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the subjonctif for the verb penser

Umi O.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

the subjonctif for the verb penser

Bonjour,

J’espère que vous allez bien !

I am desperate to find out a fact!

Please help!

According to your site, penser may require the subjunctive, depending on whether it is used affirmatively, negatively, or interrogatively.

So, I use the subjunctive for an interrogative sentence.

However, when I did a petit quiz on the subjonctive, my answer was wrong.

“Tu penses qu’il soit capable de réussir ?”

The correct answer is “est”!

But why? Because this question is informal, not “Penses-tu qu’il…”?


I appreciate your information.

Merci d’avance.

Asked 7 months ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Umi,

That's a really good question!

In this particular case, the sentence is a declarative question with the word order being affirmative - like in a declarative sentence.

Tu penses qu'il est capable de réussir. = You think he's able to succeed.

-> it's a fact - Indicative mood

Tu penses qu'il est capable de réussir ? = You think he's able to succeed?

-> you're highly expecting a "yes" answer - Indicative mood

Penses-tu qu'il soit capable de réussir ? = Do you think he's able to succeed?

-> interrogative sentence - You're really not sure about the answer (you have lots of doubt) - Subjunctive mood

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

Jim J.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Bonjour Umi,

Imagine that it is you speaking to a friend and you asking your friend their assessment of a third person's chance or possibility of success.

It is not you, the enquirer; expressing doubt. You are enquiring if your friend has this doubt/misgiving or not.

This is how I read the situation  --  I hope it helps.

Bonne journée

Jim

Umi O.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Bonjour Jim,


Thank you for your “answer” or comment.

Since lawlessfrench.com indicates:

…penser may require the subjunctive, depending on whether it is used affirmatively, negatively, or interrogatively, I accept MY answer “soit” for this quiz.


Best,

Umi


Anne D.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I realise it’s not an affiliated site, but frenchtoday.com has a great article on "What is the French Subjunctive" which goes into some detail about the decision whether to use it or not, based on the probability of a positive or negative answer to a question.

Umi O.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Bonjour Céline,
I am extremely impressed by your explanation!Thank you very much!
So, what I understand is that when a question was formed in an informal way, “the feeling” is not as strong, thus, we used indicatif. And when a question is done in a formal way using inversion, it is stronger, therefore, the subjunctive is used.For example,“Tu crois qu’elle vient à la fête ce week-end ?”"Crois-tu qu’elle vienne à la fête ce week-end ?”
Are they good phrases?
I must say that French is compliqué!But I appreciate very much the help by the Kwiziq Team!
Céline, merci infiniment pour votre input !
Bien à vous,
Umi

the subjonctif for the verb penser

Bonjour,

J’espère que vous allez bien !

I am desperate to find out a fact!

Please help!

According to your site, penser may require the subjunctive, depending on whether it is used affirmatively, negatively, or interrogatively.

So, I use the subjunctive for an interrogative sentence.

However, when I did a petit quiz on the subjonctive, my answer was wrong.

“Tu penses qu’il soit capable de réussir ?”

The correct answer is “est”!

But why? Because this question is informal, not “Penses-tu qu’il…”?


I appreciate your information.

Merci d’avance.

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