The question is on the mood of the verb "avoir" in the second sentence below.

Comme cette vieille femme ronfle! Il faut que je voie si elle a besoin de quelque chose.

(a) Can that "a" be changed to "ait"?

(b) Please give some general guidance on using the indicative or subjunctive mood in embedded or doubly embedded contexts similar to the one quoted, i.e. the French equivalents of:

  • I (will) see/ask/guess/wonder/doubt/confirm/deny if/whether/that she needs something.
  • It is necessary I see/[etc.] if/whether/that she needs something.

Notes: The quote is from Le Petit Chaperon Rouge. The wolf has just devoured Little Red Riding Hood and fallen asleep in Grandma's bed. The passing huntsman hears the wolf's snoring and says the line to himself. For full text see this web page.


1 Answer 1


The subjonctive is on "voie" not on the verb "avoir" (because it has not to be on), so it is "a" and not "ait".

I am learning English while you are learning French, and I can advise you using the subjonctive in french when you would use it in english.

  • Peut-être au début de la phrase mettre le "on" dans les guillemets avec "voie". Je ne saisis pas ce qui se trouve entre parenthèses. Si je lis en anglais je lis "on" comme l'inverse de "off" par défaut(puis "sur"). Merci.
    – user3177
    May 12, 2015 at 15:27
  • je veux dire sur quand je dis on oui
    – pat27
    May 12, 2015 at 17:18

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