French Learning Video Blog, Feb 26, on French subjunctive present

French Learning Video Blog, Feb 26, on French subjunctive present

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Added by February 26, 2015

FRENCH SUBJUNCTIVE PRESENT

Learn French conjugations “au présent du subjonctif”

COUCOU!

Heavy weights to lift today. We’re going to learn or review the present of the subjunctive. 

The tricky part of this lesson is that you guys hardly ever use the subjunctive in English. But in French, we use it quite a lot and it is usually used inside a clause introduced by the relative “QUE”. 

HOW TO FORM THE FRENCH SUBJUNCTIVE PRESENT

First, how do we conjugate a verb in the present of the subjunctive? You take the “ils/elles” form of the present of the indicative, and you add the following endings: -E, -ES, -E, -IONS, -IEZ, -ENT

If we take the verb CHANTER for example, we’ll have: QUE JE CHANTE, QUE TU CHANTES, QU’IL/ELLE/ON CHANTE, QUE NOUS CHANTIONS, QUE VOUS CHANTIEZ, QU’ILS/ELLES CHANTENT

Watch out though, because there are also a bunch of irregular verbs that you will just need to memorize as they follow a pattern of their own unfortunately.

WHEN TO USE THE SUBJUNCTIVE IN FRENCH

Then, when do we use the subjunctive in French:

  1. To express a feeling, as seen in yesterday’s video with the sentence:
  2. JE CRAINS QU’IL NE SOIT TROP TARD. – I fear it might be too late

SOIT is the subjunctive present form of the verb “to be”, ÊTRE

Another example… JE SUIS SUPER CONTENTE QU’IL VIENNE CHEZ MOI.

  1. To express a doubt:
  2. JE NE SUIS PAS SÛRE QU’IL VIENNE. – I doubt he will come
  3. To express a wish / a desire:
  4. IL VEUT QUE J’Y AILLE – He wants me to go.
  5. In an exclamation such as: 
  6. QU’IL VIENNE, JE L’ATTENDS! – He can come, I’m waiting for him!
  7. After a bunch of expressions generally related to emotion, doubt, necessity, will, obligation, but not always. I’ll give you examples with some of the most common ones: 
  8. OH TOI, IL FAUT QUE TU TE TAISES – Oh, you must stop talking.
  9. IL EST NATUREL QUE VOUS FASSIEZ DES PROGRÈS EN FRANÇAIS. – It’s natural that you’re making progress in French.
  10. APPELLE-MOI AVANT QUE JE ME FACHE – Call me before I get mad. 

Again, these are only a few examples, there are too many of those expressions for me to list them all right now. 

 FRENCH SUBJUNCTIVE WITH “PENSER”, “CROIRE”, “TROUVER”

I’ll finish with one little point. Whenever you’re using the verbs PENSER, or CROIRE, or TROUVER, in the affirmative, to express a thought or a belief, you will use the indicative present in a present context. In a way, you present your thought as a certainty. 

JE CROIS QU’ELLE RÉFLÉCHIT TROP! – I think that she thinks too much

But if the thought is expressed in the negative form or as a question, then the verbs PENSER, CROIRE, and TROUVER, can be followed by a subjunctive, and often will be, to underline the uncertainty of the thought. 

JE NE PENSE PAS QU’ELLE RÉFLÉCHISSE TROP! 

Ok, that was an express lesson on the subjunctive present. Hope you will digest it easily! I’ll see you guys tomorrow! 

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