I must put one of the phrases in the title on the empty place in the sentence:

______ que les trottinettes soient bientôt interdites sur nos trottoirs.

The options are:

  • Il est possible
  • Il est certain
  • Il paraît
  • Il croit

Which is the correct option and why?


As the conjugation is a subjunctive, one can eliminate :

  • Il paraît
  • Il est certain
  • Il croit

(and by the way, 'Il croit' means 'he believes' : it's not an impersonal form like the others).

Note that all those 3 forms would be acceptable with an indicative (future because of the 'bientôt'), for example :

Il paraît que les trottinettes seront bientôt interdites sur nos trottoirs

So the only valid one is :

Il est possible que les trottinettes soient bientôt interdites sur nos trottoirs.

Here are some other elements that would fit in here :

  • Il semble
  • Il est à craindre
  • Il est souhaitable

As for the why, it's dictated by usage, and there a lot of exceptions but :

  • For a possibility or a wish, it's mostly subjunctive mood.
  • For something certain or obvious, it's mostly indicative mood.
  • Il croît means he grows... ;-)
    – jlliagre
    Apr 9 at 12:49
  • 1
    @jlliagre oups, corrigé.
    – XouDo
    Apr 9 at 12:52
  • At this point of my studies, I had only heard of subjunctif and didn't know what it really was. This problem and your answer made me do some searching. Now I know what it's about, Thank you for the clean explanation. Apr 9 at 14:05

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