The Subjunctivisor!

Does douter require the subjunctive?

Douter may require the subjunctive, depending on whether it is used affirmatively, negatively, or interrogatively:

Par exemple…

Je doute qu’elles sachent son nom.
I doubt they know his name.

Je ne doute pas qu’elles ne savent son nom.
I don’t doubt they know his name.

Doutes-tu qu’elles sachent son nom ?
Do you doubt they know his name?

Why ne? It’s the ne explétif

Also see se douter

The Subjunctivisor!  |  Subjunctive lesson

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3 Responses

  1. auguste_gusteau 18 September 2015 / 5:08

    Hi Laura, In your given example should douter que call for the ne explétif here in the interrogative construction?

    Thanks for any help!

    • lkl 19 September 2015 / 18:21

      Bonjour Auguste,

      Interesting question. I’d never thought about using the ne explétif with an interrogative, but instinctively I want to say no, you wouldn’t use it there. Maybe a native speaker can confirm or deny this.

      • auguste_gusteau 20 September 2015 / 10:40

        Interesting. I only ask because, while breaking new ground finally studying the subjunctive, I noticed “douter” was flagged with *These call for the ne explétif only in negative or interrogative constructions.” on your ne explétif page.

        Thanks again Laura.

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