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The « ne explétif » and Verbs using the Subjunctive in the Negative Form

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”. But again, not all subordinate clauses require the subjunctive tense.

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, emotion, obligation, fear, judgment, necessity or wish.

In this lesson we will learn about the “ne explétif” and also about a few verbs that require the subjunctive in the negative form.

The “ne” explétif is the “ne” we add to the verb when it is preceded with certain verbs and expressions.

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