When can we use the past tense with the "bien que" phrase?

CarlesB2Kwiziq community member

When can we use the past tense with the "bien que" phrase?

I got this question:


How would you say "You went out even though I wasn't OK with it." ?


And I answered with this:


Tu es sortie bien que je n'étais pas d'accord.


Apparently the right answer was Tu es sortie bien que je ne suis pas d'accord, but I don't understand why je ne suis pas d'accord is in the present tense.


To me that sentence means "You went out even though I'm not OK with it.", as in "I'm not ok with in general", but the way the English sentence is written in the question means that the speaker wasn't ok about a particular going-out. Why would one use the present tense there even though the "not being ok with it" was done in the past?

Asked 3 months ago
ElizabethC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributorCorrect answer

The correct answer would be 'Tu es sortie bien que je ne sois pas d'accord', using the present subjunctive after 'bien que'. Hope this helps.

TomC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

If you want to reinforce the past nature of the disagreement you could use the subjonctif passé :

Tu es sortie bien que je n'aie pas été d'accord.

The key is that "bien que" always takes some form of the subjunctive.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Using the past subjunctive emphasizes that there is a clear sequence of events in this case: first, I disagreed and then you left.

The present subjunctive does not make this distinction and leaves it unclear what went on when exactly.

When can we use the past tense with the "bien que" phrase?

I got this question:


How would you say "You went out even though I wasn't OK with it." ?


And I answered with this:


Tu es sortie bien que je n'étais pas d'accord.


Apparently the right answer was Tu es sortie bien que je ne suis pas d'accord, but I don't understand why je ne suis pas d'accord is in the present tense.


To me that sentence means "You went out even though I'm not OK with it.", as in "I'm not ok with in general", but the way the English sentence is written in the question means that the speaker wasn't ok about a particular going-out. Why would one use the present tense there even though the "not being ok with it" was done in the past?

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