Something bothers me about the following sentence:

Il n'a pas dit quand il vient nous rendre visite.

I keep wondering why 'vient'.

I would say:

Il n'a pas dit quand il viendrait nous rendre visite.

Because of the indirect speech and sequence of tenses. Is that wrong and if it is, why?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

2 Answers 2


J'utiliserai même plus volontiers le futur (la visite a toutes les chances d'être réalisée) :

Il n'a pas dit quand il viendra nous rendre visite.

Certainement pas le présent puisque c'est une action qui n'est pas simultanée au fait de le dire.

  • 1
    Merci beaucoup!
    – VlS
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 12:19
  • It could be the present when it's a regular action (i.e. which day, which time a weekly or daily visit happens), but there's just not enough context to tell.
    – Circeus
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 17:12

EDIT: My first post was pretty doubtful. Soz.

There is two "conditionnel" types :

  • Le conditionnel temporel, which is used to speak about a "future" event in a past-viewpoint.

Hier, il a dit qu'il parlerait couramment le français d'ici 2 ans.

Yesterday, he said he would be fluent in french in 2 years. (Translation could be inexact)

  • Le conditionnel modal, which is used to speak about imaginary, possibility, opinion and uncertain things.

So you should use

quand il viendrait

As it is a future in a past-viewpoint.

I hope it is clear enough.

  • Thank you very much! I guess I should check the use of ''quand'' with tenses.
    – VlS
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 12:18
  • 1
    You're welcome, but don't worry too much. Usually a lot of french don't even pay attention to these kind on things, even me. I usually say "Quand il viendrait" even if it's a bit wrong ! Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 12:19
  • Oh, that's nice but... One more thing, if you don't mind. The sentence is ''discours indirect'' ( Il a dit que/quand... etc ) and let's say 'he' used future. Je viendrai vous rendre visite. Il a dit qu'il viendrait nous rendre visite. Now this is ok ( I suppose ) but this is not the same thing as my earlier example because of ''quand''?
    – VlS
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 12:38
  • 1
    IMO when you use "quand" instead of "que", you're not really using "discours indirect". I mean, I never heard "Il m'a dit quand il viendrait". We would use "Il m'a dit à quelle heure / quelle date / il viendrait". And in this case, you use the conditional to translate a "Spoken future in past".. I should edit my post. Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 13:12
  • Je ne le comprends pas. Par exemple: Quand a-t-il du temps? - Je ne sais pas quand il a du temps. C'est l'interrogation indirecte. Exemple: Il m'a demandé: « Quand tu seras dispo? » -> Il m'a demandé quand je serais dispos. J'ai utilisé la concordance des temps: future -> conditonnel. Je pense que mon exemple « Il n'a pas dit quand il... » est la même chose. Mais peut-être j'ai tort parce qu'il n'y a pas de question alors je ne peux pas utiliser le même raisonnement. By the way, thank you for your time. I'm really confused about this one.
    – VlS
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 14:03

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