Que + Le Subjonctif = Whether [one does something]

Look at these sentences:

Que vous soyez bons ou mauvais, vous êtes tous des êtres humains.
Whether you're good or bad, you're all human beings.

Je le ferai que tu le veuilles ou non.
I'll do it whether you want it or not.

La question n'est pas que tu l'aies fait ou non.
The question is not whether you did it or not.

Que tu fasses tes devoirs ou non, c'est ton choix après tout !
Whether you do your homework or not, it's your choice after all!

To express hypotheses with whether [one does] in French - in the sense of "regardless of which" - you will use :
queMode subjonctif

 

You won't use this in Indirect Speech where whether = if and not regardless of which, like with verbs such as se demander (to wonder) or savoir (to know).
In these cases, you'll simply use si (if) + Mode indicatif in French:

Je me demande si tu vas venir ou pas.
I wonder whether you'll come or not.

 

GRAMMAR:
Here the use of Mode subjonctif brings the notion of doubt to the propositions, which in such sentences are just suppositions until proven.

See also how to conjugate in Mode subjonctif:
Conjugate regular verbs in Le Subjonctif Présent (subjunctive mood)
Conjugate être in Le Subjonctif Présent (subjunctive mood)
Conjugate avoir in Le Subjonctif Présent (subjunctive mood)
Conjugate faire in Le Subjonctif Présent (subjunctive mood)
Conjugate vouloir in Le Subjonctif Présent (subjunctive mood)
etc.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Que vous soyez bons ou mauvais, vous êtes tous des êtres humains.
Whether you're good or bad, you're all human beings.


Je me demande si tu vas venir ou pas.
I wonder whether you'll come or not.


La question n'est pas que tu l'aies fait ou non.
The question is not whether you did it or not.


Que tu fasses tes devoirs ou non, c'est ton choix après tout !
Whether you do your homework or not, it's your choice after all!


Peu importe qu'il vienne ou pas.
It doesn't matter whether he comes or not.


Je le ferai que tu le veuilles ou non.
I'll do it whether you want it or not.


Q&A Forum 6 questions, 20 answers

WladuszkaC1Kwiziq community member

Que ... ou non / Que ... ou pas

I am wondering is there any particular rule when to use "non" / "pas"?Or are they freely interchangeable in this kind of expressions?Qu'ils sont interchangeables ou non...Qu'ils sont interchangeables ou pas...

Asked 7 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Wladuszk,

You can use either but -

‘Qu’ils SOIENT interchangeables ou non/pas’

This was the point of the lesson.....

Wladuszka asked:View original

Que ... ou non / Que ... ou pas

I am wondering is there any particular rule when to use "non" / "pas"?Or are they freely interchangeable in this kind of expressions?Qu'ils sont interchangeables ou non...Qu'ils sont interchangeables ou pas...

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WladuszkaC1Kwiziq community member

... vous êtes tous des êtres humains

Could you explain the expression "... vous êtes tous des êtres humains" in the very first example please?

Asked 7 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

HI Wladuszk,

Apart from the given translation ‘you are all human beings’ I suppose it means we are fallible, a mixture of good and bad...

WladuszkaC1Kwiziq community member

Hi Cécile, thank you for the answer.

I now realize that I did not recognize the noun "beings" in "des êtres" - instead, I thought it was a verb which confused me a lot. I'm embarassed :)

Wladuszka asked:View original

... vous êtes tous des êtres humains

Could you explain the expression "... vous êtes tous des êtres humains" in the very first example please?

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DeboraC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I am confused with whether I should use the subjonctive in this sentence. Je suis contente que tu aies aimé l'exercice.

Je suis contente = emotion

But I know that the person loved the exercice because she already told me. So, shouldn't it be passé composé?  "Je suis contente que tu as aimé l'exercice."

merci, tutu

Asked 10 months ago
SteveB2 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Debora,

It's a good question.

I think you may need to employ the subjonctif passé:

Je suis contente que tu aies aimé l'exercise.

Check out the lesson:

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/conjugate-verbs-in-le-subjonctif-passe-compose.

I am confused with whether I should use the subjonctive in this sentence. Je suis contente que tu aies aimé l'exercice.

Je suis contente = emotion

But I know that the person loved the exercice because she already told me. So, shouldn't it be passé composé?  "Je suis contente que tu as aimé l'exercice."

merci, tutu

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CrystalMaidenC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I need clarification on this:

" You won't use this in Indirect Speech where whether = if. " Doesn't it always? I need a lot more examples.

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi CrystalMaiden,

Take a look at the following examples:

J'ai oublié de lui demander s'il pouvait me conduire à l'aéroport  samedi. (I forgot to ask him whether/if he could take me to the airport on Saturday.)

Nous ne sommes pas sûrs s'il va pleuvoir ou pas. (We are not sure whether/if it's going to rain or not .)

Il est impossible de savoir si la banque va augmenter le taux d'intérêt le mois prochain.

(It's impossible to know whether/if the bank is going to increase the interest rate next month.)

In all those cases, 'whether' means 'if' and not 'regardless of which' which will be followed by the subjunctive, as in - 

Qu'il vienne ou pas, on y va quand même ! (Whether he comes or not, we are going all the same!)

