MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

478 views

What is the subjunctive?

The most important things to know about the subjunctive are:

It is not a tense

It is a ‘mood’ or -

An expression of uncertainty

One of the problems we have is that in English we will use words like ‘may’ plus our normal verb to express uncertainty but in French we use the subjunctive form of the verb. This does not change the meaning of the verb, just expresses an uncertainty within the verb.

Here is an example:

‘I am worried that the train may be late this afternoon’ translates as:

‘J’ai peur que le train soit en retard ce l’après-midi.’

Here I am using the third person singular (the train) present subjunctive of the verb ‘to be’ (‘être’) which is ‘soit’ to express uncertainty.

If I am certain the train will be late, I simply use the future tense:

‘The train will be late this afternoon.’

‘Le train sera en retard ce l’après-midi.’

One of the reasons that we worry about the subjunctive (J’ai peur que le subjonctif soit difficile.’) is that it is does not appear to be regular. Because we use it so much everyday it takes on irregular forms that have to be learnt. Also, some verbs do not make the change to a different form – they stay the same. So, it can be confusing!

However, if you can learn the subjunctive forms of just ‘être’ and ‘avoir’, you will have gone a long way to mastering the use of the subjunctive required in GCSE French.

Olivia B. GCSE English Literature tutor, GCSE Italian tutor, GCSE Fre...

11 months ago

Answered by Olivia, a GCSE French tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

160 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£36 /hr

Edward H.

Degree: Geography (Masters) - Oxford, Balliol College University

Subjects offered:French, Music+ 7 more

French
Music
Maths
Mandarin
Geography
English
Chemistry
.TSA. Oxford.
-Personal Statements-

“I am a Geography student at Oxford University, but I also have experience tutoring in Maths, Chemistry, English, French, Mandarin Chinese, and Music. I am an ethusiastic and dedicated individual, tailoring my classes to the needs of ea...”

£20 /hr

Aidan C.

Degree: Classics & French (Bachelors) - Oxford, Oriel College University

Subjects offered:French, Latin+ 4 more

French
Latin
Classical Greek
.MLAT (Modern Languages)
-Personal Statements-
-Oxbridge Preparation-

“Hi! I'm Aidan, a 2nd year undergraduate, and I'm a big fan of both language and literature :)”

£24 /hr

Sanela B.

Degree: International Trade, Strategy and Operations (Masters) - Warwick University

Subjects offered:French, German+ 1 more

French
German
English

“My goals: - tailor the lessons to your needs. - Understand you. I will do my best to listen to you&answer your questions. - Memory hooks of mnemonics.”

About the author

£22 /hr

Olivia B.

Degree: French and Italian (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered:French, Italian+ 3 more

French
Italian
English Literature
-Personal Statements-

“Hello, my name is Olivia. I have just completed my A levels and I am now studying French and Italian at Bristol University. I have always had a passion for languages and English literature and I really enjoy sharing my enthusiasm with...”

You may also like...

Posts by Olivia

How do I analyse a poem I have never seen before?

What is the subjunctive?

Other GCSE French questions

Difference between horizontal and vertical translations of graphs

What is the difference in 'Est' and 'Et' when writing in French?

How do you form the perfect tense?

How do you conjugate the verb avoir in the conditional tense?

View GCSE French tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok