FR: c'est le moins qu'on puisse dire

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by iaatf, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. iaatf

    iaatf Senior Member

    USA - english
    I came across this saying in the forums and it appears to fit what I am looking for (That's an understatement.)
    But could someone please explain to me why pouvoir is in the subjunctive?
    Thanks a lot.
  2. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  3. abdalhamid Senior Member


    Simplement on utilise toujours le subjonctif avec le superlatif , par example : C'est le plus beau film que j'aie jamais vu
  4. iaatf

    iaatf Senior Member

    USA - english
    So then should I use the subjunctive in this sentence also?
    "Robert told her that his mother isn't the best cook in the world." ("isn't" in the subjunctive?)
    Thanks again.
  5. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    No. The basic superlative sentence sa mère est (n'est pas) la meilleure cuisinière cannot use the subjunctive because it does not have a subordinate clause. Managing to add the word que into the sentence with a reported speech structure "Robert said that..." doesn't change anything.

    For a proper discussion of the subjunctive in superlative expressions, please see: FR: le seul/dernier/premier / le plus <adjectif> qui/que - superlatif + mode

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