Le fait que + indicative in this context.

PaulC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Le fait que + indicative in this context.

"En effet, ce qui a grandement contribué à la notoriété du lac champenois, c'est le fait que chaque année, en octobre-novembre, les grues cendrées y fassent étape par milliers."

Just a question about the mood here : I would have preferred to see le fait que followed by the indicative here, as it is expressing a certainty, not something uncertain/ a supposition.

Opinions anyone ?

Thanks. Paul.

Asked 1 week ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Paul,

That's a very interesting point! Maarten is on the right track here ;-)

In practice, in the case of "le fait que" (where both indicative and subjunctive mood are possible), in general, French people would tend to go for Le Subjonctif. Instinctively, as a native speaker, I certainly would go for Le Subjonctif here ; partly because it sounds more elegant ;-) 

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Paul,

I'm inclined to agree with you, but perhaps we could regard this statement as having an element of supposition or doubt?

Why?

The migration of birds to a particular site can be unreliable due to changing climatic conditions.

So we can say that normally (or historically) these particular birds would arrive each year in Oct. / Nov. ----- but subject to climate conditions.

Now if we consider this aspect, then there is an element of doubt being expressed which would justify the subjunctive mood.

Hope this helps,

Bonne journée

Jim 

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Paul, I think this is the wrong way to look at the choice of subjunctive or indicative. If a native French speaker/writer uses the subjunctive when it is optional, the primary assumption should be that they mean to use it - and the sentence/statements should be interpreted with that in mind. Sometimes there may be a grammatical error, but usually the person is attempting to convey the information/understanding they want to express. I suspect the ‘opinion’ here is not on return of the birds, although as Jim says maybe that ‘fact’ is also uncertain, but the degree of contribution to the ‘notoriety’ of the lake. 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Often times, when using the superlative or talking about grand things, one uses the subjunctive in French. Check here: https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/superlative-subjunctive/

Le fait que + indicative in this context.

"En effet, ce qui a grandement contribué à la notoriété du lac champenois, c'est le fait que chaque année, en octobre-novembre, les grues cendrées y fassent étape par milliers."

Just a question about the mood here : I would have preferred to see le fait que followed by the indicative here, as it is expressing a certainty, not something uncertain/ a supposition.

Opinions anyone ?

Thanks. Paul.

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