"... bien que je ne sois pas d'accord" vs "... bien que je n'étais pas d'accord"

HarryC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

"... bien que je ne sois pas d'accord" vs "... bien que je n'étais pas d'accord"

My question follows Janine's.

In English there may be a difference in meaning between "You went out even though I wasn't ok with it" and "You went out even though I'm not ok with it"; I might have changed my mind in the interim: "You went out even though I wasn't ok with it [, but now I am ok with it]." Wouldn't this second sense require the imperfect rather than the subjunctive in modern French: "... bien que je n'étais pas d'accord"?

Asked 5 months ago"bien que", subjunctive, imperfect
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

"Bien que" is always followed by the subjunctive in French and never by the imperfect. You have a choice of subjunctive past or present, though.

HarryC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

So how would you differentiate between "... even though I wasn't ok with it [at the time]" and "... even though I'm not ok with it"?

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Hi Harry,

"bien que je n'étais pas d'accord"     --> bien que je ne fusse pas d'accord.

https://www.cnrtl.fr/concordance/fusse/verbe

Does the above offer help?

Jim

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Jim, the subjunctive imperfect is all but dead and not used at all in spoken or contemporary written French. If you want to stress the temporal relation you either use le subjonctif présent or le subjonctif passé.

HarryC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Yes, sort of, but no one uses the subjunctive perfect, do they? And besides, the sense is imperfect - I was in a state of not being ok with it at the time.

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Chris,

Maybe!    But have you looked at the reference I gave Harry where you will see numerous uses of bien que followed by fusse?

Jim

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Jim, however many examples of the subjunctive imperfect there are, none of them come from contemporary Fench of a non-literary register. You'd raise eyebrows if you used it in a conversation or normal text.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Harry, you write:

> Yes, sort of, but no one uses the subjunctive perfect, do they? And besides, the sense is > imperfect - I was in a state of not being ok with it at the time.

The subjonctif passé composé is in common use. The subjunctif imparfait is not. So you have to make use of other criteria to decide which one of the two -- either présent or passé composé -- to use. The subjonctif passé is often used to emphasize that one action definitely ended before the other one started.

"... bien que je ne sois pas d'accord" vs "... bien que je n'étais pas d'accord"

My question follows Janine's.

In English there may be a difference in meaning between "You went out even though I wasn't ok with it" and "You went out even though I'm not ok with it"; I might have changed my mind in the interim: "You went out even though I wasn't ok with it [, but now I am ok with it]." Wouldn't this second sense require the imperfect rather than the subjunctive in modern French: "... bien que je n'étais pas d'accord"?

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