Après que + L'Indicatif = After + verb

It is worth noting that après que (after...) is followed by tenses in the  Mode indicatif and NOT in  Mode subjonctif!

The reason is very simple: après que introduces an action that happened for certain and therefore requires the Mode indicatif. The Mode subjonctif, on the other hand, is the mood of doubt and uncertainty.

 

(1) 

When the main verb is in  Passé composéaprès que is followed by  Passé composé (after I did) or Plus-que-parfait (after I had done) because it expresses a fact that happened BEFORE the moment it is being reported. The choice between the two tenses depends on how far apart the two actions are; Plus-que-parfait marks a longer gap.

Après que vous avez visité la ville, vous êtes allés boire un verre.
After you visited the city, you went and had a drink.

Après que j'ai vu ce film, j'étais bouleversé.
After I saw that film, I was overwhelmed.

Il a laissé sa voiture au garage après qu'elle était allée à la banque.
He dropped her car off at the garage after she had gone to the bank.

 

(2)

When the main verb is in Présent indicatif, après que is followed by Présent indicatif to express a habit (after they come, they [usually] do that) or by Passé composé when the action happens BEFORE the moment it is being reported (He goes after I've done it./He's going after I did it.).

Après qu’ils sont arrivés, ils vont saluer ma mère.
After they've arrived, they go and say hello to my mother.

Tout le monde part après qu'elle sonne la cloche.
Everyone leaves after she rings the bell.

Je me lave après que tu te lèves.
I wash after you get up.

 

For other cases, see Quand, lorsque, après que, une fois que + Le Futur Antérieur = 'when, after I've done in the future  

 

Note that many French people make the mistake of using Le Subjonctif instead of L'Indicatif after après que!

 

Note that avant que (i.e. before...) IS followed by Le Subjonctif because of the uncertainty of this action.

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

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Nous avons rattrapé notre travail après que nous avons été absents.
We caught up on our work after we were absent.


Après qu’ils sont arrivés, ils vont saluer ma mère.
After they've arrived, they go and say hello to my mother.


Après que j'ai vu ce film, j'étais bouleversé.
After I saw that film, I was overwhelmed.


Tout le monde part après qu'elle sonne la cloche.
Everyone leaves after she rings the bell.


Après que vous avez visité la ville, vous êtes allés boire un verre.
After you visited the city, you went and had a drink.


Je me lave après que tu te lèves.
I wash after you get up.


Il a laissé sa voiture au garage après qu'elle était allée à la banque.
He dropped her car off at the garage after she had gone to the bank.


Q&A

Donald

Kwiziq community member

29 July 2018

2 replies

Je suis retourné me coucher après que tu es parti.

Il faut que je rie.  J'ai écrit <je suis retourné me coucher après que tu t'en es allé.  Bien sûr, cela avait tort. Je comprends que j'aurais dû écrire la reponse différemment comme vous l'avez fait.  Mais avais-je raison.  J'ai tenu les deux phrases dans le temps correcte, je le crois.  Qu'est-ce que vous en pensez?  Évidement, je joue avec cette phrase.  Je m'en suis amusé.  Don

Chris

Kwiziq community member

31 July 2018

31/07/18

Hi Donald, 


your version seems correct to me. 


-- Chris. 

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

2 August 2018

2/08/18

Bonjour Donald,


In my opinion 'après que tu t'en ai allé ' although correct, sounds clumsy .


You could say 'après ton départ' of course but that was not the point of the lesson I expect.


Bonne continuation!

Ann

Kwiziq community member

28 June 2018

2 replies

for after you left, I used sortir but the answer only allows partir. Should this be changed?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

28 June 2018

28/06/18

Hi Ann, "sortir" is more "to go out" than "to leave". Of course, in order to go out, one has to leave home but partir is the proper choice of verb, in my opinion.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Ann

Kwiziq community member

28 June 2018

28/06/18

D'accord

Paul

Kwiziq community member

19 June 2018

1 reply

j'étais bouleversé

Hi, Is there a lesson on when to use a past participle as an adjective? Thanks.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

20 June 2018

20/06/18

Hi Paul,


I don't think there's a whole lot of difference between English and French on this point.


J'étais bouleversé. -- I was shaken. (shaken is the participle of to shake)


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Emily

Kwiziq community member

28 February 2018

1 reply

"Apres" without "que"

Sorry, it appears the "more detail" part didn't post! I was wondering under what circumstances you could omit "que" and still use "apres." "Je me lave apres tu te leves" sounds wrong, or at least awkward, but what about "Tu te leves, et apres, je me lave?"

Chris

Kwiziq community member

28 February 2018

28/02/18

See my response to your previous post. -- Chris.

Emily

Kwiziq community member

28 February 2018

1 reply

Omitting "que"

Chris

Kwiziq community member

28 February 2018

28/02/18

The rule is that you need que if what follows is a complete subordinate clause with its own subject and verb. Otherwise you omit que.


Je vais ranger ma chambre après avoir fait mes devoirs. -- I will tidy my room after having done my homework.
Je vais ranger ma chambre après que j'aurai fait mes devoirs. -- I will tidy my room after I will have made my homework.


In the first case you don't have a clause following après, just an infitif passé (avoir fait), hence no que. The second example sports a complete subordinate clause and therefore requires que.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

William

Kwiziq community member

7 August 2017

1 reply

Après que + l'indicatif

Just a thought. After “ Après que“, you use an indicative tense. Since the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person singular for “réussir“ is the same for both the present tense and the simple past tense. These two tenses are both indicative tenses, one present tense and the other past tense. Could “J'étais soulagée après que tu réussis ton exam“ also be considered a correct answer in this example?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

9 August 2017

9/08/17

Bonjour William,
Here is a simple translation of the phrase in question: I was relieved after you pass your test. As can be seen in the translation, the sense of the phrase has changed completely.
Alors, en ce qui concerne la verbe réussir la conjugaison est comme ce qui suit:
je réussis
tu réussis
il réussit
Parce que ils ne sont pas la même, ce qui suit est plus exact:
J’ai été soulagé après que le succès que tu avais sur ton examen.
J'imagine que Aurèlie ou Laura aient une réponse qui serait différent.
J'espère que cela vous aidera.
Bonne chance !
Ron

Doraida

Kwiziq community member

12 May 2017

2 replies

Après que j'ai vu ce film, j'étais bouleversé.

first I saw the film, after that J'étais bouleversé, so why the plus-que-parfair du verbe "se bouleverser"

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

14 May 2017

14/05/17

Bonjour Doraida,

J'étais bouleversé is not the plus-que-parfait of se bouleverser - there's no se (or rather me: je m'étais bouleversé).

Here, étais is the imperfect and bouleversé is an adjective.

Doraida

Kwiziq community member

14 May 2017

14/05/17

thanks. I understand now

Narelle

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2017

1 reply

The passé composé or the plus- que- parfait depends on same subject or different subject .

Après qu'il est rentré chez lui, il s'est couché. MAIS Après que son ami était parti, il s'est couché. [His friend had left when he went to bed.]

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

8 February 2017

8/02/17

Bonjour Narelle !

No, here the difference is linked to how much time passed in-between the two actions, and both are correct both ways.
"Après qu'il est rentré chez lui, il s'est couché."
-> here we used Passé Composé in both clauses, so the two actions seem to have happened quite close to each other.
but "Après que son ami était parti, il s'est couché."
-> here the Plus-que-Parfait action *had* happened clearly before the second one did, emphasising the gap in-between.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

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