Subjunctive in French – Part 1



French Subjunctive Mood – How to Form it:

First, be sure that a lot of people in France make mistakes using this mood!

-Second, there is a tendancy to use the conditional mood or the future tense instead, when it is possible.

-There are 4 tenses in this mood but one is really used the present tense, the other ones nearly disapeared!

the video :


A- Subjunctive in English:

It may help to understand the subjunctive in French, even if it is not really known that the subjunctive also exists in English, let’s see these expressions:

God save the Queen
God bless America
It is important that you be here before 10 pm
I wish I were young
As you see the verb “save” has no final “s” and you do not say “blesses”, this is the subjunctive in English!

B- Subjunctive in French:

 

The word subjunctive comes from the Latin language and means “put after”, so we need something before that specifies the use of the subjunctive mood, it is usually the word “que” (that)! In the previous example we have the subjunctive after the expression: “it is important that”.
1- how to form the subjunctive in French:

Regular verbs:
You use the “they” form of the present tense of the indicative mood in French, for example with the verb “aimer” (to like, to love), the they form is:
Ils or Elles aiment.
You drop the end “ent” and add the subjunctive endings:

 

-e, -es, -e, -ions, -iez, -ent
So:
Que j’aime
Que tu aimes
Qu’il or qu’elle aime
Que nous aimions
Que vous aimiez
Qu’ils or qu’elles aiment
As you can see some forms look like the present tense, with the verb “finir” (to finish) it is different:
They finish: Ils finissent, you drop the end and you get:
Que je finisse
Que tu finisses
Qu’il finisse
Que nous finissions
Que vous finissiez
Qu’ils finissent
Irregular verbs:
Avoir: to haveQue j’aieQue tu aiesQu’il ait

Que nous ayons

Que vous ayez

Qu’ils aient

Etre: to beQue je soisQue tu soisQu’il soit

Que nous soyons

Que vous soyez

Qu’ils soient

Aller : to goQue j’ailleQue tu aillesQu’il aille

Que nous allions

Que vous alliez

Qu’ils aillent

Faire : to do, to makeQue je fasseQue tu fassesQu’il fasse

Que nous fassions

Que vous fassiez

Qu’ils fassent

Pouvoir : canQue je puisseQue tu puissesQu’il puisse

Que nous puissions

Que vous puissiez

Qu’ils puissent

Vouloir : to wantQue je veuilleQue tu veuillesQu’il veuille

Que nous voulions

Que vous vouliez

Qu’ils veuillent

Savoir : to knowQue je sacheQue tu sachesQu’il sache

Que nous sachions

Que vous sachiez

Qu’ils sachent

Voir : to seeQue je voieQue tu voiesQu’il voie

Que nous voyions

Que vous voyiez

Qu’ils voient

In the part 2 we will see when to use the French subjunctive, exercises: Quiz Regular Verbs, Quiz Irregular Verbs. If you have a doubt you can go to the French home page, you will find a conjugator.

Quiz IQuiz II

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13 thoughts on “Subjunctive in French – Part 1

  1. admin Post author

    My name is Bri, and I am a French Major at Rollins College. I had the good fortune to discover your channel the night before my final exam, and your tutorials on the use of the subjunctive mood were invaluable!

    I know that TONS of people would enjoy more of your common-sense, clear-cut explanations!

    Your teaching style makes the most complex concept sound so easy. I don’t know how you do it, but please keep it up!

  2. MademoiselleKelly

    I am a high school French teacher, and teaching my French III students the subjunctive mood using the textbook has been confusing for them. Once I showed this video, it became much clearer. Thank you for this straight-forward approach to a very difficult concept!

  3. carol

    Thank you so much, this lesson was so clear, but when trying to solve the quiz I couldn’t type  the words with the accents, and I couldn’t highlight the word to copy and paste ..so Can you please add a keyboard with the french letters to this great site, Thank you so much

  4. mahmoud

    i’m a student in french Literature department  i take this lesson before in my class but i found it here so easy and clear
    thank you

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  7. Jaffery Hussayn

    Monsieur Pascal, Je t’aime!!!!! C’ètait très compiquer pour moi, alors je vais très bien:) Merci man

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