FR: le seul/dernier/premier/meilleur/pire / le plus <adjectif> qui/que - superlatif + mode

jann

co-mod'
English - USA
It is the superlative of opinion ("the most impressive...") that triggers the subjunctive here. This subjunctive serves to admit that such a superlative is a subjective statement, not an absolute fact... in other words, that someone else might have a different opinion about what is "best," "worst," "most impressive," etc.

More information here.
 
  • undergreenwoodtree

    Senior Member
    English-England
    Hello,

    Could you tell me if this needs to be followed by the indicative or the subjunctive? I really can't decide which.

    "Il est l'un des meilleurs chanteurs que je connaisse/connais"

    Merci
     

    undergreenwoodtree

    Senior Member
    English-England
    Merci.

    The reason why I wasn't sure was because it was "l'un des" c.à.d. he was amongst the best, not the best.

    I know it would be "Il est le meilleur chanteur que je connaisse" but I wasn't certain for "l'un des...."

    Merci for the clarification.
     
    I would say that "c'est le seul film que j'aie vu" means that that's the only movie you have ever seen in your life, if I look at the other posts.

    My question is: is the subjonctif nowadays being used? When I was in Paris I heard someone say: "Vous voulez que je sors", but souldn't it be "Vous voulez que je sorte"?
     

    Moon Palace

    Senior Member
    French
    You can actually say both c'est le seul film que j'aie vu (thereby implying it is somewhat temporary, and that it might well change in the next few days) or c'est le seul film que j'ai vu (simple statement on the fact you have only seen that film).
    But you're right, vous voulez que je sorte is the only correct way of saying do you want me to leave / go out?
    Whoever said vous voulez que je sors didn't have the proper tense, and even though the subjunctive is less used, there are still similar phrases (avant que is another one) with which you can't escape it...
     

    lyssa

    Member
    English - England
    Sorry to drag this topic back up again a year later, but I have another question!

    If there is a second subordinate clause following a subjunctive because of a superlative...does this verb need to go in the subjunctive too?

    For example:

    C'est le seul film que j'aie vu qui m'ait vraiment fait rire.
    or
    C'est le seul film que j'aie vu qui m'a vraiment fait rire.
    or
    C'est le seul film que j'ai vu qui m'a vraiment fait rire.

    ...?!!

    Quelqu'un peut m'expliquer ce qu'on devrait utiliser ici?

    Merci d'avance!
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    All three phrases are indeed correct. :)

    That being said, the que j'ai(e) vu part is redundant and should be omitted since you obviously need to see a film before it can make you laugh:

    C'est le seul film qui m'a/ait vraiment fait rire.
     

    Gemsh

    Member
    English-Australia
    C'est la seule solution qu'on puisse/peut trouver

    Hello, in the above sentence, is it better to use the subjunctive or indicative? My understanding is that if I use the subjunctive, that means, selon moi ou à mon avis, but if I use the the indicative, I'm insisting that it's a fact; that no other solution exists. Is my understanding correct?

    Thanks in advance.
     
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    Lacuzon

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Bonjour,

    it's better to use the subjunctive because of the superlative. […]

    Anyway, whether indicative or subjunctive be used, the meaning is the same.
     
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    Gemsh

    Member
    English-Australia
    The subjunctive sounded better to my ears too. Thanks for the confirmation!
     
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    olivier68

    Senior Member
    French Paris France
    Les deux sont possibles.
    Le subjonctif laisse planer un petit doute.
    L'indicatif signifie que l'affaire est bouclée.
     

    madame blue

    Member
    English-USA
    Bonjour,
    Confused about why question #4 isn't subjunctive and #6 is. This is printed in the AMSCO French Three Years workbook, and I'm the teacher.

    4. Quel est le meilleur film que vous avez vu récemment?

    6. Quelle est la meilleure voiture qu'on puisse acheter?


    Am I missing something or is this a mistake?

    Merci!
    Jess
     

    olivier68

    Senior Member
    French Paris France
    Dans la mesure où cela sort d'un livre d'apprentissage du français, il y a une logique sous-jacente.

    Dans #4, il est faut référence a un fait effectivement acté : on a effectivement vu le film ! C'est donc l'indicatif (passé) qui semble naturel.
    Dans #6, on est plutôt dans l'hypothétique, le souhait, la suggestion : c'est le subjonctif qui semble le plus naturel (NB. on aurait même pu utiliser le conditionnel).

    Mais Me Capello a raison : dans la pratique (au moins orale), de nos jours, et dans cet exemple, on peut effectivement trouver indicatif ou subjonctif pour #4 et #6.
     

    Jektor

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    I agree. The subjunctive generally refers to possibilities, something which might happen.
    The indicative refers to something which has happened or is happening.
    "le meilleur film que vous avez vu" - a film which you have seen, not one which you might have seen...
    If you haven't seen it, you wouldn't know if it was "le meilleur" or not...
    .
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    The subjunctive generally refers to possibilities, something which might happen.
    The indicative refers to something which has happened or is happening.
    That's the theory. In reality things are not as clear-cut. Sometimes it is just a matter of perception, thus something subjective.

    If you haven't seen it, you wouldn't know if it was "le meilleur" or not...
    Here we are dealing with a question and the person asking it most likely does not know whether or not the person they're questioning has seen a good film recently. That uncertainty is indeed very likely to trigger the subjunctive rather than the indicative.
     
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