Page images
PDF
EPUB

157

(5) Consecutive; i.e. a Conjunction expressing an inference drawn :—

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Vienne encore un procès, et je suis One more lawsuit, and I am a ruined

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

INTRODUCTORY:-Dependent Clauses are classified, according as they do duty

for (1) Substantives, (2) Adjectives, or (3) Adverbs, into

(1) Substantive Clauses: as,

Je désire qu'il me réponde (= une réponse).

(2) Adjective Clauses: as,

L'homme qui vit content (= content) est heureux.

(3) Adverbial Clauses: as,

Nous partîmes quand le soleil se leva (= au lever du soleil).

158

A. USE OF MOODS IN DEPENDENT CLAUSES.

General Rule.-Either the Indicative, the Conditional, or the Subjunctive may be used in Dependent Clauses: as,

Il est certain qu'il le sait.

Je sais qu'il viendra.

Quand même il le saurait, il ne le dirait pas. Je savais qu'il viendrait.
Il importe qu'il le sache.
Je doute qu'il vienne.

The use of one or the other depends entirely on the meaning either expressed or latent in the Principal Sentence: thus we put the Verb of the dependent Clause—

(I.) in the Indicative, if the Principal Sentence implies (indicates) that the statement expressed in the dependent Clause is considered as a matter of fact. The fact itself may be true or not, but anyhow it is stated as true.

(II.) in the Subjunctive, if the Principal Sentence implies that the action expressed in the dependent Clause is considered as conceived in the mind of the speaker.*

As the term Subjunctive implies, the action is represented as being subjoined to (under the yoke of) some leading thought contained in the Principal Sentence-be it a wish, an emotion, a doubt, or any notion as distinguished from fact. Thus in the sentence

Je sais qu'il viendra,

I know that he will come,

the fact of his coming is indicated absolutely and without any mental reservation, hence the use of the Indicative form of Conjugation for the Verb indicating that fact. But in the sentence

Son père veut qu'il vienne,

His father wishes that he should come,

the contingency (eventual fact) of his coming is in the speaker's mind, subjoined to the will of another (his father).

N.B.-The so-called Conditional Mood occupies a sort of intermediate position between the Indicative and the Subjunctive; doing duty in the province either

of the Indicative, as a Future Imperfect (the Conditional Perf. as a Future Pluperfect), cp. Je sais qu'il ira, with- Je savais qu'il irait,

or of the Subjunctive, as an Imperfect (the Cond. Perf. as a Pluperfect) in Concessive Clauses (whilst, vice versa, the Subj. Plupf. occasionally does duty for a Condit. Perf.): as, Quand cela serait (= supposé que cela fût ainsi), vous n'avez rien à y voir.

* In other words, a statement may be said to be affected by the mind of the speaker, as a ray of light is affected by its passage through a prism.

159

B. THE SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD.

This mental attitude which a speaker or writer in French assumes towards the action or event spoken of, and subject to which he uses the Verb denoting that action in the Subjunctive, may manifest itself either as―

(a) a Wish, Command, Consent, Concession, or their opposites— a Wish or Command that something may not occur, i.e. Fear or Prohibition;

(b) an Emotion, as— -Joy, Sorrow, Shame, Indignation, Surprise, etc., or (c) a Doubt, Uncertainty, Denial; under this head must be classed Result expected, Purpose intended, i.e. Anticipation in contradistinction to Accomplished Fact.

To sum up- When the Principal Clause of a Complex Sentence contains any idea of Wish, Emotion, or Doubt (either expressed by a Verb, an adverbial Adjunct, or simply understood) in respect of the action described in the Dependent Clause, the Verb expressing that action is put in the Subjunctive: as,

[blocks in formation]

(b) Apprehension} Tenez-vous tranquille, de crainte qu'il ne revienne.

(c) Anticipation } Il me reposerai, en attendant qu'il revienne.

(till):-
*-

160 SPECIAL RULES:

I. THE SUBJUNCTIVE IN DEPENDENT SUBSTANTIVE CLAUSES, linked by que with the Principal Sentence containing a Verb which expresses

(a) a Wish, Command, Consent, Concern, Necessity, Prevention, Approbation, Disapprobation, etc.

Vouloir, désirer, souhaiter, prier, supplier; etc.
Demander, recommander, exiger, and the like;
Permettre, accorder, approuver, trouver bon, etc.;

Souffrir, consentir, and their opposites, etc.;

Avoir besoin, avoir soin, être d'accord, être d'avis, etc.;

Empêcher, défendre, désapprouver, trouver mauvais, etc. (see also § 161): as,

Que voulez-vous que je fasse ?
Que vouliez-vous que je fisse ?
Je trouve bon que vous re-
veniez.

Il exigea que vous revinssiez.
Il souffrait rarement qu'on lui
parlât, et jamais qu'on l'osât
contredire.

Tibérius répondit que son in-
tention était qu'on tondît
ses brebis, et non pas qu'on les
écorchât.

La pluie empêche qu'on n'aille
se promener (cp. § 153).
Il n'a pas besoin qu'on lui dise
deux fois la même chose.
J'ai jugé à propos que vous y
allassiez ensemble.

What will you have me do?
What did you wish me to do?
I approve of your coming back.

He insisted upon your returning.
He seldom allowed any one to speak
to him and never to contradict
him.

Tiberius replied that his will was
that his sheep should be shorn
and not flayed.

The rain prevents our taking a
walk.

He does not require to be told the
same thing twice over.
I thought it proper
go there together.

that you

should

Observation 1.-Notice especially the following Verbs and Verbal phrases governing à and linked by ce que instead of que only:

[blocks in formation]

Observation 2.-As after Verbs of decreeing, enacting, and the like, the result is considered as certain, the Verb is put in the Future or Conditional (see §§ 111-12): as,

Ordonné qu'il sera fait rapport à la cour

Du foin qu'une poule peut manger en un jour.

N.B. For the use of the Infinitive when the Subject of the dependent clause is the same as that of the principal sentence, see § 144.

P

(b) an Affection of the mind (Emotion)-Joy, Sorrow, Fear, Surprise, Indignation, Shame, Impression, and the like—

Se réjouir, s'affliger, regretter, s'étonner, trouver étrange, rougir, se plaindre, enrager, etc.;

Etre charmé (ravi, enchanté); être content; être fort (bien) aise; être surpris (étonné), etc.;

Avoir peur, avoir honte, avoir regret, avoir à cœur, etc.: as,

Je suis bien aise que vous ayez réussi.

J'étais enchanté que Vous

eussiez réussi.

I am very glad you have succeeded.

I was delighted you had succeeded.

Nous sommes ravis que cela We are delighted that that should

soit arrivé.

Je trouve étrange que vous
ayez fait cette démarche.
Elle est fâchée que vous ne lui

écriviez pas plus souvent.
Je m'étonne qu'il ne voie pas
le danger où il est.
Je suis d'avis qu'il parte.
C'est un homme qui mérite
qu'on le plaigne.

have happened.

I am surprised at your having taken this step.

She is offended that you do not
write to her oftener.

I am astonished he does not see the
danger in which he is placed.
I am of opinion that he should set off.
He is a man deserving of pity.

J'ai regret que vous n'ayez pas I am sorry you have not heard this entendu ce discours.

speech.

Observation 1.-After Verbs and Phrases of fearing- craindre, avoir peur, trembler, frémir, être inquiet, etc., the Verb in the Dependent Clause, in strict analogy with Latin, is used

with ne,
with ne pas,

Il craint que je'ne vienne.

Il craint que je ne vienne pas.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The use of this ne is easily accounted for, if we bear in mind that—

I fear he will come = I hope he will not come, or = I fear lest he may come.

Hence, if the Principal Sentence itself is negative, the ne is not used: as, Il ne craint pas que je vienne.

But ne...

He is not afraid that I am coming.

pas is used, if it is not feared that something will not happen: as,
He is not afraid that I am not coming.

Il ne craint pas que je ne vienne pas.

Observation 2.-The same rule applies to the Verbs empêcher, éviter, prendre garde, se garder, se donner garde, douter (§ 153):Evitez qu'il ne vienne.

See that he does not come.

Observation 3.-Verbs of emotion-except those of fearing-may be construed with the Preposition they take before a Noun-Object, and ce que followed by the Indicative: as, Je suis fâché de ce que vous ne m'avez pas prévenu. Cp. § 160, Obs. 1. Ils s'en sont excusés sur ce qu'ils n'avaient pas d'ordre.

« PreviousContinue »