FR: il faut que + subjonctif / il faut + infinitif

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by cmd436, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. cmd436 New Member

    United States
    Hi there... I need help with and have a question about the following sentence:

    Le temps s'est envole et je ne pourrais pas croire qu'il fallait que je *REPRENAIS* l'avion pour rentrer chez moi.

    Why is "reprenais" imperfect and not subjunctive? I thought that "il faut que" always took the subjunctive and since the sentence has "il fallait que", shouldn't "reprenais" be "j'aie repris"?
  2. Cavatine Senior Member

    French - France
    Firstly, a mistake has been produced with the verb "pouvoir". It's not pourrais but pouvais (imparfait). Then the following needs merely present subjunctive: que je reprenne/que je reprisse (the latter is more formal)
    Hope it helps !
  3. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    ou "que je reprenne"... (moins soutenu)
  4. cmd436 New Member

    United States
    re:Le temps s'est envole et je ne pourrais pas croire qu'il fallait que je *REPRENAIS* l'avion pour rentrer chez moi.

    My AP French text book book insist its "reprenais"... are you sure that's not right somehow? Also, if it's subjunctive, why isn't it the subjunctive past?

    Thank you so much!!!!
  5. Cavatine Senior Member

    French - France
    I insist also that it can't be "reprenais", it sounds too weird, and I'm afraid to say it's not correct grammatically. Wait for another answers, though, perhaps I need to review my ideas about French grammar and subjuntive...
  6. Lakeview Senior Member

    Canada - English
    Ignoring for a moment that the example came from a textbook, would it not also be appropriate to avoid the issue of the subjunctive altogether and simply say "...qu'il fallait reprendre l'avion..."?
  7. anangelaway

    anangelaway Senior Member

    Yes. Correct.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2016
  8. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Bonne idée. :D
    Je crois que je dirais qu'il me fallait reprendre l'avion mais ta suggestion tient la route. :)

    is not correct French at all. I don't even agree withe the first tense.
    Le temps s'était envolé (plus-que-parfait) et je ne pouvais (imparfait) pas croire qu'il fallait que je reprenne (subjonctif présent sounds more natural than reprisse) / qu'il me fallait reprendre (infinitif) l'avion pour rentrer chez moi.
  9. shivanimb New Member

    US, English
    Just to make sure I understand (I have a similar question): when you change the tense of falloir (ie. to il fallait que), do you still use subjunctive in the present tense?
    For example: It was necessary that he learned everything again, and mentally, he would never become an adult.
    My translation was "Il fallait qu'il ait appris toutes les capacités encore, et mentalement, il ne deviendrait jamais adulte." My teacher marked the "ait appris" incorrect - would it then be "Il fallait qu'il apprenne"?

    I hope this makes sense - this is my first post here!
    Merci en avance!
  10. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Yes, it should be the present subjunctive (apprenne)…

    Although the logical tense would be the imperfect subjunctive, that tense is getting less and less used and replaced by the present.

    Anyway, the past subjunctive (ait appris) is only used to mark anteriority. In other words, your original sentence (Il fallait qu'il ait appris toutes les capacités encore, et mentalement, il ne deviendrait jamais adulte.) means, “It was necessary that he had learned everything again, and mentally, he would never become an adult.”, but that doesn't make sense…
  11. lune_bleue

    lune_bleue Senior Member

    So, when exactly do we use the subjunctive after il faut que...
    il faut que + il faudrait que.... aren't they always followed by subjunctive?

    thank you.
  12. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    Yes, always.
    The textbook is completely wrong.

    (It makes beginners' mistakes like mixing up "I could" in the past and "I could" in the conditional)

    In my opinion, the author of the thread must be confusing things. This sentence cannot be from a textbook. It is just TOO wrong.
  13. BangBangShootShoot Member

    My apologies if this has already been asked, I had a skim over previous threads but there are about a million on 'il faut', so just point me in the right direction if need be.

    My question's in the title, really. I know that you can use both and I know how to use both, but I can't ever decide when to use which. Personally I was introduced to 'il faut que' first and I tend to use it a lot more in my studies just because every opportunity to use a subjunctive earns me bonus points :). However, I have noticed that 'il faut' is used more frequently...

    Is someone able to enlighten me?

