In French, the expressions "penser/trouver/savoir/croire/prétendre que" are followed either by the Mode subjonctif or by the Mode indicatif. Let's learn when to use which.
Using Mode subjonctif or Mode indicatif with "penser / trouver / savoir / croire / prétendre que" in French
Look at these expressions of positive and negative (using negations) opinions (i.e. using affirmative or negative sentences):
Je pense que c'est génial.I think (that) this is great.
Je ne pense pas que ce soit nécessaire.I don't think (that) it's necessary.
Ils croient que Luc peut le faire.They believe that Luc can do it.
Ils ne croient pas que Martha puisse le faire.They don't believe that Martha can do it.
Note that with the following expressions of opinion, the mode of the following verb changes in accordance with whether the opinion is expressed in an affirmative or negative form (using negative structures like ne...pas etc).
penser que + Indicatif (to think that) / ne pas penser que + Subjonctif
- trouver que (to find that)
- savoir que (to know that)
- croire que (to believe that)
- prétendre que (to claim that)
Note that many people nowadays happen to make the mistake of using the Indicative mode instead of the Subjunctive. But that's not a reason to do it yourself!
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