Home > French > Grammar > Subjunctive


The subjunctive is frequently used whenever there is the least bit of judgement made about something.

Il serait bon que Marie aille se brosser les dents.
It would be good for Marie to go brush her teeth.

Son père approuve qu'il l'ait epousée.
His father approves that he married her.

Il convient que Louis la conduise a la gare.
It's suitable that Louis drives her to the station.

Il vaut mieux que vous pensiez plus aux possibilités positives au lieu des possibilités negatives.
It is better that you think more of the positive possibilities rather than the negative ones.

Besides simple approval or disapproval, whenever any sort of emotion is expressed in regards to something use the subjunctive.

C'est incroyable que mon comptable aient perdu tout mon argent.
It's incredible that my accountant lost all my money.

C'est surprenant que la vie soit apparue sur Terre.
It is surprising that life appeared on Earth.

Amelie est ravie que son petit ami lui ait offert des fleurs.
Amelie is delighted that her boy friend gave her flowers.

Madeleine est enchantée que le petit ami d'Amelie l'ait quittée pour elle.
Madeleine is delighted that the boy friend of Amelie left her for her.

C'est indispensable que tu apprennes ta lecon.
It is essential that you learn your lesson.

Quel domage que nous avions raté la lecture de Bernard Pivot.
What a pity that we missed the of Bernard Pivot.

Cela m'agace qu'il m'ait planquée.
It aggravates me that he stood me up.

Contrary to how the subjunctive was used in the sections discussing volition and doubt, here the subjunctive is often used within phrases that express fact- phrases that actually express the concrete. The focus of the sentence is key here. The emphasis of the above sentences is on the judgment or emotion, thus the subjunctive is used. If the sentence is constructed in such a way that the reporting of concrete reality is the focus, then the indicative is used.
Next >>

Home | About | Collaborate/Volunteer | Donations | Contact | Newsletter | Blog | Preferences