Using 'espérér' + indicative/subjunctive


Kwiziq community member

20 September 2018

3 replies

Using 'espérér' + indicative/subjunctive

I have a question about using the verb 'espérer' with indicative/subjuncitive.
In the Writing Challenge 'A sudden reappearance' (15/06/2018), the translation of 'To be honest, at first I hoped that it might be an hallucination...' is 'Pour être honnête, j'ai d'abord espéré que ce soit une hallucination...'
I would have thought that this is an affirmative statement and that we could say 'c'était une hallucination...' 


Kwiziq community member

21 September 2018


Hi Robert,

I would have used the indicative as well. The verb espèrer uses the indicative when employed in a positive sense. But the particular example is maybe a bit deeper than that.

Aurélie or Cécile, can you please help us with this one?


Kwiziq community member

23 September 2018


I ran that question past a French native speaker from Paris. She said that both versions (indicative and subjunctive) sound correcct to her, but the subjunctive was more elegant.

There you go. Just when you were looking for a nice, clear cut answer... :)


Kwiziq community member

26 September 2018


Hi Chris, 

Thanks for your help. I asked my girlfriend (French native, who doesn't usually like to be hassled by too many grammar questions lol!) and her response was more or less the same. 

So, I'm still a little confused. Not to worry!

Best regards. 

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