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Subjunctive and tenses in other clauses

VikkiC1Kwiziq community member

Subjunctive and tenses in other clauses

I'm even more confused now.  You say that you use the present subjunctive when the time frame of the 2 clauses are contemporaneous. It seems to me that in English the tenses are the same  eg "I started" and "everybody warned"  are both in the past tense.  However,  in the  french translation it shows "commence" in present (subjunctive) and "tout le monde m'avait prévenu" in the pluperfect.  Can you help please


Thanks

Asked 3 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Vikki,

The reason for the subjunctive in the first sentence -

Avant que je ne commence à apprendre le français 

is simply because of the use of 'avant que' 

Avant que + ne explétif + Le Subjonctif = Before I do

The subjunctive doesn't always correlate in English.

tout le monde m'avait prévenue = everyone had warned me 

Which is a pluperfect.

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

The two actions are: 1) The warning, 2) starting to learn French. Action 1 happened before action 2. The past subjunctive is used here to express that between 1) and 2) there is no temporal overlap.

Does that help?

Subjunctive and tenses in other clauses

I'm even more confused now.  You say that you use the present subjunctive when the time frame of the 2 clauses are contemporaneous. It seems to me that in English the tenses are the same  eg "I started" and "everybody warned"  are both in the past tense.  However,  in the  french translation it shows "commence" in present (subjunctive) and "tout le monde m'avait prévenu" in the pluperfect.  Can you help please


Thanks

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