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    Things to Know About the French Subjunctive

    Are you familiar with French Subjunctive? Understanding the special verb form called mood usually seems tough to many.

    Things to Know About the French Subjunctive
    By Sami
    3 weeks ago
    french-subjunctive

    French Grammar French Lessons

    Things to Know About the French Subjunctive

Worry not! To make things easier for you, we have listed here the top things that help you in learning and understanding them effectively.

What is the French Subjunctive?

The grammatical mood that describes the attitude of the subject is referred to as the French subjunctive. Different languages, including French and English, use it to express unreality, subjectivity, or uncertainty of the speaker’s mind. But the frequency of its usage is more seen in French.

Subjunctive comes from two things – subjectivity and unreality and uses the indicative mood. It only uses the present and past tense. If there is some event that is yet to happen in the future, there also present tense is used.

French Subjunctive – Usage

In the French language, subjective is used after conjunctions and verbs, when there are different subjects in different parts of the sentence.

Il veut qu’elle soit présente.
He wants her to be present.

The above sentence has two parts. In the first part, Il is the subject, whereas in the second part, elle is the subject. “Soit” is subjunctive here.

Common verbs after which subjunctive appears:

Wishing something

vouloir que  – to want that
désirer que  – to wish or desire
aimer que  – to like that
aimer mieux que  / préférer que – To prefer that

Giving opinion

valoir mieux que  – better than or would be better

Fearing something

avoir peur que – be afraid that

To say how you feel

être surpris que  – to be surprised that
être content que – to be happy or pleased that
regretter que – regret that or to be sorry that

Some of the verbal expressions that start with il, also have subjunctive.

Il vaut mieux que
It is better that

il faut que
It is necessary that

Formation of the subjunctive with –er verbs

For forming present subjunctive, take the infinitive and replace “er” with the correct ending as per the pronoun used here.
Let us see how donn changes here:

Je – e

Je donne (I give)

Tu – es

Tu donnes (you give)

Il/elle/on – e

Il/elle/on donne (he/she/it give)

Nous – ions

nous donnions (we give)

Vous – iez

vous donniez (you give)

ils/elles – ent

Ils/ elles donnent (they give)

Formation of the subjunctive with –re verbs

For forming present subjunctive, take the infinitive and replace “re” with the correct ending as per the pronoun used here.
You should note here that the endings used here are the same as that used for –er verbs.
Let us see how attend changes here:

Je – e

j’attende (I wait)

Tu – es

tu attendes (you wait)

Il/elle/on – e

Il/elle/on attende (he/she/it waits)

Nous – ions

nous attendions (we wait)

Vous – iez

vous attendiez (you wait)

ils/elles – ent

Ils/ elles attendent (they wait)

Formation of the subjunctive with –ir verbs

For forming present subjunctive, take the infinitive and replace “ir” with the correct ending as per the pronoun used here.
Let us see how fin changes here:

Je – isse

Je finisse (I finish)

Tu – isses

Tu finisses (you finish)

Il/elle/on – isse

Il/elle/on finisse (he/she/it finishes)

Nous – issions

nous finissions (we finish)

Vous – issiez

vous finissiez (you finish)

ils/elles – issent

Ils/ elles finissent (they finish)

Verbs with Irregular subjunctives

While learning French, you will come across plenty of Irregular verbs. For such verbs, you can’t irregularity in the subjunctive.
We are mentioning some of them here:

aller – to go

je (j’) – aille
tu – ailles
il/elle/on – aille
nous – allions
vous – alliez
ils/elles – aillent

avoir – to have

je (j’) – aie
tu – aies
il/elle/on – ait
nous – ayons
vous – ayez
ils/elles – aient

devoir – to have, to must

je (j’) – doive
tu – doives
il/elle/on – doive
nous – devions
vous – deviez
ils/elles – doivent

dire – to say, to tell

je (j’) – dise
tu – dises
il/elle/on – dise
nous – disions
vous – disiez
ils/elles – disent

être – to be

je (j’) – sois
tu – sois
il/elle/on – soit
nous – soyons
vous – soyez
ils/elles – soient

faire – to do, to make

je (j’) – fasse
tu – fasses
il/elle/on – fasse
nous – fassions
vous – fassiez
ils/elles – fassent

pouvoir – to be able to, can

je (j’) – puisse
tu – puisses
il/elle/on – puisse
nous – puissions
vous – puissiez
ils/elles – puissent

prendre – to take

je (j’) – prenne
tu – prennes
il/elle/on – prenne
nous – prenions
vous n- preniez
ils/elles – prennent

savoir – to know

je (j’) – sache
tu – saches
il/elle/on – sache
nous – sachions
vous – sachiez
ils/elles – sachent

venir – to come

je (j’) – vienne
tu – viennes
il/elle/on – vienne
nous – venions
vous – veniez
ils/elles – viennent

vouloir – to come

je (j’) – veuille
tu – veuilles
il/elle/on – veuille
nous – voulions
vous – vouliez
ils/elles – veuillent

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