The Subjunctivisor!

Does espérer require the subjunctive?

Espérer may require the subjunctive, depending on whether it is used affirmatively, negatively, or interrogatively.

Espérer in the affirmative = no subjunctive.

Par exemple…

J’espère que sa mère viendra.
I hope that his mother comes.

Comparison Note that in the affirmative, espérer is normally followed by the future, rather than the present tense used in English.

Espérer in the negative or interrogative = subjunctive.

Par exemple…

Je n’espère pas que sa mère vienne.
I don’t hope that his mother comes.

Espères-tu que sa mère vienne ?
Do you hope that his mother comes?

Espérer conjugations

The Subjunctivisor!  |  Subjunctive lesson

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French subjunctivisor

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4 Responses

  1. Jan 8 November 2017 / 18:44

    What about something that has already passed? I hope that your trip went well.

    • lkl 10 November 2017 / 6:46

      Bonjour Jan,

      Good question – you use the passé composé : J’espère que ton voyage s’est bien passé.

  2. philip 21 October 2016 / 3:33

    im a little confused here with the negative one- I suppose the english speaker would more likely say ‘i hope that his mother does not come’ although it has a subtly different meaning I suppose.

    so would how would we do that- ‘j’espere que sa mere ne vienne/viendra/vient pas’?

    I found your site very nicely put together. congratulations!

    • lkl 21 October 2016 / 5:25

      Bonjour Philip,

      The question of negation / subjunctive only applies to the first verb – espérer. So for the choice of subjunctive vs indicative, in this case the sentence is considered affirmative and therefore the subjunctive is not used: J’espère que sa mère ne viendra pas.

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