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Use of subjunctive

Rose Y.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Use of subjunctive

Why is it "bien que ton papa et moi soyons en manque de sommeil" rather than "bien que ton papa et moi ayons été en manque de sommeil"?

Asked 1 year ago
Chris W.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

The correspondence of tenses with the French subjunctive is different since there are only two tenses in the subjunctive mood. (There are more, but they are not used anymore.) So the rule is that by default you use the subjunctive present. The past subjunctive is used only if you have two events, and you want to establish that one ended before the other one started.

Tom A.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I find it useful to think of this as the difference between:

'despite your dad and me being short of sleep'

and

'despite your dad and me having been short of sleep'.

It's the difference not between present and past but between the same and a previous timeframe.

Rose Y.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thanks for the replies, but in English, the original situation in the translation to me means that the lack of sleep for the two parents preceded their having a picnic ( but then again perhaps they were still having sleeping problems at the time?????)

Maarten K.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Rose, the English is '...and although (we) were still sleep-deprived, I had a really wonderful day. ' 

 To me the emphasiser 'still' confirms that the present subjunctive is required as the sleep deprivation was current (ongoing) at the time of the picnic. With the subjunctive this is only represented in the present tense as Chris noted.

Maeve R.A2Kwiziq community member

Je pensais que se rappeller n'est pas suivi par 'de' et se souvenir est suivi par 'de'. Mais c'est l'inverse dans ce texte? Pourriez-vous expliquer pourquoi, svp?

Use of subjunctive

Why is it "bien que ton papa et moi soyons en manque de sommeil" rather than "bien que ton papa et moi ayons été en manque de sommeil"?

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