About-France.comOnline French

 Subjunctive tenses

About-France.com  A thematic guide to France   
Paris and the river Seine
About- France for mobiles Online French grammar French life & institutions Visit France
French online grammar 
  The About-France.com thematic guide to France   - French life, institutions, society, travel and tourism.

 Conjugate verbs in the subjunctive tenses in French 

Although it is not vital for communication, the subjunctive mood is used, and should be used, in a number of everyday grammatical contexts. It is used in everyday language in two tenses, the present and the perfect (or composite past); uses of other subjunctive tenses are nowadays confined to very literary, refined, stilted or administrative French.

► For uses and examples of verbs in the subjunctive, see Examples

1.  Forms: the subjunctive tenses

Tenses (subjunctive) : regular verbs in -er
Person Present
(may love may be loving
Perfect or past  (parfait)
(may have loved)
Imperfect / preterite
(might love)
1st singular. j'aime j'aie aimé j'aimasse
2nd singular tu aimes tu aies aimé tu aimasses
3rd singular il, elle... aime il ait aimé il aimât
1st plural nous aimions nous ayons aimé nous aimassions
2nd plural vous aimiez vous ayez aimé vous aimassiez
3rd plural ils aiment ils aient aimé ils aimassent
Notes (very rare)

Tenses (subjunctive) : regular verbs in -ir
Person Present
(may finish may be finishing
Perfect or past (parfait)
(may have finished)
Imperfect / preterite
(might finish)
1st singular. j'finisse j'aie finis j'finisse
2nd singular tu finisses tu aies finis tu finisses
3rd singular il, elle... finisse il ait finis il finît
1st plural nous finissions nous ayons finis nous finissassions
2nd plural vous finissiez vous ayez finis vous finissassiez
3rd plural ils finissent ils aient finis ils finissent
Notes (very rare)

Tenses (subjunctive) : regular group 3 verbs like vendre
Person Present
(may sell may be selling
Perfect or past (parfait)
(may have sold)
Imperfect / preterite
(might sell)
1st singular. je vende j'aie vendu j'vendisse
2nd singular tu vendes tu aies vendu tu vendisses
3rd singular il, elle... vende il ait vendu il vendît
1st plural nous vendions nous ayons vendu nous vendissions
2nd plural vous vendiez vous ayez vendu vous vendissiez
3rd plural ils vendent ils aient vendu ils vendissent
Notes (very rare)

The examples above are for regular verbs. Irregular verbs frequently follow the same patterns, but may need to be learned individually, except for the perfect or past tense which is valid for all verbs.

See individual conjugation pages for subjunctive forms of  être or of avoir.
Passive subjunctive tenses exist too; they are formed using the appropriate subjunctive tense of the auxiliary être, instead of the indicative form used for notmal indicative passive tenses:
Example:  Aimer

Tenses (subjunctive) :
Person Present
(may be loved)
Perfect (parfait)
(may have beenloved)
imperfect / preterit
(may have been loved)
1st singular. je sois aimé j'aie été aimé je fusse aimé

Bookmark this page
Bookmark and Share


Map of France
►► French civilisation and culture
The regions of France
Maps of France
France facts and figures
The French political system
The French economy
The French legal system
Education in France
Studying in France
Health care in France
Religion in France
The press in France
French art
A-Z Dictionary of France
►► Site guide
About-France.com home
Full site index
About-France.com site search
►► Principal chapters on About-France.com :
The regions of France
Beyond Paris, a guide to the French regions and their tourist attractions.
Guide to Paris
Make the most of your trip to Paris; Information on attractions, Paris hotels, transport,  and lots more. 
Tourism in France
The main tourist attractions and places to visit in France - historic monuments, art galleries, seasides, and more
Planning a trip to France 
Information on things to do before starting your trip to France..
Driving in France 
Tips and useful information on driving in and through France - motorways, tolls, where to stay....
Maps of France
Cities, towns, departments, regions, climate, wine areas and other themes.
The French way of life 
A mine of information about life and living in France, including working in France, living in France, food and eating, education, shopping.
A-Z dictionary of France
Encyclopedic dictionary of modern France - key figures, institutions, acronyms, culture, icons, etc.