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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ThoughtCo. "French Subjunctive Irregular Conjugations." ThoughtCo, Mar. 23, 2018, ThoughtCo. (2018, March 23). French Subjunctive Irregular Conjugations. Retrieved from ThoughtCo. "French Subjunctive Irregular Conjugations." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 25, 2018).