Nous irons au parc qu'il pleuve ou pas. (We'll go to the park , whether it rains or not)

 

Hope this helps!

 

AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour !

I've now updated the lesson to make that point clearer :)

Bonne journée !

I need clarification on this:

" You won't use this in Indirect Speech where whether = if. " Doesn't it always? I need a lot more examples.

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BarbaraC1Kwiziq community member

Anthony brings his sunglasses (in case it's sunny.) (on a C1 test)

My answer - Anthony apporte des lunettes de soleil au cas où il ferait du soleil. Marked nearly correct. Your correct answer - .......... au cas où il ferait BEAU. Doesn't that mean - in case the weather is nice, beautiful? Can you also say -- au cas où il y aurait du soleil. Please explain.
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Barbara,

I think 'Il ferait soleil ' would have been accepted but not with the 'du'.

You might say,

"il y a du soleil aujourd'hui, on a de la chance pour notre sortie." (The sun is shining today, we are in luck for our outing.)

Faire beau in French is always associated with the sun shining....

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Barbara,

"Il faut beau" is apparently the phrase most commonly used to refer to nice weather. Specifically, if you want to say that the sun is shining, you can say "Il fait soleil", "Il y a du soleil" or "Il es ensoleillé". Whether or not "Il fait du soleil" may also be correct I don't really know, at least I haven't heard it said.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

LucindaA2Kwiziq community member

Here's a link you might find helpful. Some people apparently don't consider "Il fait soleil" proper French. Talking about the weather with il fait + [adjective]

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi L, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I talked to a French native speaker and she said that "Il fait soleil" sounded OK. Searching the net it seems that French Canadians tend to use it more liberally than speakers from France.

To be perfectly honest: to my ears "Il fait soleil" sounds strange, too, but it is apparently in use.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Just to correct a typo in my initial post: it should be "Il fait beau" and not "il faut beau".

-- Chris.

BarbaraC1Kwiziq community member

Hi Chris,

Il fait beau = It's nice out, The weather is beautiful.  Il fait du soleil et il y a du soleil both mean it's sunny.  My question was why would the test correct answer say "Anthony apporte ses lunettes de soleil au cas où il ferait BEAU.  when the English translation was "Anthony brings his sunglasses in case it's SUNNY? Why beau instead of du soleil? Minor point but interested to know. I'm positive that Il fait DU soleil is correct although maybe not the first choice for it's sunny.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Yes, Barbara, I agree with you. The problem seems to be that there is no 1:1 translation which leaves no room for interpretation as to how to translate it. The most natural way to say "Il fait beau" in English would, for me, be "It's nice out" But that doesn't correspond to the way most frequently used in French (i.e., il fait beau). Neither do any of the other ways to paraphrase it in English.

I understand your frustration that you get penalized for something which isn't even a mistake but I don't know of a good solution either. Do you have a suggestion?

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

LucindaA2Kwiziq community member
I wish we had a way to learn Québécois French. That's the one I'd use the most!
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

:))) In speaking to some native French people they seem to have a low opinion of Canadian French. But that's typical, I'd say. It is similar between Austria and Germany with respect to the German language.

-- Chris.

Anthony brings his sunglasses (in case it's sunny.) (on a C1 test)

My answer - Anthony apporte des lunettes de soleil au cas où il ferait du soleil. Marked nearly correct. Your correct answer - .......... au cas où il ferait BEAU. Doesn't that mean - in case the weather is nice, beautiful? Can you also say -- au cas où il y aurait du soleil. Please explain.

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ShivaniC1Kwiziq community member

Pas ou non ?

Quand est-ce qu'on utilise "pas" et quand "non" ? La phrase ci-dessus est-elle correcte?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
Bonjour Shivani !

You can use either non or pas in sentences expressing two alternative options = [whether] ... or not.

Je le ferai ou pas. 
Je le ferai ou non.
(I'll do it or not.)
In all other cases, you will use pas to express not in negative sentences.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Shivani, In reviewing the lesson, I believe the excerpt below differentiates the use of «non» or «pas» Que tu fasses tes devoirs ou non, c'est ton choix après tout ! Whether you do your homework or not, it's your choice after all! To express hypotheses with whether [one does] in French, you will use que + Le Subjonctif. You won't use this in Indirect Speech where whether = if, i.e. after verbs like se demander (to wonder) or savoir (to know). In these cases, you'll simply use si (if) + L'Indicatif in French: Je me demande si tu vas venir ou pas. I wonder whether you'll come or not. J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance, à bientôt
PaulC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Like Shivani, I was also wondering this, but there are two conflicting answers. Ron, your theory ("ou non" after que ... and "ou pas" after si ...) works for most of the given examples in this lesson except for example number 1 - "peu importe qu'il vienne ou pas" , so is it the case that Aurélie's answer ("ou non" or "ou pas" are interchangeable when there are two alternative options) is instead the correct one???
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Paul !

You can see a green tick next to correct answers ;)

PaulC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Merci Aurélie. Je n’avais jamais remarqué cette fonctionnalité. Je le saurai maintenant.

Pas ou non ?

Quand est-ce qu'on utilise "pas" et quand "non" ? La phrase ci-dessus est-elle correcte?

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