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  1. J'espère qu'il ne cherche pas à me faire concurrence, au moins.

My understanding is that if the verb "espérer" is negated like "Je n'espère pas qu'il cherche ...", then this "cherche" should be the subjunctive. But how about when the verb "chercher" is negated instead, as shown above? Is this the Indicatif Présent?

  1. J'espérais juste qu'il revienne, ou que la fille finirait par apparaître.

When "espérer" is in the past tense and in the affirmative, I’m not sure if the verbs in the subordinate clause should take the subjunctive form like "revienne", or need the future form (in this case, the Conditionnel Présent) like "finirait".

marked as duplicate by Laure, Toto, Stéphane Gimenez Sep 8 '16 at 20:38

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  • If I remember well, the subjunctive form means there is an uncertainty in what may happen (or may have happened). When hoping, the different propositions are just possibilities. – SteffX Sep 8 '16 at 17:44
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My understanding is that if the verb "espérer" is negated like "Je n'espère pas qu'il cherche ...", then this "cherche" should be the subjunctive.

No, it doesn't have to be the subjonctive.

But how about when the verb "chercher" is negated instead, as shown above? Is this the Indicatif Présent?

In your example it's indicatif present, yes.

In the following examples I doubled the verb chercher with suivre since chercher has the same conjugation in indicatif présent and subjonctif présent (except for nous and vous).

J'espère qu'il cherche/suit son frère = I hope he is looking for/following his brother

J'espère qu'il ne cherche/suit pas son frère = I hope he isn't looking for/following his brother

Je n'espère pas qu'il cherche/suit son frère = I don't hope he is looking for/following his brother

Je n'espère pas qu'il ne cherche/suit pas = I don't hope he isn't looking for/following his brother

They are all at present tense. There is the idea of right now, it's happening.

Now I know what you mean, it can be the subjunctive, there is something about the subjonctive with the verbs vouloir, souhaiter, espérer, etc. I'll let this answer to more qualified people.

  • @S: À votre avis, quelle forme convient le mieux à être utilisée dans la deuxième phrase : Subjonctif Présent {revienne, finisse} ou Conditionnel Présent {reviendrait, finirait} ? Je crois que l'on ne peut pas décemment les mêler toutes les deux, l'une avec l'autre. Merci. – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Sep 9 '16 at 10:50
  • I found that if it is negative or interrogative it should be subjunctive - lawlessfrench.com/subjunctivisor/esperer no? – Blaszard Dec 20 '18 at 0:31

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