What is the value of Subjonctif in French?

Subjonctif in French is often a big concern for students. Indeed it is not only a tense we use in daily life but the values seem to be vague. The conjugation of subjonctif is not hard to master but you have to repeat the drills or even better sentences to integrate this perfectly. First, the rule, then we will see what express the subjonctif.

Rule

Subjonctif Présent is built from the verb stem of the third person plural at indicative present. We add to this stem the following endings: first group verb at present tense (-e, -es, -e, -ent), except for the first and second person plural (nous/vous) which are the ending of Imparfait.
There are some exceptions though (which are as usual the most used verbs!)

Here is a graphic to make it easier:

Values of Subjonctif in French

Subjonctif is a mode with many different values. But mostly:

  • obligation
    • Il faut qu’il soit à la réunion demain.
    • Il est nécessaire que vous appreniez votre leçon par cœur.
  • will
    • J’accepte qu‘ils sortent avec leurs amis.
  • advice
    • Il vaut mieux que tu partes tout de suite.
  • wish
    • Je souhaite qu’il vienne.
  • emotions
    • Je suis content que tu viennes.
    • Pierre est triste que Jeanne soit partie.
  • feelings
    • J’ai peur qu’il ait oublié notre rendez-vous.
  • doubt
    • Je doute que tu fasses tes devoirs
  • uncertainty
    • Je ne pense pas qu’il ait raison.

This mode express how you feel and express you subjectivity or someone else’. Therefore, we use it in every situation suitable to express subjectivity.

Because when we express some kind of feelings, we always use the same structure, we can say that some structures must bring the subjonctive conjugation (il faut que…)

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