# il est probable + subjunctive / indicative

#### timpeac

##### Senior Member
In order not to overtake another thread I thought I would start a new one on this topic - could you please tell me which version sounds correct to you?

Markus said:
Uh oh. I'm suddenly all confused after reading Gil's post. I learned to use the indicative for probability and the subjunctive for possibility. My French teacher taught us the 50% rule: If the chances of the event occurring are greater than 50%, use the indicative. Thus the following phrases would be correct:

Il est possible que j'y aille.
Il est probable que j'y irai.
Il n'est pas probable que j'y aille.
Il est certain que j'y irai.

However Gil's source states that probability is also classified under the subjunctive! Can I hear some opinions on this issue? Is it not so clear-cut as I learned or is what I learned just plain wrong? Thanks!

You are not alone. I have always been taught time and time again that it is actually wrong to use the subjunctive after probability. I have seen numerous sources say this, and I must say that Gil's (here ici) is the first I've ever seen to recommend, or rather impose, the subjunctive after "il est probable que" etc.

I am very confused. No matter what grammar books recommend can natives tell us what they say?

Would you say "il est probable qu'il viendra" or "il est probable qu'il vienne"?

• #### Gil

##### Senior Member
Trouvé dans le Multidictionnaire:
Il est probable que:
1.
La locution imprersonnelle se construit avec l'indicatif si l'action ou le fait est probable Exemple: Il est probable qu'il fera beau ce soir.
2. La locution impersonnelle se construit avec le subjonctif si l'action ou le fait est improbable. Exemples: Il est peu probable qu'il vienne ce soir. ou il n'est pas probable qu'il vienne.
To answer your question, I could use both, but I would prefer qu'il viendra

#### timpeac

##### Senior Member
Well that's a relief Gil!! The original source said subj after probability! I am very relieved to know that I hadn't been getting it wrong all this time!

#### Markus

##### Senior Member
Thanks for clarifying, Gil.

#### Gil

##### Senior Member
timpeac said:
Well that's a relief Gil!! The original source said subj after probability! I am very relieved to know that I hadn't been getting it wrong all this time!
The source I had found was not very clear. I am glad I found something else...

#### LV4-26

##### Senior Member
I totally agree with Gil here.

So Markus' sentence sounds perfectly fine to me
Il est probable que j'irai
Only we always omit the "y" in this case (but not in j'y aille) for euphonic reason.

However, please be aware that Google doesn't agree with us......which doesn't mean we are wrong. I suspect the use of "il est probable que j'y aille" to result from a "contamination" by "il est peu probable que j'y aille".