A little grammar lesson today on e-alphab.com : we will explain how to form the subjunctive of regular verbs.
What is the Subjunctive in French?
It is a special form of the verb which we use with certain introductory verbs.
For example I could say this sentence:
“Christian doit venir, il le faut.” (Christian must come, he must.)
I could reformulate it and say:
“Il faut que Christian vienne.” (Christian must come.)
The verb “venir” (to come) in this sentence is not in the past, nor in the present, nor in the future.
It is this form that we call the subjunctive.
For many students, the subjunctive is a difficult lesson.
But you will see that if you know the present you will not have any problem with forming the subjunctive.
Good News: the subjunctive is easy!!
In fact, there are only 10 irregular verbs in the subjunctive.
The others are regular and are based on forms that you have already studied!
Now to put it into practise.
The Formation of the Subjunctive
The endings of the subjunctive are always the same:
For Je : – e
For Tu : -es
For Il, Elle, On : -e
For Nous : – ions
For Vous : – iez
For Ils, Elles : – ent
Isn’t that simple ?
The Basis of the Subjunctive:
There are two bases to form the subjunctive in French.
- The “ils” form in the present
Using an example with the verb “venir”
In the present it is: “ils viennent” (they come)
Take off the final “ent” in the present, keep “vienn”, and add the subjunctive endings.
- que je vienne (that I come)
- que tu viennes (that you come)
- qu’il vienne (that he comes)
- qu’ils viennent (that they come)
And the pronunciation is the same for each verb.
- The “Nous” form in the present.
For the verb “Venir” in the present, you say “nous venons”
- que nous venions
- que vous veniez
And voilà! You now know how to form the subjunctive.
If you want to see the next lesson, a free video, as well as download our lesson plan, check out this page.
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See you soon!