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Manuel

Imperfect Subjunctive

Imperfect Subjunctive - L’imparfait du subjonctif

HOW

Take the second person singular of the passé simple – literary past (see irregular passé simples) – drop the –S and add:

que je (I) ... –sse

que tu (you sing.) ... sses

qu’elle (she) ... ˆt

qu’il (he) ... ˆt

qu’on (we inf.) ... ˆt

que nous (we form.) ... ssions

que vous (you pl.) ... ssiez

qu’ils (they m.) ... ssent

qu’elles (they f.) ... ssent

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WHEN

Use the imperfect subjunctive in writing[2] only, with the same triggering clauses as for the present subjunctive, any time the triggering clause is in the past or in the conditional.

in context

WRITTEN:             Il ne croit pas que tu sois sincère.

He doesn’t believe you are sincere.

WRITTEN:             Il ne croyait pas que tu fusses sincère.

He didn’t believe you are sincere.

WRITTEN:             Il ne croirait pas que tu fusses sincère.

He wouldn’t believe you are sincere.

SPOKEN:             Il ne croit pas que tu sois sincère.

He doesn’t believe you are sincere.

SPOKEN:             Il ne croyait pas que tu sois sincère.

He didn’t believe you are sincere.

SPOKEN:             Il ne croirait pas que tu sois sincère.

He wouldn’t believe you are sincere.

Related topics:

present subjunctive formation – uses  - past subjunctive – pluperfect subjunctive – IF clauses


[1] [1] to have is not irregular per say, but is good to review here

[2] in spoken French, use the present subjunctive instead of the imperfect subjunctive

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