FR: avoir l'impression que + proposition / avoir l'impression de + infinitif

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by crystalrose., Sep 12, 2013.

  1. crystalrose. Junior Member

    English
    Hello,

    Quick grammar question to bother you all with: Is it ok to say "j'ai l'impression que je.." or should it be "j'ai l'impression de..."?

    For example, "j'ai l'impression que j'ai oublie quelque chose / j'ai l'impression d'avoir oublie quelque chose".

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Gérard Napalinex

    Gérard Napalinex Senior Member

    Vaulx-en-Velin, France
    French - France
    Hello,
    The rule is pretty simple: if same subject in both propositions, use de, and que otherwise
    Il a l'impression de stagner
    Tu as l'impression que je plaisante

    Hth
     
  3. crystalrose. Junior Member

    English
    Thanks! I thought that might be the case!

    How does that work though if I want to follow it with a future tense?

    E.g. J'ai l'impression que je vais tomber
    should that be: j'ai l'impression d'aller tomber ?
     
  4. janpol

    janpol Senior Member

    France
    France - français
    should that be: j'ai l'impression d'aller tomber ? Non
    J'ai l'impression d'être sur le point de tomber.
     
  5. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Note that in both sentences you may also use a subordinate clause instead of the infinitive clause:

    J'ai l'impression d'avoir oublié quelque chose. :tick:
    J'ai l'impression que j'ai oublié quelque chose. :tick:

    J'ai l'impression d'être sur le point de tomber. :tick:
    J'ai l'impression que je vais tomber. :tick:
     
  6. crystalrose. Junior Member

    English
    Ok great, thanks for your help with that!
     
  7. patyl

    patyl Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese
    May I confirm my understanding? For a subordinate clause in the indicatif or conditionnel, there is no restriction in terms of reusing the same subject; whereas if it is in subjonctif, infinitif is preferred (also not a must, but more elegant)?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  8. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Well, not exactly. Actually, when the two subjects are the same, you may or may not use a subordinate clause depending on the introductory verb. As for the appropriate mode (indicatif / subjonctif), it also depends on the introductory verb and on whether or not it is negated. I'm afraid there is no universal rule: you must learn the appropriate construction for each verb.

    In the case of avoir l'impression, you may use either an infinitive clause or a subordinate one, but in the second case you must use the indicative (or conditional); you cannot use the subjunctive (in the positive).
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
  9. patyl

    patyl Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese
    Ah thanks. While I try to simplify my life by making generalizations, I simply found my efforts in vain when it comes to French. :)
     

Share This Page