EN: le subjonctif en anglais

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Junky_Hero, May 19, 2008.

  1. Junky_Hero Senior Member

    Rhones-Alpes
    France/French
    [...]
    Mais en anglais, le subjonctif c'est quoi ?



    Moderator note: This thread was split
    from another thread.
    The reason for the split is that the thread originally had two related questions.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2008
  2. Moonlit-Sunset

    Moonlit-Sunset Senior Member

    Hauts-de-Seine (Paris suburbs)
    French (mother tongue)
    Très souvent il est rendu par un présent.
    Il faut que je parte -> I have to go
    Je ne pense pas qu'ils soient là -> I don't think they're here

    Après peut-être que cela dépend des phrases :)
     
  3. viera Senior Member

    Paris suburb
    English/French/Slovak
    Un exemple de subjonctif en anglais :
    I suggested that he come with us.
     
  4. butch from waco

    butch from waco Senior Member

    USA Illinois
    France // French
    Or "that he came" maybe but I'm not sure....
     
  5. GEmatt

    GEmatt Senior Member

    La Côte, Switzerland
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    C'est surtout moins évident en anglais qu'en français, JH ! Lire ici pour en avoir plus d'infos (sous "The subjunctive in English" --> "Form"; tu y verras la confirmation de l'exemple fourni par viera, plus haut.
     
  6. Junky_Hero Senior Member

    Rhones-Alpes
    France/French
    Pourquoi "that he comes" et pas "that he come" ?
    Au subjonctif, on met seulement la base verbale non ?
    Merci pour le lien GEmatt :)

    Et l'exemple de l'autre thread est t-il juste :

    Without that he be wounded
     
  7. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    I suggest that he comes with us :cross:
    I suggest that he come with us :tick:
    I suggest that he should come with us. :tick:
    I suggest that he came with us :)tick:)

    The first conjugation (comes) is the 3rd person singular present tense, not the subjunctive... and it sounds wrong to my ear, because we do need a subunctive or a modal here.

    The second conjugation is the 3rd person singular subjunctive.

    The third conjugation is uses the 3rd person singular conditional mode, and is a perfectly acceptable (and common) substitute for the subjunctive in this sentence.

    The fourth sentence is grammatically correct, but totally different. You are discussing how he arrived at the gathering, and you don't quite remember. Did he ride with John? Or with Cathy? You took another friend to the gathering, and you seem to remember that he rode in your car too... so you say, "I suggest that he came with us." You are not proposing that he should do something, but rather trying to establish the fact of what actually happened.

    PS. Without that he be wounded :cross: but you must discuss that sentence in a separate thread. ;)
     
  8. Junky_Hero Senior Member

    Rhones-Alpes
    France/French
    right, thank you :)
     
  9. c10pa Junior Member

    New York
    English -- American
    parfois il y a une difference entre le sens d'une phrase au subjonctif et d'une phrase a l'indicatif. voici deux phrases dont le sens est subtilement different, a mon avis.

    I expect that he's done with his homework. (indicatif)
    I expect that he be done with his homework. (subjonctif)

    The first implies that you expect he is already done with his homework, while the second one implies that he is not done yet, but should be done by a certain time. does anyone agree with me?
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2008
  10. Becky85 Senior Member

    England, English
     
  11. GEmatt

    GEmatt Senior Member

    La Côte, Switzerland
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    I agree with the first part, but not with your explanation of the respective implications. I don't think the meaning in your sentences hinges on when and/or whether the homework is done; instead, the difference is as a result of the emphasis given to the word 'expect' in each case.

    In the first case, 'I expect' is basically preamble, with the 'that' being what Wikipedia refers to as a complementizer. The subjunctive is not used, in such instances (cf. example sentence in §1 of the linked article).

    The second case (expanded, if I may, to give a more natural-sounding phrase:)) calls more clearly for the subjunctive, for example in

    I expect that he be done with his homework by the time I get home.

    as expressive of a wish (whether that wish is fulfilled is irrelevant). I'm not the grammarian though, so don't take this as definitive:p.
     
  12. Philip(pe) Senior Member

    Boston
    English - US; Russian
    No, "I suggested that he comes with us" and "that he came with us" are both wrong. "I suggested that he come with us" is correct, as is "I suggested that he should come with us.

    A good discussion of the use of the subjunctive in English, with examples, can be found here:
    http://www.ceafinney.com/subjunctive/guide.html
     
  13. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    Hi Becky,

    No, actually I didn't mean to write "suggested." :) There was no typo. --> I suggest that he come with us.

    It's true that we often say in spoken English "I suggest that he comes..." but this is perhaps not technically correct, because it uses the present indicative ("he comes") when we should instead use the present subjunctive ("that he come"). That said, we often don't bother to use the English subjunctive, so I understand that it could sound odd to you. :)
     
  14. afbyorb Senior Member

    U.S.A
    English
    The last vestiges of the subjunctive in English:
    If I were you I wouldn't learn anything about the subjunctive.
    Long live the Queen.
    "A-tisket a-tasket, I lost my yellow basket and if that girlie don't bring it back, I know that I shall die."
     

Share This Page