Monday, 19 March 2007

On the subject of the subjunctive

I've spent what spare time I've had the last few days really trying to revise my french. David says I just need to get there and practice but I need to be able to spell the word that I'm saying - its just how my mind works. I studied french at high school for 5 years and then didnt really speak it at all until we went to Italy (where strangely, the language we had in common with a lot of family was french - so much for all that traveller's italian I studied). After we came home, I did two semesters at the Alliance Française but stopped when I started having problems in my pregnancy with Jasper.

So I've dragged out my old french textbook. My goal was to try and master the most common tenses. The présent indicatif (I go etc...) and the passé composé (I went...) are pretty well engrained in my memory. I've been working on the imparfait (I used to go, I was going...), the plus-que-parfait (I had gone...), the futur simple (I will go...) and the conditionnel (I would go...). And I feel like I'm making progress. But I've hit a stumbling block with the subjonctif. Its a tense we dont really use often in english and maybe that's why my only memory of learning it before is a hazy recollection of "oh no, the subjunctive, it's so hard". Still the evidence is there in the pencil-scrawled notes of my 17 year old self. I really did understand the subjonctif once... and if I've done it before, I can do it again!

1 comment:

Jennie said...

I have the same problem with the subjunctive. I never really bothered to learn it properly because I thought no one ever really used it... why else would it be put in the last chapter of the textbook?

I was so wrong though. It's used just as much as the regular indicative tense. But after hearing it so frequently, it's much easier to use now!