Il faut qu'ils sachent conduire

Il faut qu'ils sachent conduire

Just to test it. Is the rule as follows. If these verbs are preceded with something like il faut subjuntive, if not and positive, indicative, if not and negative subjunctive, subjunctive? Eg il faut qu'ils sachent conduire, ils savent conduire, ils ne sachent pas conduire. Correct or not please?
Asked 8 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star

Bonjour Jennifer,

No, that's not how it works.

The subjunctive/indicative question only comes up when there's a relative clause - that is, "verb + que + verb." The first verb is what determines whether the second verb has to be subjunctive.

Il faut que always needs the subjunctive: Il faut qu'il sache, Il ne faut pas qu'il sache, Il faut qu'il ne sache pas.

The lesson you asked this question about is on a particular set of verbs that require the indicative when the verb is affirmative, but the subjunctive when it's negative.

Je pense qu'il le sait --> Je ne pense pas qu'il le sache.

Ils savent conduire / Ils ne savent pas conduire - no subjunctive because there's no que.

You might like to take a look at some more explanatory lessons:

Introduction to French subjunctive
A simple little lesson on the French subjunctive

Merci bien

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