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What about something that has NOT yet happened?

Phoebe W.C1Kwiziq community member

What about something that has NOT yet happened?

If I wanted to write the sentence below in French, could I, using après que? Or would it have to be reworded? Would I still use the indicative, even though the action has not yet taken place and is uncertain, or is this a case where après que might take the subjunctive?

“After you arrive/have arrived home safely, then and only then will I go to bed.”


Asked 3 years ago
Maarten K.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

I think this linked lesson further answers your question, including the use of après que. No subjunctive needed. Quand/lorsque/après que/une fois que + future perfect (Le Futur Antérieur) = When/after I've done something in the future (Sequence of Tenses in French)

Phoebe W.C1Kwiziq community member

I suppose you could write:

Quand tu seras rentré sain et sauf, j’irai me coucher...

But the question remain, can one use après que?

J. L.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi Phoebe. I may be 3 mths late but I think I have a definitive answer for you. 

Your example sentence is "After  you arrive (have arrived) THEN (and only then)WILL I go to bed."

This sentence can only be grammatically correct in FRENCH if written using the 'future anterior'. 

Let us eliminate the subjunctive... there is not doubt or uncertainty about the actions in either clause. The person will arrive! You will go to bed after!.

And you cannot use 'apres que' and the indicative because the action of the main clause/verb  (I will go to bed) is not in the past or present.

Fits the future Anterior exceptionally though! You can use almost any of the conjunctions(including après que) from the lesson on the future anterior cited by Maarten.

Why the Future Anterior?

a)Both actions are in the FUTURE!.. neither completed.

b) Your going to bed is contingent upon the (requisite) completion of someone arriving. 

c)Your sentence is filled with SPECIFIC time words (then ) which leaves no doubt that the  the actions of the main clause will happen upon a specific time in the future... when(after)  she arrives...then and only then. .. this is one of the hallmarks of the future anterior/... a time indicator word(s)  leaving no doubt that the actions refer to the future..

If you review the examples in the lessons, cited by Maarten, on the Future Anterior.. you find that the word(s) indicating a 'fairly specific future time' (Quand Lorsque..etc etc) all throughout the sentences. I think the lessons will be improved if this element is stressed.

What about something that has NOT yet happened?

If I wanted to write the sentence below in French, could I, using après que? Or would it have to be reworded? Would I still use the indicative, even though the action has not yet taken place and is uncertain, or is this a case where après que might take the subjunctive?

“After you arrive/have arrived home safely, then and only then will I go to bed.”


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