I believe "avant que" takes the subjunctive. Since this is a memory from the past, shouldn't we use the past subjunctive?
Freeform Writing Exercise C1
'commencions' is the present subjunctive of the verb commencer.
Using the past subjunctive would make it more of a pluperfect in English -, before we had started' rather than the simple past 'before we started'.
Take a look at this conjugation table -
Bonne Continuation !
Carl, in this sentence, it would be ‘imparfait’ in a non-subjunctive expression - this was an habitual ‘action’ from the past over an indefinite period of time, and forms part of the background, the narrative. In English it could also be translated as ‘before starting to eat .. ‘
Subjunctive is only regularly used in speech nowadays in present (mostly) or passé composé and unless speaking of a specific event that would be related in passé composé in the non-subjunctive form, the present subjunctive is normally used. Hence, present subjunctive use in this example.
Sign in to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your French to the CEFR standard