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Subjunctive passé to subj. imparfait when moving from direct to indirect? Watch

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    Quick question, if you're moving a verb in the subjunctive passé (e.g (n'ait pas pu oser) from direct to indirect speech (i.e he told me that etc) do you change the tense to imparfait subjunctive (e.g ne put pas oser) or leave it subj passé?
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    (Original post by FatboyGinger)
    Quick question, if you're moving a verb in the subjunctive passé (e.g (n'ait pas pu oser) from direct to indirect speech (i.e he told me that etc) do you change the tense to imparfait subjunctive (e.g ne put pas oser) or leave it subj passé?
    If you're moving a verb in subpassé from indirect you must change the tense to imparfait subjunctice. For this same example, you must say "qu'il n'avait pas pu oser". ( if you need help for change take this link http://conjf.cactus2000.de/index.fr.php )
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    (Original post by FatboyGinger)
    Quick question, if you're moving a verb in the subjunctive passé (e.g (n'ait pas pu oser) from direct to indirect speech (i.e he told me that etc) do you change the tense to imparfait subjunctive (e.g ne put pas oser) or leave it subj passé?
    "Je déteste qu'elle soit partie sans me parler."

    "Il m'a dit qu'il détestait qu'elle soit partie sans lui parler."

    Nope, you don't need to change it - are you somehow thinking that the imperfect subjunctive is one level further back in the past and so replaces the past subjunctive in indirect speech, like the pluperfect replaces the perfect?

    Don't think of the imperfect subjunctive like this - the imperfect subjunctive is used in past tense subjunctive clauses in literary texts where in normal conversation we would use the present subjunctive.
    -"Mary voulait qu'il vienne" = "Mary voulait qu'il vînt"

    The imperfect subjunctive expresses simultaneity or posteriority to the main clause, so if you use the imperfect subjunctive with my example "Il m'a dit qu'il détestait qu'elle parte/partît sans lui parler" it would imply that at the time you heard the utterance the person hadn't left yet, or that this person would often leave without talking to 'him', which is a distortion of the original meaning.

    In contrast, the past subjunctive and its literary equivalent - the pluperfect subjunctive (que j'eusse mangé) are used in past tense subjunctive clauses to express the anteriority of the subjunctive clause in relation to the main clause (the action occurs before the main clause).

    This is why in the example I wrote it doesn't change - in both direct and indirect speech the "she left" part is anterior to the "détester" main clause. The past subjunctive describes a relation between tenses rather than expressing a specific tense value, which is why you can't use it on its own in an independent clause like you can with, say the passé composé.

    A result of this is that even though the tense seems to change in English when switching to indirect speech ('I hate that she has left' vs. 'He told me that he hated that she had left') as long as the temporal relation between the main clause and the subjunctive clause remains the same (anteriority of the subjunctive clause) the perfect subjunctive is used.

    Sorry if this isn't clear I'm typing on my phone.



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    (Original post by qwertyuiop1993)
    "Je déteste qu'elle soit partie sans me parler."

    "Il m'a dit qu'il détestait qu'elle soit partie sans lui parler."

    Nope, you don't need to change it - are you somehow thinking that the imperfect subjunctive is one level further back in the past and so replaces the past subjunctive in indirect speech, like the pluperfect replaces the perfect?

    Don't think of the imperfect subjunctive like this - the imperfect subjunctive is used in past tense subjunctive clauses in literary texts where in normal conversation we would use the present subjunctive.
    -"Mary voulait qu'il vienne" = "Mary voulait qu'il vînt"

    The imperfect subjunctive expresses simultaneity or posteriority to the main clause, so if you use the imperfect subjunctive with my example "Il m'a dit qu'il détestait qu'elle parte/partît sans lui parler" it would imply that at the time you heard the utterance the person hadn't left yet, or that this person would often leave without talking to 'him', which is a distortion of the original meaning.

    In contrast, the past subjunctive and its literary equivalent - the pluperfect subjunctive (que j'eusse mangé) are used in past tense subjunctive clauses to express the anteriority of the subjunctive clause in relation to the main clause (the action occurs before the main clause).

    This is why in the example I wrote it doesn't change - in both direct and indirect speech the "she left" part is anterior to the "détester" main clause. The past subjunctive describes a relation between tenses rather than expressing a specific tense value, which is why you can't use it on its own in an independent clause like you can with, say the passé composé.

    A result of this is that even though the tense seems to change in English when switching to indirect speech ('I hate that she has left' vs. 'He told me that he hated that she had left') as long as the temporal relation between the main clause and the subjunctive clause remains the same (anteriority of the subjunctive clause) the perfect subjunctive is used.

    Sorry if this isn't clear I'm typing on my phone.



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    Thank, and thanks for the explanation
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    This may be stating the obvious, but: another thing to add to Qwertyuiop1993's explanation is that you would only ever use the imperfect or pluperfect subjunctive in texts where you are also using the past historic - so in modern French, only in literary or historic texts.

    The pluperfect subjunctive is also taught in France as being the second form of the conditional perfect when used in main clauses. So: il eût été préférable in a main clause means the same as il aurait été préférable. Again, this is used in literary and historic texts.
 
 
 
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