FR: I had to create some

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by french-student, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. french-student New Member

    english
    Hi,

    is this correct?
    les occasions de parler français ont diminué rapidement ; il fallait que j’en crée.

    I'm trying to say
    'the opportunitys to speak french diminished rapidly, I had to create some'
     
  2. snarkhunter

    snarkhunter Senior Member

    France, Région parisienne
    French - France
    Hello, and welcome to this forum!

    Yes, your translation is flawless.
    As far as the tense is concerned, you could also have chosen "diminuaient".
     
  3. radagasty Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    Australia, Cantonese
    > il fallait que j’en crée

    Note that the strict sequence of tenses (in formal literary language) would require il fallait que j'en créasse, but this sounds absurd in speech.
     
  4. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Actually, the imperfect subjunctive would sound odd even in writing. Besides, it is not even necessarily the best tense if the requirement concerns also the future (in the past) and not just the past itself. (Because there is no "future" subjunctive, we use the present subjunctive instead.)
     
  5. radagasty Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    Australia, Cantonese
    Hmm... I've been thinking about what you said, and I am a little puzzled.

    > Actually, the imperfect subjunctive would sound odd even in writing.

    Fine... you are the native speaker and I am not, so I accept your judgement about what sounds odd.

    > Besides, it is not even necessarily the best tense if the requirement concerns also the future (in the past) and not just the past itself.

    I wonder about this, though. Doesn't the strict sequence of tenses require the imperfect subjunctive? I had the idea that only the imperfect and pluperfect were permitted in a subordinate clause demanding the subjunctive if the main clause was in the imperfect (or another historical tense, e.g., pluperfect, simple past, etc.), even if the verb in the subordinate clause also concerns the future (in the past). Note that I am not challenging what you say, since my proficiency in French is limited; I only seek confirmation.
     

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