Understanding the French Subjonctif Présent: A Guide for French Learners


Salut les étudiants! Today, we are going to explore a fascinating aspect of the French language: the Subjonctif présent. While its usage may seem tricky at first, mastering the Subjonctif présent will greatly enhance your ability to communicate effectively and express your thoughts and opinions more accurately. Join me on this linguistic journey as we unravel the mysteries of the Subjonctif présent and discover its significance in French grammar.

Definition and Formation:

The Subjonctif présent is a mood used to express doubt, subjectivity, possibility, or uncertainty in a sentence. It is mainly used in subordinate clauses, dependent on certain expressions or verbs.

Let’s go over the formation of the Subjonctif présent. For regular verbs, take the third-person plural (ils/elles) form of the present tense, remove the -ent ending, and add the following endings: -e, -es, -e, -ions, -iez, -ent. For example:

  • Parler (to speak): que je parle, que tu parles, qu’il/elle parle, que nous parlions, que vous parliez, qu’ils/elles parlent.

Common Triggers and Usage:
The Subjonctif présent is often introduced by specific expressions or verbs that indicate doubt, necessity, emotion, hope, or will. Some common triggers include:

Expressions of necessity:

  • Il est nécessaire que (It is necessary that)
  • Il faut que (It is necessary that)
  • Il est important que (It is important that)

Expressions of doubt:

  • Je doute que (I doubt that)
  • Je ne pense pas que (I don’t think that)
  • Il se peut que (It is possible that)

Emotions and desires:

  • Je suis content(e) que (I am happy that)
  • Je veux que (I want that)
  • J’aimerais que (I would like that)

It is important to note that the Subjonctif présent is not used in affirmations, only in subordinate clauses, and should never be used in main clauses.

Examples and Contextual Understanding:

  1. Il est nécessaire que tu fasses tes devoirs. (It is necessary that you do your homework.)
    In this example, the Subjonctif présent is used to express necessity in the subordinate clause. It highlights the speaker’s expectation or requirement for the completion of the homework.
  2. Je ne pense pas qu’il aille à la fête. (I don’t think he is going to the party.)
    The Subjonctif présent is employed after the expression “ne pense pas que.” It indicates doubt or uncertainty about someone attending the party.
  3. Nous cherchons un logement qui ait une belle vue. (We are looking for accommodation that has a beautiful view.)
    Here, the Subjonctif présent represents the speaker’s desire or requirement, emphasizing the importance of the accommodation having a beautiful view.


Bravo, mes étudiants! You have now gained some insight into the fascinating world of the French Subjonctif présent. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t hesitate to integrate this mood into your oral and written French communication. By using it correctly, you will add depth, precision, and accuracy to your language skills. Au plaisir de vous voir utiliser le Subjonctif présent avec aisance et assurance! (Looking forward to seeing you use the Subjonctif présent with ease and confidence!) À bientôt!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *