English Grammar


I going to dare ask for a grammar question: In the sentence "before Bruno makes his speech, could I make an announcement? Why not to use the subjonctif present tense in the
first proposition? which would do:"before Bruno make his speech"
(avant que Bruno ne fasse son discours)?
If someone can help me?


  • I think that the subjonctif en français dépent de la préposition précédente "avant que (ne)". In English they have probably no grammar rules for subjonctif after prepositions.
  • To my mind, buddies, the verb in the relative clause has to be in the same tense as the one in the main clause.

    * as 'before' means "in advance of the time when":
    Before he makes his speech, I have to make an announcement. (politely: could I make)
    He thinks before he acts. (or: before acting.)

    * as 'before' means 'rather than':
    I will make an announcement before I will go crazy.
    I will die before I will betray my country. (excerpt of a grammar)

    Mind you! 'Before' in the sentences at stake are cunjunctions, not propositions.
    He coughs before he speaks. (cunjunction. Fr. 'avant que' or 'avant de')
    He coughs before the speech. (preposition. Fr. 'avant')

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/before#ixzz24lEffbR6

    Carefully yours.
  • Thanks to both of you,
    My confusion comes from a website where I read "le subjonctif anglais se confond pratiquement avec l'indicatif, seule la suppression du "s" à la 3ème pers. du singulier diffère".
    Ex:God save the Queen(King)!
    Ex:The teacher insisted that Paul go to the blackboard(le professeur insista pour que Paul aille au tableau).
    I guessed it was not so easy.
    The subjonctive don't appear in the conjugating table of the Gymglish's reference website.From this I have deduced that it might be expressed by the indicative or conditionnel tense, though it has been mentionned in a Gymglish course of a "preterit modal" with "he were","she were".
    I thinck to know, Fugendichter that you have some German origins,and translation from French to German is close to English.Your advice must be appropriate.
    Then again, "avant que" is a conjonction but its component "avant" is a preposition.In other respects,AhQ, about the rule of identity of tense,I come across This sentence:"I'll call him after I've take a shower"Je l'appellerai quand j'aurai pris ma douche".Is it grammaticaly incorrect?
    Thanks ever so!
    There is still works to me.
  • Hi Green Lemon,

    Rules in English for the subjunctive are completely different to French rules. There are almost no similarities between the two, and in English we rarely use the subjunctive in comparison to French.

    As a general rule, you should not base your use of the English subjunctive on anything to do with French!

    In English, the subjunctive past tense is generally reserved for 'IF' clauses (as well as other hypothetical constructions):
    If I WERE a richman, I would buy a big house (instead of 'If I WAS') or I wish she WEREN'T so far away.

    The subjunctive present is generally reserved for statements of insistence, demand or necessity:
    I demand that he RESIGN immediately, I am requiring that she WEAR a dress, I asked that they ARRIVE on time.

    Here we use the subjunctive form of the verb regardless of the tense of of the initial verb. Note that the subjunctive present form is identical to the infinitive form of the verb (without 'to'). Also, the subjunctive present is more commonly used in American English than in British English, in which the term 'should' is generally used: I demanded that he SHOULD resign.

    Have a nice day!

  • Hi Sammy,

    Thanks you very much for this restatement!
    I am going to feel more secured in this field from now on.
    Best regards!
  • Thank you both for that very interesting lesson, I'm very glad to participate by chance.
  • This post was deleted by the author 8 years, 11 months ago.

  • Thank to all of you for what I learnt here. And to Calcard, for his irreverent motto and new title for the British anthem ;) With this I'll remember the use of the subjonctive present. Even in french, I'm confused when talking about the tenses, I'm not sure of what is called subjonctive or conditional, so it makes it easier with examples.
  • Thanks to Sammy B for his very clear explanations (clearer than those of GymGlish corrections). I had been learning English at school during 9 years and had never heard about the subjonctive present tense, only about the past (were).

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