Why does the sentence

Elles sont venues sans que je les ai invitées

not use the subjunctive? I thought "sans que" always requires the subjunctive, so what is the exception in this case?

  • 7
    What makes you think this sentence is correct? It should be spelled “sans que je les aie”, which is a subjunctive. Native speakers may plausibly make this spelling error, it's pronounced the same. Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


Sans que like avant que requires the subjunctive. So the correct form is

Elles sont venues sans que je les aie invitées.

sans que conveys here a negative concession. See here: http://mamiehiou.over-blog.com/article-sans-que-indicatif-subjonctif-ou-conditionnel-quel-mode-choisir-79956674.html.

  • Shouldn't it be "Elles sont venues sans que je ne les aie invitées"
    – vc 74
    Commented Oct 14, 2021 at 13:45
  • @vc Le ne explétif n'est pas nécessaire : bescherelle.ca/sans-que
    – Dimitris
    Commented Oct 14, 2021 at 13:57
  • OK, merci pour cette précision
    – vc 74
    Commented Oct 14, 2021 at 14:37
  • Your answer is saying something the OP obviously already knew. And the sentence given by OP already used the subjunctive, no hesitation about that, French natives would analyse it as being no other tense than the subjunctive. But, as pointed out in Gilles'SOnousesthostile's comment there is a spelling error, and this is a very frequent spelling error.
    – None
    Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 14:29

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