You are here:

French Language/to use or not to use the subjunctive

Advertisement


Question
Hi Caro,

This morning I read the following in a novel:

    La mort l'avait plus affecté qu'il ne l'admettait.

I would have thought the sentence above required the subjunctive.

   Then I made up my own sentence:

    Le déménagement m'a plus affecté que je ne l'admets.

Is my sentence correct?

If I preface my sentence with "il se pourrait," does it then require the subjunctive, namely

    Il se pourrait que le déménagement m'a plus affecté que je ne l'admette.

I hope you had a perfect holiday.

Mike

Answer
Hi Mike,

   La mort l'avait plus affecté qu'il ne l'admettait.

I would have thought the sentence above required the subjunctive.
=> you could use : qu'il ne l'eût admis. the indicative (imparfait) is used to give a real
aspect of his "affection".

  Then I made up my own sentence:

   Le déménagement m'a plus affecté que je ne l'admets.
=> yes it is correct.

If I preface my sentence with "il se pourrait," does it then require the subjunctive, namely

   Il se pourrait que le déménagement m'a plus affecté que je ne l'admette.

=> in this case the subjunctive is not on the verb "admettre" but on the verb "avoir" : m'ait plus affecté que je ne l'admets.

I hope this helps

Cheers

Caro  

French Language

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Caro

Expertise

Hello! I'm a French native speaker living in France. If you need someone to proof-read your translations and essays or need help on French grammar, pronounciation, French traditions, or cultural aspects do not hesitate to contact me, I'd be glad to help you. I'm in the Top 50 experts of the year in 2011 and 2012. Tank you dear questionners!

Experience

French is my first language (mother tongue). I studied linguistics when I was at university.

Education/Credentials
I passed a master of British literature

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.