Variable Subjunctive

Subjonctif variable

Obviousness, knowledge, certainty, and hope are considered real – at least to the speaker – and therefore do not call for the subjunctive. Using these verbs and expressions in the negative or interrogative, however, indicates doubt: thus the subjunctive is required.

c’est que  it’s that/because
connaître (quelqu’un) qui  to know (someone) that
croire que  to believe that
dire que  to say that
espérer que  to hope that
être certain que  to be certain that
être sûr que  to be sure that
il est certain que  it is certain that
il est clair que  it is clear/obvious that
il est évident que  it is obvious that
il est probable que  it is probable that
il est exact que  it is correct/true that
il est sûr que  it is certain that
il est vrai que  it is true that
il me (te, lui…) semble que  it seems to me (you, him…) that
il paraît que  it appears that
penser que  to think that
savoir que  to know that
trouver que  to find/think that
vouloir dire que  to mean that

Par exemple…

Je pense qu’il est sympa Je ne pense pas qu’il soit sympa. Penses-tu qu’il soit sympa ?
I think he’s nice.
I don’t think he’s nice.
Do you think he’s nice?
Je connais un médecin qui fait visites à domicile. Je ne connais aucun médecin qui fasse visites à domicile. Connais-tu un médecin qui fasse visites à domicile ?
I know a doctor who makes housecalls.
I don’t know any doctors who make house calls.
Do you know a doctor who makes house calls?
Il est clair que Luc le sait. Il n’est pas clair que Luc le sache. Est-il clair que Luc le sache ?
It’s clear that Luc knows. It’s not clear whether Luc knows. Is it clear that Luc knows?

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French subjunctive

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