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À moins que + ne explétif + Le Subjonctif = Unless you do

Look at these sentences:

Je l'aiderai à moins que vous ne le fassiez.
I'll help him unless you do it.

La date est arrêtée à moins que nous ne changions nos plans.
The date is set unless we change our plans.

On peut aller au cinéma à moins que tu ne veuilles aller autre part.
We can go to the cinema unless you want to go somewhere else.

Je te crois à moins que tu ne m'aies menti.
I believe you unless you lied to me.

 
To express unless + verb (= unless you do it) in French is a bit more complicated:

à moins que + subject + ne explétif + the verb in Subjonctif présent or Subjonctif passé

 

Note that in speech, the ne explétif can be dropped.

Je l'aiderai à moins que vous ne le fassiez.

 


See Understanding the 'ne' explétif

as well as other similar expressions using subordinating conjunctions:

Sans que (+ ne explétif) + Le Subjonctif = Without doing

Avant que + ne explétif + Le Subjonctif = Before I do

De peur que + Le Subjonctif = For fear that

 

Examples and resources

La date est arrêtée à moins que nous ne changions nos plans.
The date is set unless we change our plans.


Je te crois à moins que tu ne m'aies menti.
I believe you unless you lied to me.


Je l'aiderai à moins que vous ne le fassiez.
I'll help him unless you do it.


Henri va gagner la course à moins que Thomas ne coure plus vite.
Henri is going to win the race unless Thomas runs faster.


On peut aller au cinéma à moins que tu ne veuilles aller autre part.
We can go to the cinema unless you want to go somewhere else.


Micro kwiz: À moins que + ne explétif + Le Subjonctif = Unless you do
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Q&A

Michael

Kwiziq community member

9 August 2017

1 reply

ne expletif

If the 'ne' is optional why are you marking down? Also in a previous explanation we are told that following a negative main clause we cannot use a 'ne' expletif....? Have I misunderstood? Please address both points.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

10 August 2017

10/08/17

Bonjour Michael !

The note you're mentioning only applies to the case of "sans que" :)

The reason we're marking the absence of the "ne" slightly down is that in written form, it is compulsory, though as we mentioned in the lesson, it can be dropped in speech.

Bonne journée !

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

9 August 2017

2 replies

Here là versus ici

In the sentence unless you are here, is it the mood that requires here to be translated as là rather than ici?

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

9 August 2017

9/08/17

Hi Jennifer - in French the expression "être là" has a more general meaning of being present so it is less specific than "ici" which would mean here in this specific location. Depending on the context it might mean "is there" instead, for example.

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

10 August 2017

10/08/17

Thank you Gruff. Another gap in my knowledge filled.

Arash

Kwiziq community member

15 April 2017

1 reply

How would you say " I do it unless you are NOT here".

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

18 April 2017

18/04/17

Bonjour Arash !

To make the verb after "à moins que" negative, you will use "ne" + "PAS". That's how you'll make the difference with the "ne explétif", as the negation is carried by "pas" here:
"Je le ferai à moins que tu ne sois *pas* là."

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !
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