subjunctive

yklich

New Member
Dutch - Belgium
Hey,

I'm a native dutch speaker, learning some frensh and spanish, and for me it's quite hard to understand that damned "subjonctive" tense. I dont need any other theoretical explanations, as my desk is lying full of grammar books; but is there anyone who could tell me if we ever had a similar tense in dutch? And where did it go? Does anyone know examples? The only thing I could come up with would be something like "Uw rijk kome" and "Uw will geschiede". (old sayings and prayers). Is there a similar tense in english? I m about to undertake my last try in understanding these deamonic tenses, or to renounce them forever!

!Muchisima Gracias!
Yannik Klich, desesperado
 
  • jester.

    Senior Member
    Germany -> German
    OK, I don't know very much about Dutch, but I can tell you the following:

    First off, the correct spelling: in English you write: subjunctive. In Spanish it's subjuntivo and in French it's subjonctif.

    And yes, such a tense (actually it's a mood and not a tense, but never mind that) does exist in English. Here you have a few examples:

    I demanded that he tell me everything.
    The professor insisted that all pupils be present in the following lesson.
    Bless you!
    I wish you were here.
    If he were a king, he would buy a castle.
     

    Stéphane89

    Senior Member
    French (BE)
    What don't you understand in French subjunctive? Is it how it is used, when it is used, or you simply don't manage to remember the right forms?

    It is often used after verbs + que. Such as 'Il faut que'; 'Je veux que', ...

    But I can tell you that even french speakers have trouble with that tense and now, in spoken language many people don't use it and put the prensent instead. I, really don't like when people make subjunctive-mistakes because it sounds horribly bad to me but if it comes from a foreign speaker, I'll forgive them right then. But I can't stand this from natives!
     

    jester.

    Senior Member
    Germany -> German
    StefKE said:
    What don't you understand in French subjunctive? Is it how it is used, when it is used, or you simply don't manage to remember the right forms?

    It is often used after verbs + que. Such as 'Il faut que'; 'Je veux que', ...

    But I can tell you that even french speakers have trouble with that tense and now, in spoken language many people don't use it and put the prensent instead. I, really don't like when people make subjunctive-mistakes because it sounds horribly bad to me but if it comes from a foreign speaker, I'll forgive them right then. But I can't stand this from natives!

    I guess it's the usage and not the conjugations. The conjugations can be learned and are, in my humble opinion, not too difficult. On the other hand the usage is complex and often a question of nuances.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    yklich said:
    Hey,

    I'm a native dutch speaker, learning some frensh and spanish, and for me it's quite hard to understand that damned "subjonctive" tense. I dont need any other theoretical explanations, as my desk is lying full of grammar books; but is there anyone who could tell me if we ever had a similar tense in dutch? And where did it go? Does anyone know examples? The only thing I could come up with would be something like "Uw rijk kome" and "Uw will geschiede". (old sayings and prayers). Is there a similar tense in english? I m about to undertake my last try in understanding these deamonic tenses, or to renounce them forever!

    !Muchisima Gracias!
    Yannik Klich, desesperado
    As far as I can remember Dutch has subjunctive mood (it should not be mistaken with tense, since subjunctive mood has its own tenses ;))


    After a quick search I found this (search The Subunjtive Mood in Dutch paragraph) which could be handy.

    The only differences in verb endings between indicative and subjunctive lie in the 3rd person singular present tense, and, for strong verbs, also in the 1st and 3rd person singular preterite. In all other cases the subjunctive forms are identical to the indicative.

    The differences between indicative and subjunctive moods are blured in English as well which sometimes makes it realy hard to recognize if we are dealing with indicative or subjunctive. This seems to be the case in your mother tongue as well. Though, after a quick reminder you should get at least the very gist of the mood. :)

    Fruitful studying,
    Tom


    Weclome to the forums, btw. :)
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    j3st3r said:
    I guess it's the usage and not the conjugations. The conjugations can be learned and are, in my humble opinion, not too difficult. On the other hand the usage is complex and often a question of nuances.

    Actually, usage is simply learning the "conjunctions" that require the subjonctif by rote - just like the conjugations. Here's a great summary about the French subjonctif and here's one about the Spanish. Hope it helps. :)
     

    jester.

    Senior Member
    Germany -> German
    Whodunit said:
    Actually, usage is simply learning the "conjunctions" that require the subjonctif by rote - just like the conjugations. Here's a great summary about the French subjonctif and here's one about the Spanish. Hope it helps. :)

    But you have to agree that there are many doubtful cases - even for natives. That's the real difficulty ;)
     

    yklich

    New Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Thanks a lot for the info!
    The conjugations aren't what's bothering me. The real trouble is the useage. It just sounds so right to use the indicative mood instead of the subjunctive mood everytime again. And especially because it's something (almost) never used in my native language. W. Somerset Mougham hit the nail on the head: "The subjunctive mood is in its death throes, and the best thing to do is to put it out of its misery as soon as possible."

    yklich
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Maugham was talking about English only. All foreign languages contain elements that seem pointless/irrational/illogical, but we can't wish them out of existence. The more you read and practise French and Spanish, the easier the subjunctive will become.
     
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