Jusqu'à ce que + Le Subjonctif = Until [someone] does [something]

Look at these sentences:

Ma mère me chantait des chansons jusqu'à ce que je m'endorme.
My mother used to sing to me until I fell asleep.

Il appellera jusqu'à ce qu'elle réponde.
He'll call until she answers.

J'attendrai jusqu'à ce qu'il ait terminé.
I'll wait until after he's finished.

On est restés à l'intérieur jusqu'à ce que la pluie s'arrête
We stayed inside until the rain stopped.

 

To express until [someone] does ... in French, you use:

jusqu'à ce que + subject + verb in Subjonctif présent or Subjonctif passé
Never use the ne explétif with jusqu'à ce que

 

When to use Subjonctif présent or Subjonctif passé?

Regardless of the tense used in the main clause, the question is whether the main clause action will go on until the action after jusqu'à ce que happens, or until it has happened and stopped:

* If it goes on until the moment the action happens, you'll use Subjonctif présent

Nous nous sommes embrassés jusqu'à ce que sa femme arrive.
We kissed until his wife arrived.


J'insisterai jusqu'à ce que tu ailles le voir.
I'll insist until you go and see him.

* If it goes on until after the action has happened and stopped, you'll use Subjonctif passé.
It's similar to the English construction: until after he's done this

Nous nous sommes embrassés jusqu'à ce que sa femme soit arrivée.
We kissed until after his wife had arrived.


J'insisterai jusqu'à ce que tu sois allée le voir.
I'll insist until you've gone and seen him.

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

J'insisterai jusqu'à ce que tu sois allée le voir.
I'll insist until you've gone and seen him.


Nous nous sommes embrassés jusqu'à ce que sa femme soit arrivée.
We kissed until after his wife had arrived.


Nous nous sommes embrassés jusqu'à ce que sa femme arrive.
We kissed until his wife arrived.


Elle lui a rendu visite jusqu'à ce qu'il aille mieux.
She visited him until he felt better.


Il appellera jusqu'à ce qu'elle réponde.
He'll call until she answers.


J'attendrai jusqu'à ce qu'il ait terminé.
I'll wait until after he's finished.


On est restés à l'intérieur jusqu'à ce que la pluie s'arrête
We stayed inside until the rain stopped.


J'insisterai jusqu'à ce que tu ailles le voir.
I'll insist until you go and see him.


Ma mère me chantait des chansons jusqu'à ce que je m'endorme.
My mother used to sing to me until I fell asleep.


Q&A Forum 7 questions, 13 answers

JohnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Here's a sentence from the lesson - J'attendrai jusqu'à ce qu'il ait terminé. I'll wait until after he's finished. Why has 'after' been added.

Asked 8 months ago

Here's a sentence from the lesson - J'attendrai jusqu'à ce qu'il ait terminé. I'll wait until after he's finished. Why has 'after' been added.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

DianeC1Kwiziq community member

Could we have a comparison with 'juste à ce qui' on this page too please?

Asked 10 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

There is no juste à ce qui, because the que is not a relative pronoun but a conjunction. It does not replace a noun, as a relative pronoun would.

It is the same que that appears in: J'aime que tu sois là.

DianeC1Kwiziq community member
Aha! Thanks Chris. (Could you put that on the page please?) Thanks for doing a brilliant job.
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Thanks for the flowers, Diane, it is good to know that my remarks sometimes help people.

I can't put stuff on the webpage because I am not part of the kwiziq team. But maybe someone of the team is going to read this.

Could we have a comparison with 'juste à ce qui' on this page too please?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

BillC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Bonsoir - is the following correct?

Je me reposerai ici jusqu'à ce que le temps que je doive partir.

Merci d'avance.

Asked 11 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Bill,

"Je me reposerai ici jusqu'à ce que je doive partir."

is the correct sentence ....

BillC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Bonjour - does anyone know of a site where one can post sentences and have the grammar and structure checked?  As i practice writing I come up with sentences that I'm not sure are correct and i cannot always find the corresponding lesson for posting the question.  I'm wondering if anyone can provide some advice or is there a reliable tool that one can use for such a purpose?

Merci d'avance.

Bonsoir - is the following correct?

Je me reposerai ici jusqu'à ce que le temps que je doive partir.

Merci d'avance.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

TessaC1Kwiziq community member

I thought one did not use the subjunctive if it is je and je

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
It isn't the subject (je) which determines whether the subjunctive is used or not. 
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
I have the uneasy feeling that I didn't understand your question properly. Can you repost it in some more detail?
SherryC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Tessa, I think I know what you're referring to, and it's a different circumstance. 

"When the subject of the subordinate clause introduced by the conjunction que is the same as that of the main clause, and the tense is the same, the infinitive must be used instead of the subjunctive." (Advanced French Grammar, L'Huillier) So "j'ai besoin de manger quelque chose" or "je tiens à partir à six heures." (L'Huillier) 

The same would apply to tu, elle, nous, etc., so "tu as besoin de manger...", "elle a besoin de manger...", "nous avons besoin de manger...", and so on. 

EDIT: But, "je tiens que tu partes à six heures." The subjects in the main clause and subordinate clause are different.

I thought one did not use the subjunctive if it is je and je

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

MaxC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

arriver v. être

What's wrong with the answer "jusqu'à ce que tu arrives" versus your preference "jusqu'à ce que tu sois? 
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

But I suspect that the question required a subjonctive passé?

Jusqu'à ce que tu sois arrivé. 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
I would need the question to help you find a potential problem with the answer. 

arriver v. être

What's wrong with the answer "jusqu'à ce que tu arrives" versus your preference "jusqu'à ce que tu sois? 

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

DonaldC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Je l'aiderai jusqu'à ce qu'elle puisse le faire toute seule

Pourrais-je utiliser <lui-même> au lieu de <toute seule> dans cette phrase?  Je n'ai jamais vu <toute seule> mais je le comprends.  Merci d'avance de m'avoir aidé.  Don
Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Donald !

As it's a woman here, you could indeed use elle-même  :)

Je l'aiderai jusqu'à ce qu'elle puisse le faire elle-même.

I'd say the nuance is as follows:
toute seule = on her own, all by herself
elle-même = by herself

I hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !

DonaldC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Merci Aurélie.  Vous m'avez aidé.  J'aime bien votre site.  Don

Je l'aiderai jusqu'à ce qu'elle puisse le faire toute seule

Pourrais-je utiliser <lui-même> au lieu de <toute seule> dans cette phrase?  Je n'ai jamais vu <toute seule> mais je le comprends.  Merci d'avance de m'avoir aidé.  Don

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Testing (posted from the bottom of the lesson page)

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Apparently the fault is still not fixed because my question above does not have a message body.

-- Chris.

Testing (posted from the bottom of the lesson page)

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

How has your day been?