Attendre que vs. S'attendre a ce que

N. Hilary (Shamrockhill)C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Attendre que vs. S'attendre a ce que

I, too, have a question concerning "s'attendre a ce que..." vs. "attendre que..."

The Kwiz gave this sentence:  "Alain expected the situation to resolve itself."

Two of the translations were simply incorrect and could be immediately ruled out. Of the remaining two:

"Alain s'attendait à ce que cette situation se résolve d'elle-même" was in the end the correct answer, but I ruled that out too, since the lesson states that this is used with a situation where the expectation is negative.

 There is nothing negative about, "Alain expected the situation to resolve itself." If anything, it is a hopeful statement.

"Alain attendait  que cette situation se résolve d'elle-même" was then, the only choice that fits the given phrase. Especially since the lesson states concerning "Attendre que + subjunctive clause":

"This structure is used when you wait for [someone/something else] to do something. Here the waiting is neutral, carrying no connotation of dread or expectation.

It is Certain that Alain is waiting "for [someone/something else] to do something. " And his waiting carries no connotation of dread or expectation.  If anything, his waiting is Positive.

Why then, was the answer the one using "s'attendre a ce que + subjunctive clause" ?

I have read the other question about this very same sentence, but I am still not clear about this lesson.

I agree with everyone that the lesson desperately needs to be rewritten or split up into more than one lesson. I found the first part explaining the difference between, "attendre..." and "s'attendre a..." to be very easily understood. After that, things just kept getting more and more confusing.

Thank you for your help.

Merci beaucoup


Asked 2 years ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour à tous,

We've now reviewed the explanation about "s'attendre à ce que + Subjonctif clause" with a slight change / amendment.

Merci et bonne journée !

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

In talking to several native French speakers, they agree that the meaning of "to expect" of s'attendre doesn't necessarily have to be something negative. I find that point in the lesson a bit misleading. Yes, there may be that connotation of expecting something negative in some situations but, according to my sources, that is a minor point. I suspect that putting that point in the lesson makes every student latch onto it and use it to decide whether or not to use s'attendre. In my opinion, that is giving it more weight than it really has.

N. Hilary (Shamrockhill)C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Merci Chris. I appreciate your answer. 

Yet, I am still unclear as to the correct usages of:

"Attendre que + subjunctive..." vs. "S'attendre a ce que + subjunctive..."

and how they differ in application. 

Any help would be much appreciated.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

You use the à ce que construction when the relative clause that follows has its own subject.

Je m'attends à ce qu'il arrive. -- I expect that he'll arrive. Here the subject of the first clause is je and that of the relative clause is il.
Je m'attendais à votre réponse. -- I was expecting your response. No separate subject in the relative clause (votre réponse is the indirect object).
Je m'attendais à ce que vous répondiez. -- I was expecting that you would answer. The second subject in the relative clause is vous.

N. Hilary (Shamrockhill)C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Thank you, Chris!

Yes, after reading over the given phrases again, the use of "S'attendre a ce que..." sounds naturally better. Your detailed explanation does a great job on pointing out why it is the correct answer in this case.

I appreciate your answer.

Merci beaucoup.

TusharikaA0Kwiziq community member

A mon avis,  je vais utiliser attendre quand on attend pour quelque chose.

Attendre que vs. S'attendre a ce que

I, too, have a question concerning "s'attendre a ce que..." vs. "attendre que..."

The Kwiz gave this sentence:  "Alain expected the situation to resolve itself."

Two of the translations were simply incorrect and could be immediately ruled out. Of the remaining two:

"Alain s'attendait à ce que cette situation se résolve d'elle-même" was in the end the correct answer, but I ruled that out too, since the lesson states that this is used with a situation where the expectation is negative.

 There is nothing negative about, "Alain expected the situation to resolve itself." If anything, it is a hopeful statement.

"Alain attendait  que cette situation se résolve d'elle-même" was then, the only choice that fits the given phrase. Especially since the lesson states concerning "Attendre que + subjunctive clause":

"This structure is used when you wait for [someone/something else] to do something. Here the waiting is neutral, carrying no connotation of dread or expectation.

It is Certain that Alain is waiting "for [someone/something else] to do something. " And his waiting carries no connotation of dread or expectation.  If anything, his waiting is Positive.

Why then, was the answer the one using "s'attendre a ce que + subjunctive clause" ?

I have read the other question about this very same sentence, but I am still not clear about this lesson.

I agree with everyone that the lesson desperately needs to be rewritten or split up into more than one lesson. I found the first part explaining the difference between, "attendre..." and "s'attendre a..." to be very easily understood. After that, things just kept getting more and more confusing.

Thank you for your help.

Merci beaucoup


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