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Subjonctif in French


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One of the more difficult aspects of learning French (and related languages like Italian, Spanish and Portuguese) is use of the subjunctive (subjonctif). From what I remember from my French grammar book, the subjunctive is used with verbs that express something uncertain. Sentences about things that have to do with wanting, doubt, strong emotions, necessity etc. It is almost always used with "que" or "qui"

Je veux qu'il le fasse NOT je veux qu'il le fait.

(I want him to do it)

Il faut que je parte NOT il faut que je pars.

(I have to leave)

I believe any sentence that has to do with emotions always uses the subjonctif.

J'apprécie qu'il soit venu chez moi NOT j'apprécie qu'il est venu chez moi.

(I appreciate that he came to my place)

Il est surprenant qu'il soit malade NOT Il est surprenant qu'il est malade.

(It is surprising that he is sick)

Feel free to share your experiences regarding learning the French subjunctive/ subjonctif.

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When I speak French, I tend to use the subjonctif with certain prepositions (but not all) like "avant"; so in French, "before I leave" is "avant que je parte". BUT "after I leave" is "après que je pars".

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  • 2 months later...

I have been making the same mistake all over again when i talk to French customers that call over the phone (in my work of course), but when i started getting some experience i noticed that there are a lot of people that use the Subjonctif mode a lot especially when they use sentences like:

I have to do it now - il faut que je le fasse maintenant (which is very common in French)

Then i started realizing the importance of that mode, and i discovered that learning it can be easy through reading books and practicing my French language.

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