French Subjunctive Irregular Conjugations

Conjugating irregular verbs and stem-changing verbs into the subjunctive

French subjunctive

While not as difficult as using the French subjunctive, conjugating irregular and stem-changing verbs into the subjunctive can be a little tricky.

Stem-changing verbs and most irregular verbs follow the same pattern as regular verbs for the singular conjugations (je, tu, il/elle/on) as well as the third person plural (ils/elles): the subjunctive stem is derived from the present tense conjugation of ils.

present tense: ils boiventenvoientprennentviennent
 stem boiv-envoi-prenn-vienn-
subjunctive endings    
   ... que je-eboiveenvoieprennevienne
   ... que tu-esboivesenvoiesprennesviennes
   ... qu'il/elle/on-eboiveenvoieprennevienne
   ... qu'ils/elles-entboiventenvoientprennentviennent
However, the nous and vous forms of the subjunctive find their stems in the present tense conjugation of nous:
present tense: nous buvonsenvoyonsprenonsvenons
 stem buv-envoy-pren-ven-
subjunctive endings     
   ... que nous-ionsbuvionsenvoyionsprenionsvenions
   ... que vous-iezbuviezenvoyiezpreniezveniez

This two-stem subjunctive pattern applies to all stem-changing verbs as well as all but seven irregular verbs.

Five verbs have irregular subjunctive stems but take the same endings as above:

  One stem Two stems*
  fairepouvoirsavoir allervouloir
stem(s)  fass-puiss-sach- aill- / all-veuill- / voul-
   ... que je (j') fassepuissesache ailleveuille
   ... que tu fassespuissessaches aillesveuilles
   ... qu'il/elle/on fassepuissesache ailleveuille
   ... que nous fassionspuissionssachions allionsvoulions
   ... que vous fassiezpuissiezsachiez alliezvouliez
   ... qu'ils/elles fassentpuissentsachent aillentveuillent

*These two verbs have different stems for je/tu/il/ils and nous/vous.

And finally, two verbs have irregular stems as well irregular endings:

   ... que je (j')aiesois
   ... que tuaiessois
   ... qu'il/elle/onaitsoit
   ... que nousayonssoyons
   ... que vousayezsoyez
   ... qu'ils/ellesaientsoient


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Your Citation
Lawless, Laura K. "French Subjunctive Irregular Conjugations." ThoughtCo, Feb. 20, 2018, Lawless, Laura K. (2018, February 20). French Subjunctive Irregular Conjugations. Retrieved from Lawless, Laura K. "French Subjunctive Irregular Conjugations." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 22, 2018).