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Use of the Present Subjunctive with Certain Verbs

The subjunctive tense is common in the French language. However, it can be challenging for non-native French speakers to determine in which situations to use it and with which phrases and verbs.

In this chapter, we will study the form of the present subjunctive as well as its use. First we will start with the form of the verbs then we’ll explore the use of this tense.

The subjunctive tense is ALWAYS preceded with “que”. So in all the conjugations of the verbs throughout this chapter, we will have “que” before the verb in the subjunctive.

In this part, we will try to answer a very common question that French learners often ask: When do we use the present subjunctive?

We use the subjunctive in subordinate clauses introduced by the relative pronoun “que”.

First, it is important to mention that the use of the present subjunctive depends more on the meaning expressed in the sentence than the verbs or the expressions that are used in the sentence. That’s why it is sometimes hard to determine whether we should use the subjunctive, the indicative or the conditional.

The subjunctive is generally used when we want to express probability, possibility, uncertainty, obligation, fear, judgment, necessity or wish. In this lesson, we will study the verbs that are commonly used with the subjunctive when a subordinate clause is present in the sentence.

Note that it is necessary to have two different subjects in the sentence; otherwise, the infinitive or the indicative is used.

Study the following examples:

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