Function of English "may" in French subjonctif présent

WilliamC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Function of English "may" in French subjonctif présent

I seem to recall that when using the subjunctive in English we would use "may." I don't see "may" used in any of the English translations. Is my understanding of the use of "may" out of date or just plain wrong? Thanks!

Asked 2 years ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

The use of “may” is not always explicit in English and also only covers some uses of the French subjunctive. Here is an example:

Que tes vœux se réalisent. — May your wishes come true. 

Even in English we use the subjunctive (mostly without realizing): (May) God save the Queen! 

There are many constructions in French which ask for the subjunctive that have no parallel in English, though:

Il faut que je parte. Je ne crois pas qu’il vienne. Je dois faire le menage avant qu’ils n’arrivent. 

WilliamC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thanks!

Function of English "may" in French subjonctif présent

I seem to recall that when using the subjunctive in English we would use "may." I don't see "may" used in any of the English translations. Is my understanding of the use of "may" out of date or just plain wrong? Thanks!

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