    Merci d'avance.
  14. cathie61

    cathie61 Senior Member

    Dinan, France
    France /French
    Hi, Could you provide examples of what you mean - As a native speaker, I don't see where the difficulty lies... "il faut que tu m'expliques davantage" or "il faut expliquer davantage" but the difference is that the 2nd usage - il faut without "que" introduces a definitive clause (hope that's the right term in English! :) which leaves out the personal aspect present in the 1st usage. Does that help at all?
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  15. Prima Facie

    Prima Facie Senior Member

    Riojana de pura cepa.
    Il faut + inf
    Il faut que + subjonctif

    C'était pas ça??
  16. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    Cathie's right, the big difference is whether you want to identify the person responsible.

    Il faut faire... = Something has to be done
    Il faut que je/tu le fasses = I/you have to do it.
  17. sun-and-happiness Senior Member

    J'ai lu sur un livre à moi que "il faut" peut aussi être suivi du indicatif présent: est-il correcte? Quand est-ce que je peux utiliser ce temps?
  18. marget Senior Member

    Je pense que ce n'est pas possible. Pourrais-tu citer un exemple?
  19. itka Senior Member

    Nice, France
    Non, ce n'est pas possible.
    J'ose espérer que ce n'est pas un livre de grammaire qui te dit cela ! :D
  20. TheGiantKudu New Member

    English- England
    Hi everyone,
    Please can somebody tell me whether either/both of the two sentences below are correct:

    Pour faire X, il faut faire Y
    Pour faire X, il faut que je fasse Y

    The sentences would be something like:
    'To be healthy, you have to/ it is necessary to exercise' and
    'To be healthy, I must exercise'

    Thank you
  21. Lacuzon

    Lacuzon Senior Member

    French - France

    Both are correct!
  22. vioshadow New Member


    Une collègue française a posé cette question aujourd'hui au bureau, et on a eu des réponses différentes:

    Il faut que je voie, ou il faut que je vois?

    Les résultats de recherches sur Goolgle sont plutôt pour "vois" (16 700 000 vs 447 000), mais est-ce qu'il ne faut pas appliquer la règle "Il faut que + subjonctif" dans ce cas-là?

    Merci de votre aide par avance!
  23. Zulumita

    Zulumita Senior Member


    Je pense qu'il faut dire voie.
  24. OLN

    OLN Senior Member

    French - France, ♀
    Oublie l'argument des "statistiques par Google" (et ceux qui n'écrivent ni ne lisent jamais, pour qui une langue n'est que phonétique), et fie-toi aux livres de grammaire. :) Il faut employer le subjonctif et il s'écrit voie.

    Tu peux faire le test à l'oreille avec un autre verbe : Il faut que je sois / aille, pas "il faut que que suis / vais".
  25. Sunflower558 Senior Member

    Hi there as I have 'notre equipe' in the sentence after il faut que do I need to use the subjunctive still?

    Il faut que notre équipe comprenne cette information afin de vous aider la plus
  26. atcheque

    atcheque mod errant (Fr-En, FS, Cz)

    Česko - Morava
    français (France)

    Oui, le subjonctif est nécessaire après Il faut que.
  27. Oddmania

    Oddmania Senior Member


    Yes, indeed :thumbsup: But I don't think I really understand your question. I mean, you couldn't use the subjunctive if there wasn't a subject such as notre équipe.

    Il faut faire... → One must do... or We've got to do...
    Il faut que X fasse... → X has got to do...
  28. janpol

    janpol Senior Member

    France - français
    Pour aller à Paris, il faut prendre le train de bon matin.
    Pour aller à Paris, il me faut prendre le train... (il /te / lui / nous / vous / leur/ faut....)
    Pour aller à Paris, il faut que je prenne le train de bon matin. (que tu prennes / qu'il prenne / qu'elle prenne / qu'on prenne / que nous prenions / que vous preniez / qu'elles prenneent / qu'ils prennent...)
  29. bleuboia Senior Member

    English(New Jersey/New York regional)

    And with the past? Should the following verb be in the present subjunctive?

    Il fallait que je fasse (tout avant mi-nuit).
    Il fallait faire tout avant mi-nuit.

    Il a fallu que je fasse tout le plus tôt possible.
  30. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Yes, you should also use the infinitive or present subjunctive when falloir is in the past.

    Il fallait faire… :tick:
    Il fallait que je fasse… :tick:

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