well. But maybe others (Brits, please weigh in!) would use the future tense.


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

To add: in South African English both "will describe" and "describes" would be used more or less equally! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sally810296

I think the point is that when a French speaker wants to indicate the future subjunctive, he uses the present subjunctive. The context tells you that the meaning is or can be future.


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

I agree with LSadun. But Angus is flat out wrong.

You made a mistake, Angus, which some French people make too. You used the future indicative when subjunctive is required. Regardless of the English tens, this phrase (douter que) absolutely calls for the relative clause to use the subjunctive mood. If Duolingo accepts futur simple, that is also a mistake. Unfortunately, your incorrect posts will confuse fellow users. They should be edited or deleted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Citi93758

Thank you. I agree


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

What is a future subjunctive, I'm too thick for these terms


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

« décrira » is accepted! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lucien660983

I don't think it should be… indicative mood after "douter que"… That's not good French…


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

Thanks for that! :)


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

But it shouldn't be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paultaylor2015

Because it is the present subjunctive tense and not the future. This tense is a "mood" and is used with expressions of wish, desire, emotion and doubt.

Duolingo doesn't really have a module on this but it does crop up a few times. You should be able to find more info on the internet.


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

You're outdated. Duolingo now has several modules on the subjunctive, including the module we're working on right now.


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

'Will desribe' in english suggests that the guide has not been written or bought or read yet!


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

At least it hasn't been read yet. If had been read, there would be no doubt about it's descriptiveness.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fox473827

To be absolutely correct, the answer should be "que ce guide NE décrive bien...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Louradour5

non car deux négations en grammaire = une affirmation.


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

Why not décrivera since you are using a future?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Louradour5

It is not a future and if it were it would be décrira


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

We're not allowed to use the future tense after je doute que because the subjunctive mood is required. There's no such thing as a future subjunctive, so use the present subjunctive.

More info: https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/french-verb-conjugation/understanding-french-subjunctive/


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

Je ne comprends pas pourquoi "decrivera" n'est pas accepte.


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

Because there's no such word: the correct conjugation for future tense is « décrira » & it is accepted! :)

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