«Il pense avoir fini ce rapport d'ici jeudi.
He thinks he'll have finished this report by Thursday».
The first quote is an example from this lesson, the second from the lesson on penser que, croire que. Although the English translation in the lesson doesn't include 'that', it is implied and seems to meet the previously noted rule that 'pense que' should always be used in French. I also don't understand why it would not be 'pense qu'il avoir fini'? What am I missing? Thanks
You need que whenever there are two different subjects in the two parts of the sentence:
Il pense que tu auras fini ce rapport d'ici jeudi. -- He thinks that you will have finished the report by Thursday.
There are two subjects: il and tu, hence you need que.
But in the example you cite, there is only one subject: il. Hence you need a different construction.
Il pense avoir fini ce rapport d'ici jeudi. -- He thinks that he will have finished the report by Thursday.
Note that in the French version you only have one subject, whereas in English you need two.
Should have written ? qu'il auras as alternative
You don't need a different construction, but it's an option, and perhaps more elegant. You could also say "pense qu'il aura fini".
Thanks for both replies - it leaves the point that the early lesson could at least note or allow for an exception, as it is currently dogmatic that 'que' is ALWAYS required. Learning what seems to be a hard and fast rule, and then later finding (in this case) unexpected exceptions is unhelpful.
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