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French grammar - Irregular subjunctives - être and avoir

Irregular subjunctives - être & avoir

There are nine common verbs that have irregular subjunctive conjugations.

In this topic we cover the first two: être & avoir.

The verb être ('to be'):

je sois

tu sois

il soit & elle soit

nous soyons

vous soyez

ils soient & ells soient

The verb avoir ('to have').

j'aie

tu aies

il ait & elle ait

nous ayons

vous ayez

ils aient & ells aient

This topic's examples introduce more conjunctions that require the subjunctive. These all relate to expressing an opinion.

Examples:
C'est dommage que je ne sois que deuxième.
It's a shame that I'm only second.

être dommage que means 'to be a shame that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)

C'est incroyable que tu sois astronaute.
It's amazing that you're an astronaut.

être incroyable que means 'to be in credible that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)

Elle est triste qu'il soit malade.
She is sad that he is sick.

être triste que means 'to be sad that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)

Mes parents adorent que nous ne soyons pas loin d'eux.
My parents love that we are not far from them.

adorer que means 'to love that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)

Il est surprenant que vous ne soyez pas français.
It is surprising that you are not French.

il est surprenant que means 'it is surprising that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)

J'ai aimé que mes frères soient dans l'équipe.
I liked that my brothers were in the team.

aimer que means 'to like that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)

Mes amis sont heureux que j'aie une petite amie.
My friends are happy that I have a girlfriend.

être heureux que means 'to be happy that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)

Il est convenable que tu aies le trophée - tu étais la meilleure.
It's fitting that you have the trophy - you were the best.

il est convenable que means 'it is proper/fitting that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)

Je suis surpris que l'écureuil ait autant de noix dans la bouche.
I am surprised that the squirrel has so many nuts in his mouth.

être surpris que means 'to be surprised that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)

C'est très bon que nous ayons maintenant les bonnes informations.
It's very good that we now have the right information.

il est bon que means 'it is good that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)

Est-ce normal que vous ayez un verre dans chaque main ?
Is it normal for you to have a drink in each hand?

il est normal que means 'it is normal that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)

Nous apprécions vraiment que vous soyez ici avec nous.
We really appreciate you being here with us.

apprécier que means 'to appreciate that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)

Il est regrettable que Jacques n'ait pas le temps d'être ici.
It is unfortunate that Jacques does not have time to be here.

être regrettable que means 'to be regrettable that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)

Je suis surpris que Béatrice ne soit pas encore une actrice célèbre.
I'm surprised that Beatrice isn't a famous actress yet.

être surpris que means 'to be surprised that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)

Nous trouvons étrange que vous ayez un tel succès avec un livre sur les femmes d'Henri IV.
We find it strange that you have such success with a book on the wives of Henri IV.

il est etrange que means 'it is strange that' (an opinion so takes the subjunctive)