FR: I don't think I can repair your car

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Fireproofcat, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Fireproofcat

    Fireproofcat New Member

    English - USA
    Hi, I have a question about the usage of the French subjunctive. I know that generally the subject changes when using the subjunctive, but what about if you have a case where you might need to use a phrase such as "Je ne crois pas que" followed by another first person subject? Would it still be in the subjunctive?

    Would it be:
    "Je ne crois pas que je peux réparer ta voiture"

    Je ne crois pas que je puisse réparer ta voiture"

    Or would it be something else entirely?

    Thanks for any help,
  2. Lacuzon

    Lacuzon Senior Member

    French - France
    Bonsoir et bienvenue Fireproofcat,

    You have to choose between infinitive and subjunctive.

    Je ne crois pas pouvoir réparer ta voiture.
    Je ne crois pas que je puisse réparer ta voiture.
  3. Fireproofcat

    Fireproofcat New Member

    English - USA
    Merci pour votre réponse! I understand your first sentence, but I have a question about the second one. It was my understanding before that to use the subjunctive, the subject of the dependent clause had to be different than in the first part of the sentence. Is this not the case then?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2013
  4. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Hello Fireproofcat and welcome! :)

    This is actually sometimes the case, but not always. As a matter of fact, this depends on the verb: some verbs like croire or penser may use either constructions (see also this thread), while others require the use of an infinitive clause when the subjects are the same (e.g., vouloirje veux rentrer :tick:, not je veux que je rentre :cross:)

Share This Page